Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Ruth Sawyer (1880–1970)

Author of Roller Skates

Includes the names: Sawyer Ruth, RUTH SAWYER DURAND, Ruth ?Ruth Sawyer Sawyer

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
2,454 (3,387)618,380 (3.88)00
Roller Skates 1,079 copies, 28 reviews
Journey Cake, Ho! 532 copies, 4 reviews
The Way of the Storyteller 194 copies, 4 reviews
This Way to Christmas 64 copies, 1 review
The Christmas Anna Angel 57 copies, 2 reviews
The Year of Jubilo 52 copies, 3 reviews
The Enchanted Schoolhouse 40 copies, 3 reviews
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Ruth Sawyer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of five children in a wealthy family. They moved to New York City while she was still a baby. She had an Irish nanny who inspired her love of storytelling. Ruth attended private school and studied at the Garland Kindergarten Training School. In 1900, she traveled to Cuba, where she taught storytelling to kindergarten teachers. After returning to the USA, she won a scholarship to study storytelling and folk lore at Columbia University, earning a BS in education in 1904. She then went to work for the New York City school system, and in 1910 started the first storytelling program for children for the New York Public Library. She wrote articles for The New York Sun, which twice sent her on trips to Ireland, where she collected folk tales and continued to study the art of storytelling. Eventually she became renowned for her folk tale collections and storytelling expertise. In 1911, she married Albert Durand, an ophthalmologist with whom she had two children and lived in Ithaca, New York. She continued to write under her birth name. Her first book was a novel for adults, The Primrose Ring, published in 1915, and adapted into a silent film. The following year, she published her first book for children, This Way to Christmas. She published one book every year or two for the next 20 years. Her best-known book, a fictionalized semi-autobiography entitled Roller Skates, appeared in 1936 and won the Newbery Medal. A second volume continuing the story, The Year of Jubilo, was published in 1940. In 1944, she published The Way of the Storyteller, which was used as a textbook for teachers, librarians and storytellers for many years. The Christmas Anna Angel (1944), illustrated by Kate Seredy, was a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal. Maggie Rose, Her Birthday Christmas (1952) was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. For the book Journey Cake, Ho! (1953), she collaborated with famed children's writer-illustrator Robert McCloskey, her son-in-law (author of Make Way for Ducklings), and the book was a runner-up for the 1954 Caldecott. In 1965, she received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the professional children's librarians, for her "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.88)
0.5 1
1 3
2 10
2.5 1
3 49
3.5 11
4 100
4.5 7
5 57

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Ruth Sawyer is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Ruth Sawyer is composed of 4 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 160,463,937 books! | Top bar: Always visible