Joy N. Hulme, 97, in Dec. 2019 (juv. historical novelist & preschool writer)
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2020-03-09 23:35:56 UTC
She also wrote poems.

Also, check out the 2005 description of "Wild Fibonacci: Nature's Secret Code Revealed," below.


Most of it:

Originally from Cottonwood, Utah
Dec. 6, 1922 – Dec. 21, 2019

Award-winning children’s book author and poet, and resident of Monte Sereno, California, Joy N Hulme passed away peacefully at the age of 97, after spending her last few days with her two surviving children and other family and friends. Her sharp wit will be missed by all who knew her.

Joy was born and reared in Cottonwood, Utah, a descendant of numerous Utah Pioneers. Despite growing up during the Great Depression, she cherished fond memories of her childhood. She was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in a variety of teaching and leadership positions wherever she has lived.

In 1993 Joy was honored as Alumna of the Year at Utah State University, from which she had earned a degree in English and graduated as Valedictorian in the Spring of 1944, shortly after her marriage to Melvin J Hulme. They lived in Biloxi, Mississippi during his World War II training in the US Navy, and for a while in his hometown of Bloomington, Idaho, where she taught school. After the war they moved to California where he earned an MBA from University of California Berkeley. As he pursued a career in management with the Bank of America, they raised their family in various locations throughout California, eventually moving to Los Gatos and thence to Monte Sereno.

Wherever they lived, Joy was devoted to continuing education, enrolling in night classes to learn woodworking and artistic crafts and attending classes at the local community college. While her children were still at home she worked as a manager of newspaper carriers and ran a floral business from her home, always involving her children in her enterprises. The home in Monte Sereno, where she lived for the last 57 years of her life, was designed by Joy and built to her specifications, and the landscaping of the grounds was her pride and joy.

Meanwhile, she pursued a career in writing. She loved to compose rhyming verses, both to amuse and to teach young children about nature and mathematics; she also researched and wrote a number of historical works for youth. Of nearly 90 books she wrote during her lifetime, more than a fourth of them were accepted for general publication...


About "Wild Fibonacci: Nature's Secret Code Revealed":

"1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. . . Look carefully. Do you see the pattern? Each number above is the sum of the two numbers before it. Though most of us are unfamiliar with it, this numerical series, called the Fibonacci sequence, is part of a code that can be found everywhere in nature. Count the petals on a flower or the peas in a peapod. The numbers are all part of the Fibonacci sequence. In Wild Fibonacci, readers will discover this mysterious code in a special shape called an equiangular spiral. Why so special? It mysteriously appears in the natural world: a sundial shell curves to fit the spiral. So does a parrot's beak. . . a hawk's talon. . . a ram's horn. . . even our own human teeth! Joy Hulme provides a clear and accessible introduction to the Fibonacci sequence and its presence in the animal world."

(includes her awards and a long article on her work)


...Hulme's first major children's book was A Stable in Bethlehem. Since it first appeared in 1989, this counting book has become a Christmas favorite. Hulme followed that work with The Other Side of the Door and Climbing the Rainbow, about a young girl who rises above a disability. Set in 1910, The Other Side of the Door (later republished as Through the Open Door) concerns young Dora Cookson, a Mormon girl whose tongue never separated from the bottom of her mouth and who can only communicate through grunts and groans. Because of her speech impediment Dora does not attend school and is ostracized by nearly everyone around her, including some family members. Just before the Cookson family moves from Utah to New Mexico, Dora falls ill; while treating the girl, a physician discovers that she is "tongue-tied" and performs surgery on her. Once she heals, Dora learns to speak with the help of her kindly brother, Ed, "a relationship that Hulme develops convincingly and compellingly," noted a critic in Publishers Weekly. Reviewing The Other Side of the Door in School Library Journal, Shawn Brommer remarked, "The accessible text is straightforward, and the first-person narration is particularly apt for this appealing fictionalized memoir."

Dora's pursuit of an education is the focus of Climbing the Rainbow, the sequel to The Other Side of the Door. Initially placed with the first graders in her two-room schoolhouse, ten-year-old Dora works hard to prove to her teacher that she is intelligent and capable, and she makes rapid progress. Dora also experiences the hardships of life on the homestead when her best friend dies of appendicitis...

(her site)

(book covers/synopses)

(more covers)

(five Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews)

(a few read-alouds)


The Illustrated Story of President Lorenzo Snow, illustrated by B. Keith Christensen, Eagle Systems (Provo, UT), 1982.
The Illustrated Story of President George Albert Smith, illustrated by B. Keith Christensen, Eagle Systems (Provo, UT), 1982.
The Illustrated Story of President David O. McKay, illustrated by B. Keith Christensen, Eagle Systems (Provo, UT), 1982.
A Stable in Bethlehem, illustrated by J. Ellen Dolce, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1989, published as A Stable in Bethlehem: A Christmas Counting Book, illustrated by Dan Andreason, Sterling Publishing (New York, NY), 2007.

The Other Side of the Door, Deseret Books (Salt Lake City, UT), 1990.
Sea Squares, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1991.
Climbing the Rainbow (sequel to The Other Side of the Door), Deseret Books (Salt Lake City, UT), 1992, revised version, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
What If? Just Wondering Poems, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev, Boyds Mills (Honesdale, PA), 1993.
Counting by Kangaroos, illustrated by Betsy Scheld, Scientific American Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Sea Sums, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Donna W. Guthrie) How to Write, Recite, and Delight in All Kinds of Poetry, Millbrook (Brookfield, CT), 1996.
Eerie Feary Feeling: A Hairy Scary Pop Up Book, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Bubble Trouble, illustrated by Mike Cressy, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Through the Open Door, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
Wild Fibonacci: Nature's Secret Code Revealed, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.
Lookout Brigade: A Novel, Covenant Productions (American Fort, UT), 2005.
Mary Clare Likes to Share, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

2020-03-09 23:36:54 UTC
And, she once said:

"Thanks to the novel The DaVinci Code, which made the word 'fibonacci' familiar to millions of readers, I was able to convince the editor at Tricycle Press that the timing was right for my children's book about that fascinating number sequence to be published. Fibonacci numbers are fascinating elements in music, art, architecture, math, nature, and other fields. The book Wild Fibonacci: Nature's Secret Code Revealed describes their relationship to life-saving traits of animals."