Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Helen Wells  

Pen Name: Francine Lewis

Genre:

Born: March 29, 1910 in Danville, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Born in Danville, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Helen Wells is best known for the Cherry Ames series, which was published in numerous countries besides the United States, including Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Japan, France, Italy, Holland, and Bolivia. But Wells wrote two other series. Under her own name, she wrote the Vicki Barr books, about a young mystery-solving flight attendant--like Cherry Ames and Helen Wells herself, another Illinois-to-New York transplant. And, as Francine Lewis, she penned the short-lived Polly French series, published by Whitman in the early 1950s: Polly French of Whitford High, Polly French Takes Charge, and Polly French and the Surprising Stranger; these books, about a young teenager, are aimed at a younger readership.Among her other books for young people were several so-called Career-Romances for Young Moderns--novels that featured a young woman pursuing a career, published by Julian Messner: The Girl in the White Coat (1953), A Flair for People (1955), Introducing Patti Lewis, Home Economist (1956), and Doctor Betty (1969). Wells also wrote Escape by Night: A Story of the Underground Railway (1953), a "Winston Adventure Book" for young people, based on a true story; and A City for Jean (1956), a novel about a young social worker, for Funk & Wagnalls; and Adam Gimbel, Pioneer Trader (1955) and Barnum, Showman of America (1957) for McKay.Helen Wells died in New York City on February 10, 1986, and is buried in Danville, Illinois. The 1986 Juvenile Series Writers Conference in Corning, New York, was dedicated to her memory.(Information courtesy of: The Cherry Ames Page - see below)


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Escape by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
ISBN: B000LC8FH2

the John C. Winston Company. 1953

Adam Gimbel, pioneer trader
ISBN: B0007DKOGA

D. McKay Co. 1955

Introducing Patti Lewis, home economist (A Romance for young moderns)
ISBN: B0007F2TU2

Messner. 1956

A City for Jean
ISBN: B0000CJGMF

Funk & Wagnalls. 1956


Awards

-- N/A