Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Irene Hunt  

Pen Name: None


Born: May 8, 1907 in Pontiac, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Irene Hunt was born in Pontiac, Illinois and then moved to Newton, Illinois with her family before she was one year of age. She taught in the public schools in Oak Park and Cicero.

Biographical and Professional Information

Hunt taught in the public schools in Oak Park and Cicero and at the University of South Dakota for a total of 39 years. Her graduate work in psychology has helped make her characters unusually real. Her first novel, Across Five Aprils, was published when she was 57. She based her story on the life of her grandfather and set it on the family farm where she grew up. All of Hunt's books are carefully researched and she was won several awards including the Newberry Medal.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Claws of a Young Century: A Novel
ISBN: 0684165252

Encore Editions. 1983

Seventeen-year-old Ellen's optimistic dream of a bright new century full of hope on New Year's Eve 1899 seems a far cry from the reality of the next 20 years as she and all those close to her fight private and social battles that leave none of their lives unchanged.During the increasingly turbulent years of 1900-1918, a young woman gives up her happy marriage and dedicates her life to the cause of women's rights

ISBN: 0441889816

Ace Books. 1984

Four orphaned black children and a white teenager form a new and loving family group

ISBN: 0684183404

Atheneum. 1985

Scorned by his embittered father and frightened by the impending marriage of his beloved sister, Bethany, twelve-year-old Jeremy, brain-damaged at birth, runs away and is rescued by an elderly recluse who gives him new self-respect and strength

Across Five Aprils
ISBN: 0425182789

Berkley. 2002

The Newbery Award winning author of Up a Road Slowly presents the unforgettable story of Jethro Creighton—a brave boy who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War.

Up a Road Slowly
ISBN: 0425202054

Berkley. 2005

After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.

No Promises in the Wind (DIGEST)
ISBN: 0425182800

Berkley. 2002

No Promises in the Wind (DIGEST)

The Lottery Rose
ISBN: 0425182797

Berkley. 2002

The Newbery Award winning author of Across Five Aprils and Up a Road Slowly presents the story of a young boy from a troubled family who learns what it means to love…

The Lottery Rose

Abused by his mother and her boyfriend, Georgie Burgess learns to hide his hurt. He withdraws into a safe and secret world of beautiful gardens filled with roses—just like those in the library book he treasures.

When Georgie wins a small rosebush in a grocery store lottery he gives it all the love and caring he’s never had. Georgie’s life begins to open up for him when the courts send him to a home for boys where he will be safe. Slowly, and not without pain, Georgie learns to give—and to receive—love…


-- Charles W. Follett Award in 1964Newbery Honor book for Across Five Aprils in 1965 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1966 Newbery Medal for Up a Road Slowly in 1967Parents' Choice Award for The Everlasting Hills in 1985