Willo Davis Roberts died November 19, 2004. There is an informative article about her life and achievments in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Roberts ... sold about 100 books and won three Edgar Awards, a Mark Twain Award and a Washington State Gov.'s Writers Award..It has a great quote from her about the essence of writing for young readers:
"Do not make the mistake of thinking that writing for children is easier than writing for adults. It's actually much more challenging," she wrote for the Children's Book Council Web site. "Unlike adults, children will not continue to read a story that does not maintain a high interest level."
Most touching though is an interview with her husband, David Roberts, in the Herald.
His wife had no college education, but "came from the college of hard knocks," he said. A child of the Depression, Willo grew up entertaining two little sisters by telling stories...
"She never sought the limelight," David Roberts said. Once, he said, a child in Alaska told his wife, "We like your books because you talk about kids just like us."
"To her, that was the epitome of a compliment," he said.
In Granite Falls, the house is quiet, but not empty.
Willo Davis Roberts' biggest fan has work to do. David Roberts held a letter from a librarian in the Bahamas. He is answering his wife's fan mail and having trouble keeping up.