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Betsy Byars Papers

Identifier: DG0143

Scope and Contents

The collection contains copy edited and master galleys for Goodbye Chicken Little (1979). Goodbye Chicken Little is the story of a young boy, who with the help of his family, overcomes his fears of tragedy and adversity at the sudden death of a loved one. The book was chosen as a New York Times Book of the Year.


  • 1979

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; Available for research

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Betsy Cromer Byars was born in Charlotte, North Carolina to George and Nan Rugheimer Cromer on August 7, 1928. She attended Furman University in South Carolina from 1946-1948 and received a bachelor's degree in English from Queens College (NC) in 1950. Betsy met and married Clemson University engineering student Edward Byars shortly after graduation, and they had four children: Laurie, Betsey Ann, Nan, and Guy. The family moved to Illinois so that Edward could continue his education, eventually becoming a professor of engineering. To supplement their income, Betsy began writing for magazines. Her first novel, Clementine, was published in 1962. Throughout her career, Betsy has written over 35 books for children and won numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal in 1971 for Summer of the Swans (1970), a National Book Award for The Night Swimmers (1980), and an Edgar Award for Wanted...Mud Blossom (1991). She was also the recipient of the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement from the Catholic Library Association in 1987. In her writings, she is most noted for her ability to characterize the troubled lives of youngsters with humor and sensitivity.

Betsy and Edward live in South Carolina where Betsy continues to write books for children--most recently with daughters Betsy and Laurie.


Betsy Byars. Random House, Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2017. (

Major Authors and Illustrators, pp. 405-408.


.40 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material was donated by Harper and Row in October 1979.

Betsy Byars Papers
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This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001