Wade, Mary Dodson 1930-

views updated

WADE, Mary Dodson 1930-


Born July 30, 1930, in Morrilton, AR; daughter of Graydon A. (an educator and businessman) and Bonnie (an educator; maiden name, Bearden) Dodson; married Harold L. Wade (an engineer), 1953; children: Bruce Dodson, Dana Leigh. Education: Attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas), 1947-49; Baylor University, B.A. (cum laude), 1951; Texas Woman's University, M.A., 1961. Politics: Independent. Religion: Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Travel (has visited Egypt, Greece, China, Japan, Peru, the Philippines, Jamaica, England, Ireland, and Germany).


Agent c/o Author Mail, Colophon House, 17522 Brushy River Ct., Houston, TX 77095. E-mail [email protected].


Pine Bluff, AR, and Richardson, TX, teacher, 1951-56; Cleveland, OH, school librarian, 1963-68; Sharon, MA, school librarian, 1968-77; Sugar Land, TX, school librarian, 1980-90. Colophon House, Houston, TX, founder. Speaker at schools, workshops, and conferences.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (regional advisor, Houston chapter), Texas State Historical Association, Ladies Reading Club of Houston.


Easter Fires, illustrated by Patty Rucker, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1984.

Milk, Meat Biscuits, and the Terraqueous Machine: The Story of Gail Borden, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1987.

David Crockett: Sure He Was Right, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1992.

Amelia Earhart: Flying for Adventure, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1992.

I Am Houston, illustrated by Pat Finney, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1993.

Austin: The Son Becomes Father, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1993.

Little Fish and Big Question, Island Heritage, 1994.

Ada Byron Lovelace: The Lady and the Computer, Dillon Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Cabeza de Vaca: Conquistador Who Cared, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1994.

Estevan, Walking across America, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1994.

Benedict Arnold, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Guadalupe Quintanilla: Leader of the Hispanic Community, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1995.

I'm Going to Texas = Yo voy a Tejas, illustrated by Virginia Marsh Roeder, translated by Guadalupe C. Quintanilla, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1995.

The Alamo: Flash Point between Texas and Mexico, Discovery Enterprises (Carlisle, MA), 1996.

Opa's Stories, illustrated by Pat Finney, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1996.

Homesteading on the Plains: Daily Life in the Land of Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Harvey Dunn, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

The Road to San Jacinto, Discovery Enterprises (Carlisle, MA), 1997.

I'm Going to California = Yo voy a California, illustrated by Virginia Marsh, translated by Juan M. Aguayo, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1997.

Jane Long's Journey, illustrated by Virginia Marsh Roeder, Colophon House (Houston, TX), 1998.

George W. Bush: Governor of Texas, W. S. Benson (Austin, TX), 1999.

T Is for Texas, illustrated by Virginia Roeder, GHB Publishers (St. Charles, MO), 2000.

Walter's Worries, illustrated by Philip Webb, Learning Media (Wellington, New Zealand), 2001.

ALSLou Gehrig's Disease, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

(With Nanci R. Vargus and Katharine A. Kane) El Dia de los Muertos, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

George W. Bush, Forty-third President of the United States, W. S. Benson (Austin, TX), 2002.

Tsunami: Monster Waves, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Types of Maps, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Map Scale, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Condoleeza Rice: Being the Best, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

People of Texas, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Texas Plants and Animals, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Christopher Columbus, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Cinco de Mayo, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Uniquely Texas, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Texas History, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.

All around Texas: Regions and Resources, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Texas Native Peoples, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Presidents' Day: Honoring the Birthdays of Washington and Lincoln, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

Joan Lowery Nixon: Mystery Writer, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

Also contributor to children's magazines. Wade produced a ten-minute iconographic video of Easter Fires in 1990.


Mary Dodson Wade is the author of a multitude of historical and biographical books for students of many ages, from kindergarten through high school. Her books have often been praised by critics as solid, well-researched, student-friendly introductions to their subjects, which range from the people and culture of Wade's home state of Texas to scientific topics such as tsunamis.

Written for high school students, ALSLou Gehrig's Disease contains both scientific information about the disease and the human stories of some of the men and women who suffer from it, including Nobel-prize-winning scientist Stephen Hawking, star baseball player Lou Gehrig, and gymnast Marcie Gibson. The book "will leave readers moved yet heartened by the heroism demonstrated by so many of those affected," Mary R. Hofmann commented in School Library Journal. To Booklist reviewer Roger Leslie, a strong point of the book was its clear definitions of terms and explanations of scientific concepts, which "are generously supported with simple diagrams."

Condoleeza Rice: Being the Best is a biography of President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor written for late-elementary to early-middle-school students. The book has several features that make it accessible to its target audience, claim reviewers. School Library Journal contributor Marlene Gawron noted that "the facts are presented in short sentences in large print," making it easy to read, and the book was praised by both Gawron and Booklist 's Ilene Cooper for its many photographs, including some of Rice's childhood. "This is an attractive addition to the Gateway Biography series," Cooper concluded.

"The sound of words has always fascinated me," Wade once told SATA. "I love to roll them around in my head, and I love to create moods by moving them around on paper.

"My first efforts at writing were some poems when I was ten or twelve. As poetry, they were awful! But my mother kept them because she knew they were important to me. They serve to remind me that writing is like any skillif you practice, you get better at it.

"Most of my writing is based on history. I love to know how things used to be and to make connections with what is today. What I have discovered is that people react much the same way to circumstances, regardless of the physical surroundings of the time. When writing biographies, I try to understand that this was a living, breathing individual, who reacted to something that was going on. In trying to capture that real person, I use autobiographies, if they are available. And I try to find what someone who knew the individual wrote. A biographical subject with a strong personality can provoke intense like or dislike, however, and that forces me to seek the motivation behind what was said.

"Even my fiction has some basis in reality. I find writing pure fiction is hard work. As an author, I must come up with a believable character who has a real problem, to which the character finds a reasonable solution. Research, especially eyewitness accounts, can provide wonderful details that bring a story to life."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 15, 1993, Kay Weisman, review of IAm Houston, pp. 1510-1511; March 1, 1995, Kay Weisman, review of Benedict Arnold, p. 1242; May 1, 1995, Kay Weisman, review of Ada Byron Lovelace: The Lady and the Computer, p. 1571; March 1, 1996, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Guadalupe Quintanilla: Leader of the Hispanic Community, pp. 1176-1177; January 1, 2002, Roger Leslie, review of ALS: Lou Gehrig's Disease, p. 840; March 1, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Condoleeza Rice: Being the Best, pp. 1207-1208; May 1, 2003, review of Cinco de Mayo, pp. 1602-1603.

Book Report, May-June, 1995, Phyllis Press, review of Ada Byron Lovelace, p. 46.

Review of Texas Books, fall, 1992, p. 3; winter, 1993, p. 6.

School Library Journal, November, 1992, Rita Soltan, review of Amelia Earhart: Flying for Adventure, p. 106; May, 1995, Margaret B. Rafferty, review of Benedict Arnold, p. 117; February, 1996, Linda Greengrass, review of Guadalupe Quintanilla, p. 106; July, 1997, Denise E. Agosto, review of I'm Going to California = Yo voy a California, pp. 77-78; February, 2002, Mary R. Hofmann, review of ALS, pp. 150-151; October, 2002, Eva Elizabeth, review of Tsunami: Monster Waves, p. 195; December, 2002, Ann Welton, review of El Dia de los Muertos, pp. 127-128; April, 2003, Marlene Gawron, review of Condoleeza Rice, p. 194; January, 2004, Christine E. Carr, review of Christopher Columbus, p. 123.

Texas Books in Review, spring, 1993, p. 18.*

About this article

Wade, Mary Dodson 1930-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article