Jean Fritz, the award-winning author "whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts," died May 14, the New York Times reported. She was 101. The author of more than four dozen books, Fritz "was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history."
Her books include And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?; Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?; Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?; Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?; Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?; Shh! We're Writing the Constitution; Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?; and Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold.
Fritz's Homesick: My Own Story won a National Book Award and was named a Newbery Honor Book. Her other honors include the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and the National Humanities Medal, presented in 2003 by President George W. Bush. "Her work, nearly all published by G.P. Putnam's Sons or its imprints, was illustrated over the years by some of the foremost children's-book artists of the 20th century, among them Trina Schart Hyman, Margot Tomes and Tomie de Paola," the Times wrote.