Williamsport Sun-Gazette Friday. January 21, 1994
LOCK HAVEN - The Judy Bolton girls mystery series is being published again.
And nobody could be more proud than the series' author, Margaret (Rae) Sutton. The author will celebrate her 91st birthday Saturday.
Born Rachel Irene Beebe, she was reared near Austin,Potter County, and has resided at Fulmers Personal Care Home in Dunnstown for the last two years. A niece, Wilma I. Froebel, lives in Williamsport.
Although her writing is curtailed by arthritis, Sutton's creative mind is still intact and she still has many stories to tell those around her. The writer was overjoyed to learn last fall that her Judy Bolton series of mysteries would be published again in their original forrnat with no up-dating, this time by Applewood publishers.
This spring The Vanishing Shadow and The Haunted Attic will be published in facsimile editions of the originals with dustjackets. The Search for the Glowing Hand and the Secret of the Sandcastle [sic] will be published later in the year.
Besides the mystery series, Sutton is also known for her historical novels for children. One of the best known was a novel about Jeremiah, daughter of Daniel Boone.
Sutton says it was children who inspired her to write and she began writing to entertain her stepdaughter, Dorothy.
Her first novel with lead characters, Judy Bolton and her brother, centered around the Austin Flood of 1911. The author was eight years old when the dam failed to protect the %illage of Austin. In the story, Judy's brother warns the townspeople of the dangerous dam and saves the day.
Sutton went on to write 37 more novels in the Judy Bolton series. Her stories were always adventurous and featured strong and brave heroines.
She says she wrote according to her stepdaughter's interests,and from her own life experiences, all the while trying to bring adventure to life.
It took two years for a publisher to be found for the four volume Judy Bolton series during the Depression. The four-book series was published in 1932.
Her family made good use of the royalties from the novels written at home while raising six children. She wrote her last Judy Bolton book in 1966.
Although Judith Bolton never achieved the recognition of her peer, Nancy Drew, she had a large following and continues to be a popular seller among used book dealers.
The Nancy Drew series was created in 1930.
According to Something About the Author, published in 1971, Sutton created a stir in her hometown after she learned there was no sequel to The Secret Garden.
After demanding the sequel and learning there was none, Sutton 'decided then and there that she would write books and books and books about one character so that other people wouldn't have to suffer as she had,' according to the reference.
She is quoted as saying, 'I loved writing the Judy Bolton series and still feel that a good series book meets the real need children have to find a book friend who will appear in story after story. Libraries need good quality series books to keep children reading."
Sutton has an international fan club and was honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Society of Phantom Friends.
The Whispering Belltower, a Judy Bolton Book by Kate Emberg, was written and published with Sutton's permission. It is the only series book to continue a series ever published by an organization of fans, according to the society's newsletter.
Emberg began reading the series when she was 10 years old but it wasn't until 1985 that she and three other women formed the original Judy Bolton Society. The name later was changed to Phantom Friends.
"One of my most treasured experiences was meeting, Margaret Sutton in Coudersport in 1986," Emberg writes.
Sutton married Everett Hunting in 1975. Recently admitted to the Lock Haven Hospital suffering from pneunionia, Sutton is recovering, according to Froebel.