Lucy Johnston Sypher,
) - (December 1990), was the author of four children's books loosely based on her childhood in the small prairie
town of Wales, North Dakota
. The books in the series include: The Edge of Nowhere (1972), Cousins and Circuses (1974), The Spell of the Northern Lights (1975),
and The Turnabout Year (1976).
Her life as depicted in her books
In the books, she describes life in Wales as the daughter of George, the town banker, and Caroline, a church organist and music teacher from a cultured, well-educated big city family. In the books, eleven-year-old Lucy attends a small country school and befriends the three daughters of an English emigree
family and their spoiled brother, who is nicknamed "The Prince of Wales," (which is a pun
on his tendency to cry easily as well as the name of the town.) She visits her big city cousins and is irritated by her mischievous older brother, Amory. The final book, The Turnabout Year,
describes her mother's difficult recovery after the birth of her younger brother, George, and Lucy's decision to attend high school in Minneapolis
. Sypher said when the books were published that the events described in the books were highly fictionalized.
Sypher was raised in Wales, the daughter of George Johnston and Caroline Gale Johnston. She graduated from the University of North Dakota
in Grand Forks, North Dakota
in 1927 and received her master of arts degree
from Tufts University
in 1929. She married Wylie Sypher
in 1929. She was an instructor of English and history at Lasell Junior College
in Auburndale, Massachusetts
for a number of years before she published her first book. She and her husband raised their family in Massachusetts.
- Johnston, Lucy Sypher, The Edge of Nowhere, Atheneum, 1972, ISBN 0689300697
- Johnston, Lucy Sypher, Cousins and Circuses, Atheneum, 1974
- Johnston, Lucy Sypher, The Spell of the Northern Lights, Atheneum, 1975
- Johnston, Lucy Sypher, The Turnabout Year, Atheneum, 1976