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Creator / Betsy Byars

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Betsy Byars (August 7, 1928 – February 26, 2020) was an American author of middle grade fiction. Most of her work is centered around children on the cusp of adolescence as they deal with some of life's more difficult problems; including abandonment, disability, death, or abuse. She had written over sixty children's books, including the 1971 Newbery Medal winning Summer of the Swans.

Works by Betsy Byars with their own trope pages include:


Other works by Betsy Byars include:

  • Trouble/River (1969)
  • The Cartoonist (1978)
  • The Eighteenth Emergency (1973)
  • The Night Swimmers (1980)
  • Summer of the Swans (1970)
  • The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish (1982)
  • Cracker Jackson (1985)

Other tropes related to Betsy Byars:

  • Age-Appropriate Angst:
  • The Film of the Book: A couple of her novels have been turned into movies, primarily for television; including The Pinballs, and Summer of the Swans.
  • Free-Range Children
  • Parental Abandonment: This had occurred with such frequently in Byar's work that she herself had commented on it.
  • Promotion to Parent: A number of her more serious works, including The Night Swimmers, involve an older sibling suddenly being thrust into the parental role when their real parent is either dead, emotionally absent, or has outright abandoned them.
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  • Safe Zone Hope Spot: Trouble River features young Dewey Martin and his grandmother, who flee their cabin after encountering a hostile Native American scout. Knowing that he will come back with the rest of his war party, Dewey and his grandmother construct a raft and flee down the river. They spend several chapters fleeing downriver toward the refuge of their friends, the Dargans. Upon arriving, they discover that the Dargan homestead was burned to the ground in a surprise attack before they left their own home. This forces Jeremy and his grandmother to raft a great deal further, through dangerous rapids, to reach a town that the war party avoided.