Clyde Robert Bulla (Jan 9, 1914- May 23, 2007) was the author of over fifty books for children. His first book, The Donkey Cart, was published in 1946.
“Born on a farm in a small town in Missouri, Bulla said he always wanted to write, according to his bio on the Scholastic Web site. His first piece was titled, “How Planets Were Born,” and all through school Bulla continued to write stories, as well as plays and poetry. After years of receiving rejections from editors, he finally sold a magazine story. Soon after, he wrote his only adult novel, These Bright Young Dreams, which was accepted by a publisher.
Bulla made no money because his publisher went bankrupt. He went on to write two more books, but no one wanted to publish them. He spent the next several years working at a local weekly newspaper, where he wrote a weekly column. The column caught the attention of a well-known author and illustrator of children’s books, who suggested that he try writing for kids.
Bulla sent her a manuscript for The Donkey Cart, and since then he continued to write children’s books, as well as the music for several children’s song books.
Bulla’s stories of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Pocahontas and other historical figures captivated young readers for decades. “I’m reaching children at very impressionable age levels — third to sixth grade, 8 to 11 years old,” Bulla told the Los Angeles Times in 1973. “I have to be very careful what I write about.”
Using simple, straightforward language and fast-moving plots, his stories were often told against a historical background. Pocahontas and the Strangers (1972) and A Lion to Guard Us (1981) and others depicted colonial America through the eyes of children. ( from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6446996.html )
To his credit, Bulla did not portray children as miniature adults, but did show them to be able to think and act capably; a ray of sunshine in the middle of today’s children’s literature, where children are not often shown as little adults, but often as contemptuous of adults, who are viewed as an inevitable inconvenience, even in books intended for children less than teen-aged.
Scholastic Titles written by this author that I have found to date :
TX-342- Bulla, Clyde Robert– The Secret Valley– Illustrator: Grace Paull
TX-399- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Eagle Feather–
TX-1335- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Squanto Friend of the Pilgrims– illustrator: Peter Burchard
TX-3032- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Pocahontas and the Strangers– Illustrator: Peter Burchard
TX-4034- Bulla, Clyde Robert– The Ghost of Windy Hill– 1968
TW- 216- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Star of Wild Horse Canyon-1960
TW- 292- Bulla, Clyde Robert.- The Secret Valley-1961- Illustrator: Grace Paull
TW- 304- Bulla, Clyde Robert.- Down the Mississippi-1961- Illustrator: Erwin Hoffmann
TW- 345- Bulla, Clyde Robert.- Ghost Town Treasure– 1966 -Illustrator: Don Freeman
TW- 399- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Eagle Feather– Illustrator: Tom Two Arrows
TW- 415- Bulla,Clyde Robert– Old Charlie– Illustrator: Paul Galdone
TW- 443- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Riding The Pony Express-1963
TW- 759- Bulla, Clyde Robert– The Sword In The Tree– 1965- Illustrator: Paul Galdone
TW- 775- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Three Dollar Mule-1969
TW-2172– Bulla., Clyde Robert–Viking Adventure– 1974
TW-4302- Bulla, Clyde Robert– Take Care of Dexter– original copyright 1973
This list points out an anomaly that exists in Scholastic’s numbering system. Rarely, a book was issued and withdrawn from print, and another book assigned the number, so it was neessary to assign a new number to the original book. In two cases in the catalogue of Bulla’s works, Scholastic assigned not just a new number, but also a new prefix. It may be that the two books in question, Eagle Feather, and The Secret Valley, were found to be more appropriate in the TW prefix, which generally serves children between the ages of 6-9 years, rather than the TX prefix, which serves ages 10-12 for the most part.
Of course, there are probably more, as this is a work in progress.