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Jean Fritz
Born Jean Guttery
(1915-11-16)November 16, 1915
Hankow, China
Died May 14, 2017(2017-05-14) (aged 101)
Sleepy Hollow, New York, United States
Occupation Writer
Language English
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Wheaton College
Period 1954–2017
Genre Children's novels, biography, memoir
Subject American biography and history
Notable awards Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
Spouse Michael Fritz

Jean Guttery Fritz (16 November 1915 – 14 May 2017) was an American children's writer and historian. Her parents were Arthur Minton and Myrtle Guttery. They were missionaries. Missionaries are people who set out on a mission to teach others about their religion.

Early life

Fritz lived in China until she was 13 years old. She learned to speak Chinese before she learned English. In 1928 the family returned to the United States. As a child of missionaries she used her writing as a “private place.” She wrote her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. She also wrote down anything she thought about. Fritz wrote it all down. She wrote about many different things. Sometimes she copied some sections of poems and books that Fritz had read. She liked to read different poets and authors.

Early career

Later in life these things she had written about turned into the books that she later wrote. On 1 November 1942 Fritz married Michael Fritz The couple later had two children. They were named David and Andrea.


Fritz has a record for writing information flooded, true books about real things that happened in history. She had been amazed about what had happened during the time of the American Revolution. She learned a great deal of information on the topic. It was really interesting to her. She wrote a handful of children's books about key figures and events that happened during that time. Most books she wrote are non-fictional children's’ books. Fritz has written some novels. She wrote a novel called "Brady". She dived into her search for information. She looked at primary sources. In 1986 she won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal.

After her father's death she wrote the book Homesick: My Own Story. It was about her own childhood experiences in China. After writing the book she visited China. After returning she wrote two more books about China and Mao Zedong.

Publication of Fritz' books

She started writing her books in the 1950s. Fritz knows much about happenings around the world.


  • Homesick: My Own Story (Puffin, 1982 ISBN: 0142407615. Paperback)
  • China homecoming (Putnam, 1985 ISBN: 0399211829. Hardcover)
  • China's Long March (Putnam, 1988 ISBN: 0399215123. Hardcover)
  • The Cabin Faced West (Puffin, 1987 ISBN: 0140322566. Paperback. Hardcover.)
  • Brady (Puffin, 1988 ISBN: 0140322582. Paperback)
  • Early Thunder (Puffin, 1987 ISBN: 0140322590. Paperback.)
  • "Jean (Guttery) Fritz." Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Biography in Context. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
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