Mary Francis Shura

Last updated
Mary Francis Young Shura Craig
BornMary Francis Young
(1923-02-23)February 23, 1923
Pratt, Kansas, United States
DiedJanuary 12, 1991(1991-01-12) (aged 67)
Maywood, Illinois, United States
Pen nameMary Francis Shura,
Mary Craig,
Alexis Hill,
M. S. Craig,
Mary Shura Craig,
Meredith Hill,
M. F. Craig,
Mary S. Craig [1]
Occupation Novelist
Genre Children, young adult romance, romance, gothic, suspense
SpouseDaniel Charles Shura (1943-1959),
Raymond C. Craig (1961-divorced)

Mary Francis Shura Craig, née Young (23 February 1923 in Pratt, Kansas 12 January 1991 in Maywood, Illinois) was an American writer of over 50 novels from 1960 to 1990. She wrote children's adventures and young adult romances as Mary Francis Shura, M. F. Craig, and Meredith Hill; gothic novels as Mary Craig; romance novels as Alexis Hill, Mary Shura Craig and Mary S. Craig; and suspense novels as M. S. Craig. [2]

Pratt, Kansas City and County seat in Kansas, United States

Pratt is a city in and the county seat of Pratt County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,835. Pratt is home to Pratt Community College.

Maywood, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Maywood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. It was founded on April 6, 1869, and organized October 22, 1881. The population was 24,090 at the 2010 United States Census.

Writer person who uses written words to communicate ideas and to produce works of literature

A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, and essays as well as various reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well, often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society.


She was a recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award in 1985, and was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1990.

Carl Sandburg American writer and editor

Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, biographer, writer, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). He enjoyed "unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life", and at his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America."

Mystery Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is an organization of mystery and crime writers, based in New York City.


Mary Francis Young was born on 23 February 1923 in Pratt, Kansas, the daughter of Jackson Fant and Mary Francis (Milstead) Young. She studied at Maryville State College. Her family moved to the Pacific Northwest. On 24 October 1943, she married Daniel Charles Shura, who died in 1959. They had three children: Marianne Francis Shura (Sprague), Daniel Charles Shura, and Alice Barrett Shura Craig (Stout). On 8 December 1961, she married Raymond C. Craig. They had a daughter Mary Forshay Craig before their divorce. [3]

On 12 January 1991, she died of injuries suffered in a fire in her apartment on 13 December 1990. [4]


Some of her novels were republished under different titles

As Mary Francis Shura

Children's literature

Single novels
  • Simple Spigott (1960); Publisher: New York, Alferd A. Knopf.
  • The garret of Greta McGraw (1961); Publisher: New York, Knopf.
  • Mary's marvelous mouse (1962); Adrienne Adams; Publisher: New York, Knopf.
  • The nearsighted knight (1964); Publisher: New York, Knopf.
  • Shoefull of shamrock (1965); Publisher: New York : Atheneum.
  • Run away home (1965)
  • A tale of middle length (1966); Publisher: New York, Atheneum.
  • Backwards for luck (1966)
  • Pornada (1968)
  • The valley of the frost giants (1971)
  • The seven stone (1972) aka Maggie in the middle; Dale Payson; Publisher: New York : Scholastic Book Services.
  • The shop on Threnody Street (1972)
  • Topcat of Tam (1972) aka Top Cat
  • The riddle of Raven's Gulch (1975) aka The riddle of Raven Hollow; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The season of silence (1976); Ruth Sanderson; Publisher: New York : Atheneum.
  • The gray ghosts of Taylor Ridge (1978); Michael A Hampshire; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The Barkley Street six-pack (1979) aka My Friend Natalie aka Some Kind of Friend; Gene Sparkman; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • Mister Wolf and me (1979); Konrad Hack; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead
  • Happles and cinnamonger (1981); Bertram M Tormey; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The search for Grissi (1985); Ted Lewin; Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Dodd, Mead.
  • Tales from Dickens (1985)
  • The Josie gambit (1986); Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • Don't call me Toad! (1987); Jacqueline Rogers; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The Sunday doll (1988); Ted Lewin; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The mystery at Wolf River (1989); Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Scholastic.
  • Kate's book (1989); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Kate's house (1990); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Polly panic (1990); Publisher: New York : Putnam, 1990.
  • Gentle Annie : the true story of a Civil War nurse (1991); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Our teacher is missing (1992); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.

Adrienne Adams was a children's book illustrator as well as an artist and author of children's books. She won two Caldecott Honors and in 1973 she was awarded the Rutgers Award for overall contributions to children’s literature. In 1977, she won a University of Southern Mississippi Medallion.

Atheneum Books was a New York City publishing house established in 1959 by Alfred A. Knopf, Jr., Simon Michael Bessie and Hiram Haydn. Simon & Schuster has owned Atheneum properties since its acquisition of Macmillan in 1994 and it created Atheneum Books for Young Readers as an imprint for children's books in the 2000s.

Ruth Sanderson is an American illustrator and writer of children's books.

Kids of the Neighborhood series
  1. Chester the great (1980) aka Chester; Susan Swan; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  2. Eleanor (1983); Susan Swan; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  3. Jefferson (1984); Susan Swan; Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.

Young adult romances

  • Jessica (1984); Publisher: New York : Scholastic Inc..
  • Marilee (1984); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Marilee (1987); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Diana (1988): Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Darcy (1989); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
Other novels
  • Winter dreams, Christmas love (1992); Publisher: New York : Scholastic.
  • Summer dreams, winter love (1993); Publisher: London : Scholastic.

As Mary Craig

Gothic novels

  • A Candle for the Dragon (1973)
  • Ten Thousand Several Doors (1973) aka Mistress of Lost River
  • The Cranes of Ibycus (1974) aka Shadows of the Past
  • Were He a Stranger (1978)

As Alexis Hill

Riviere Saga (romance)

  1. Passion's Slave (1979)
  2. The Untamed Heart (1980)

As M. S. Craig

Romance novels

  • Dust to Diamonds: The Chicagoans (1981)

Suspense novels

  • To play the fox (1982); Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • Gillian's chain (1983); Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • The third blonde (1985); Publisher: New York : Dodd, Mead.
  • Flash point (1987); Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Dodd, Mead.

As Mary Shura Craig

Romance novels

  • Lyon's Pride (1983)
  • Pirate's Landing (1983)
  • Fortune's Destiny (1986)

As Meredith Hill

Young adult romances

Individual novels
  • The Silent Witness (1983)
Chrystal Falls series
1. The Wrong Side of Love (1986)
5. A Loss of Innocence (1986)
6. Forbidden Love (1986)

As M. F. Craig

Children's literature

  • The Mystery at Peacock Place (1986)

As Mary S. Craig

Romance novels

  • Dark Paradise (1986)

References and sources

  1. Author Pseudonyms
  2. The Illinois Center for the Book - Illinois Authors Directory - Record for Shura, Mary Francis Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Mary Francis Shura". Goodreads. Otis Chandler. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  4. Mary Francis Shura Craig; Mystery Writer, 67 - New York Times

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