Mary Morton Cowan writes for young readers. Her biography, Captain Mac: the Life of Donald Baxter MacMillan, Arctic Explorer, won the 2010 National Outdoor Book Award (Children’s category) and a John Burroughs Award for an outstanding natural history book, and it is an Honor Book with the Society of School Librarians International, on Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2011 edition, and recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. Captain Mac tells the adventurous life story of a New Englander who explored and researched the Arctic and subarctic for nearly fifty years, with many expeditions taking place aboard his Arctic schooner, Bowdoin.
Earlier published works include Timberrr…A History of Logging in New England, for which Mary was awarded a work-in-progress grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and which won Maine Library Association’s Lupine Honor Award. Her historical novel, Ice Country, is a teenager’s sailing adventure to the Arctic with Donald MacMillan. Nearly seventy of Mary’s articles and stories have been published in children’s magazines, including Highlights for Children and Cobblestone. Several have been reprinted in textbooks and anthologies, some are included in reading comprehension programs for standardized tests, and a few are online.
A native Mainer, Mary earned a BA in English literature from Bates College, and has since taken courses, seminars, and workshops in children’s writing and literature. She visits schools throughout the northeast, conducts writing workshops, and speaks to a variety of community groups.