Portrait at the Moscow Library in Idaho, contributed by reader Jeannette Duvall-Ward

Carol Ryrie Brink

Carol Ryrie Brink (1895-1981), best-known for writing Caddie Woodlawn, along with approximately 30 other books, grew up and went to college in Moscow, Idaho. Near the Washington state line, Moscow has a population of approximately 25,000 residents, more than ten times the number during the author’s youth.

Exterior of the Moscow, Idaho, Library. PC: Jeannette Duvall-Ward

The Library

Today, Moscow has named a library reading room and a park after the author, and the library is the same one the author used as a young girl. It is one of seven branch libraries in the Latah County Library District. According to its website:

“In April 1983 the building was opened to the public, with the Carol Ryrie Brink Reading Room in the historic Carnegie building designated a special place for the children of the community. This addition more than doubled the space while maintaining a warm and friendly atmosphere.

“The Moscow branch serves as headquarters of the Latah County Library District and houses roughly 60% of the District’s 100,000 volumes, both adult and juvenile. The District’s administrative, adult services, youth services, branch services and technical services, departments operate out of the this branch.”

Her Work

A local history expert interviewed Carol Ryrie Brink in the year she passed away and wrote this summary of the author’s life and work: https://dnews.com/life/nearby-history-local-historian-perpetuates-memory-of-idaho-s-own.

The University of Idaho gave Carol Ryrie Brink an honorary doctorate.

Her Most Popular Book

If you like historical fiction books with a pioneer spirit or stories about strong young female characters, the 1936 Newbery award-winning classic Caddie Woodlawn is worth reading. The main character is based on the actual life of the author’s grandmother.

Carol Ryrie Brink co-wrote the 1988 movie, more than 40 years after publishing the book. Magical Melons is the sequel.

Inside the Moscow, Idaho, library. PC: Jeannette Duvall-Ward

This is the first stop on our Idaho Author Adventures Trail. It can also be added to our Washington Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart