Image of William Bowen


Lifetime: 1877 - 1937 Passed: ≈ 86 years ago




United States

William Bowen

William Alvin Bowen was an American attorney who wrote several children's books in the 1920s. His most notable work was The Old Tobacco Shop, a fantasy novel that was one runner-up for the inaugural Newbery Medal in 1922.

Bowen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Maryland in 1898, and worked in his father's law office until 1904, when he moved to Los Angeles. There he was a member of the Olympic Committee as attorney for the 1932 Summer Olympics. He was also a member of the California and Southern California Historical Societies.

Bowen's first children's book was The Enchanted Forest, a fantasy novel published by Macmillan late in 1920. His second was The Old Tobacco Shop, one year later.

Books by William Bowen

The Old Tobacco Shop Cover image

The Old Tobacco Shop

Action Novel
Young Escape Adventure Literature Life Magic

The Old Tobacco Shop: A True Account of What Befell a Little Boy in Search of Adventure is a children's fantasy novel by William Bowen that was named a Newbery Honor book. The novel, published by MacMillan in 1921, is illustrated by Reginald Birch.

Merrimeg Cover image


Fairy Tale
Children Adventure Legend Myths Childhood Obedience

This is a charming fairy story by renowned author William Bowen. Merrimeg is a kind, helpful and obedient little girl. But after finishing her chores, as she goes outside to play, imps intervene and sweep her up the chimney. What is to become of her?...

Solario the Tailor Cover image

Solario the Tailor

Told over six nights, this children's fantasy has all the elements of a good bedtime story: princes and princesses, unicorns, sorcerers and mysteries such as a missing button. The stories are related by Solario, the aged tailor and master storyteller...