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Beatrice Sparks papers

Identifier: MSS 2224

Scope and Contents

The majority of the collection is related to Spark's work as an author. This includes biographical material, correspondence from readers and publishers, manuscripts and printer proofs, and other material Sparks collected relating to her books. There is also correspondence and information documenting the mission she and her husband served for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dates range from 1949 to 2005.


  • 1949-2005


Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English with some letters in Korean, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to public research. Carton 8 and boxes 10-12 are restricted until 2060. Permission to use these materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

Beatrice Sparks (1917- ) is an author with a Ph.D. in human behavior. She is a specialist in child and adolescent psychology, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).

Sparks was born to Vivian Johns and Leonard Clarence Mathews on January 15, 1917 in Goldberg, Idaho. She grew up in Logan, Utah the third of five children. She moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, where she met and married LaVorn G. Sparks. Their family includes four children, and several grandchildren. After attending University of California at Los Angeles and Brigham Young University she started working as an Adolescent Phycologist. She also taught continuing education courses at Brigham Young University, and wrote newspaper columns for the Malibu Monitor, the Santa Monica Outlook, and the California Intermountain News.

Her work as an author continued with publishing several books, but she was most notable for her work editing and producing novels from teenage diaries regarding the themes of adolescent drug use, depression, psychotherapy, pregnancy, witchcraft, suicide, AIDS, attitudes, interpersonal communications and intergenerational conflict. Sparks has won the American Library Association Young Adult Notable Award, the Christopher Medal, School Library Journal Best Books, and Quick Pick for Recommended Reading by the American Library Association. She has also served as a judge for the National Book Awards. In addition to her literary work, Beatrice and LaVorn served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1986 to 1987. They worked on development and launch of the Family to Family Book of Mormon Project.


9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)

1 half box (.25 linear ft.)

1 carton (1.0 linear ft.)

1 oversize folder (0.1 linear ft.)

1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)


Arranged into five series: 1. Beatrice Sparks biographical and personal papers, 1949-1999, bulk 1970-1999; 2. Beatrice Sparks correspondence, articles, and other materials on her books, 1971-2000; 3. Beatrice Sparks book manuscripts and proofs, approximately 1970-2000; 4. LaVorn G. and Beatrice Sparks mission papers, 1986-1990; and 5. Beatrice Sparks fan mail, 1972-2005.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Gift of author, Provo, Utah, 2000.

Gift of author, Provo, Utah, 2005.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Beatrice Sparks; 2000.

Donated; Beatrice Sparks, 2005.


LDS scholarship and historiography (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Separated Materials

The following works, authored by Beatrice Sparks, were transferred from the manuscript collection to the print section of L. Tom Perry Special Collections: My Friend (n.p.); Key To Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1968); Annie's Baby (New York: Avon Books, Inc., 1998); Almost Lost: The True Story of an Anonymous Teenager's Life on the Streets (New York: Avon Books, 1996); Jay's Journal (New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1979); Jay's Journal (London: Corgi Books, 1979); Jay's Journal (New York: Times Books, 1979); Requiem for a Sixteen-Year Old (Jay's journal, Japanese) (Tokyo: CBS-Sony Publishing Co., 1980); Diario De Jay(Spanish) (Barcelona: Ediciones Martinez Roca, S.A., 1981); It Happened to Nancy (New York: Avon Books, 1994) (Two copies); La historia de Nancy (Spanish) (Barcelona: Plaza & Janes Editores, S.A., 1995); Lief dagboek (Dutch) (Uitgeverij Areopagus, n.d.); Go Ask Alice (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971) (Paperback);. Go Ask Alice (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971) (Hard cover, two copies, each with different dust jacket); Go Ask Alice (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1971) (Hard cover); Go Ask Alice (London: Corgi Books, 1971) (Paperback); Pergunte a Alice (Portuguese) (Rio de Janeiro: Editoria Record, 1971); Fråga Bara Alice (Swedish) (Bokförlaget I. Olsson, 1971); Alice: I Giorni Della Droga (Italian) (Milano: Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, 1972); Bare Spør Alice (Norwegian) (Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1973); Perguntem à Alice (Portuguese) (Lisbon: Moraes Editores, 1972); L'herbe bleue: journal d'une jeune fille de 15 ans (French) (Presses de la Cité, 1972); Pregúntale a Alicia: diario intimo de una joven drogada (Spanish) (Barcelona: Ediciones Martínez Roca, S.A., 1972); Writings left behind by a 15 year old (Go ask Alice, Japanese) (Tokyo: Japan UNI Agency, Inc., 1972); Go Ask Alice (London: Eyre Methuen Ltd., 1972); Ruohoa lunta (Finnish) (Keuruu: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 1973); ¿Recuerdas a ALICIA?: Dramáticas historias de jóvenes presentadas por la autora a la que Alicia contó su tragedia (Spanish) (Barcelona: EdicionesMartínez Roca, S.A., 1979); Spørg bare Alice (Danish) (Gyldendal Ung i Dag, 1979); Go Ask Alice (Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: n.p., 1976); Go Ask Alice (New York: Recorded Books, Inc., 1996) (Sound cassette).

LP recordings of "Family Achievement Institute," ghostwritten by Beatrice Sparks and Stphen R. Covey, narrated by Art Linkletter and Pat Boone transformed to the Musica Recording Archive for cataloging.

Processing Information

Processed; LeGrand Baker; August 2000. Value added processing, and separation of restricted materials, photographs, and newspaper clippings; John Murphy, Curator, and Jenna Faulkner, Student Processor; August-October 2015.

  • Published book and LP's listed in the collection level separation note.
Register of Beatrice Sparks papers
LeGrand Baker
August 2000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States