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Michael O. Tunnell papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7798

Scope and Contents

This collection contains multiple drafts, revisions, notes, and outlines of Michael O. Tunnell's children's books including Mailing May, Chinook, Beauty and the Beastly Children, The Children of Topaz, and School Spirits. It also contains correspondence between Tunnell and his publishers and editors concerning contracts and edits needed, letters from fans, slides, newspapers, and other materials, 1989-2008.


  • 1989-2008


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Michael O. Tunnell papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Michael O. Tunnell is a children's book author and professor of children's literature at Brigham Young University.

Michael O. Tunnell was born in Nacona, Texas, raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, and moved to Vernal, Utah as a teenager. He graduated from three different Utah universities, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, a master's degree from Utah State University, and a doctorate in education from Brigham Young University. After teaching for twelve years in public schools as a fifth and sixth grade teacher, and reading teacher and media specialist in junior high school, Tunnell moved to the university level. He taught first at Arkansas State University and Northern Illinois University before becoming a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University, where he teaches children's literature.

Tunnell has served in several prestigious capacities and earned several literary awards throughout his career. He has served both on the Newbery Award Committee of the American Library Association and on the selection committee and as the chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. His books for young readers include Chinook! (1993 Mormon Letters Award); The Joke's on George (1993 Mormon Letters Award); Beauty and the Beastly Children (1993 Mormon Letters Award); Mailing May (1998 American Library Association Notable Book, Parents' Choice Award, a Selector's Choice on the 1998 list of Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies, an International Reading Association Teacher's Choice book, and a Crayola Kids Magazine and a Child Magazine Best Book of 1997); Halloween Pie; The Children of Topaz (Parents' Choice Award book for 1996, Carter G. Woodsen Honor Book); Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" (a Junior Library Guild Selection, an Orbis Pictus Honor Award for nonfiction from the National Council of Teachers of English); and The Prydain Companions. His novels include School Spirits (Parent's Choice Recommended Book); Brothers in Valor (a Junior Library Guild Selection); Wishing Moon (Utah Book Award); and Moon Without Magic. Several of his works have also appeared on "best book" lists. Tunnell presents at national educational conferences, and has written professional books, journal articles, and stories for children's magazines.


3 cartons (3 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Collection was left in its original order.

Custodial History

Transferred from Juvenile Literature Collection in February 2011. Transferred from Juvenile Literature Collection in May 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred; Juvenile Literature Collection; February 2011. Transferred; Juvenile Literature Collection; May 2011.


Literary Manuscripts.

Processing Information

Processed; Katie Stuart; April 2011. Processed; Elizabeth West; May 2011.

Register of the Michael O. Tunnell papers
Katie Stuart
2011 April 14
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.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States