Eve Bunting: Biography, Books & Awards

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Chances are you've read a book by Eve Bunting, a popular author for children. Read on to learn about her life, check out her most popular books and discover the awards she's won.


Many children grew up reading books by Eve Bunting. You may have heard of a few, including Smoky Night or Fly Away Home, and noticed that Bunting's books have been in your life for a while. This is because she writes many kinds of books, from simple picture books to more complex nonfiction. Let's take a closer look at where Bunting got her start as an author.

The Biography of Eve Bunting

Eve Bunting was born December 19, 1928 in Maghera, a small village in Northern Ireland. Her father, Sloan, and mother, Mary, were avid readers and provided the foundation for Eve's future career as a writer. Eve remembers her father reciting poetry to her as a young child, and her mother opened a lending library out of their house because the small town didn't have a library.

Eve attended Methodist College of Belfast and graduated in 1945. She married Edward Bunting on April 26, 1951 and had three children. Bunting and her young family moved to California in 1960. She began taking writing classes from a local community college and soon published her first book in 1972. That story, The Two Giants, is a retelling of an Irish folktale about the giant Finn McCool.

Bunting stuck to folk tales for her next several books but eventually gained enough confidence to branch out to other topics. Think you know some of her writing? Read on to see.

Books by Eve Bunting

Like we said above, Eve Bunting began her writing career by publishing picture books focusing on folk tales. She soon became comfortable with getting to the heart of things, writing about such topics as death, family issues, racism and the effects of war. Bunting says, 'Picture books aren't just for tots anymore. I like to write books for children that make them think. I like to write for every child, for every age, for every interest. That is why I have such a variety of books - from pre-school, through the middle grades and beyond.'

Bunting has written over 250 books and short stories over her career and has no plans of slowing down or retiring. Her ability to take on tough issues makes her a favorite among children and adults. Her novel Fly Away Home tackles the story of homelessness; as a father and son find rest near a dumpster, the son watches planes overhead and imagines a better life for himself. Another novel, Smoky Night, tells the story of the Los Angeles riots through the eyes of a young child who loses his cat and finds an unlikely friend while searching. S.O.S. Titanic is a work of historical fiction that follows the journey of an Irish teenager as he crosses the ocean.

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