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Joanna Cole, Author of ‘The Magic School Bus’ Passes away at 75

We’re all familiar with her science books, which centered on teacher Ms. Frizzle, sold more than 93 million copies and became an animated series that aired for 18 consecutive years.

The best-selling author of The Magic School Bus series and more than 250 children books, has died. She was 75. 

She was known to pass on Sunday from causes unknown

Joanna’s books, packed with equal parts humor and information, made science both easy to understand and fun for the hundreds of millions of children around the world who read her books and watched the award-winning television series.”

Scholastic chairman, president and CEO Dick Robinson
Cole and Degen

She was known for writing The Magic School Bus book alongside illustrator Bruce Degen in 1986. The series, published by Scholastic Inc., centers on Ms. Frizzle, who takes her students on virtual bus rides as they embark on adventures to learn science. More than 13 core titles have been published, along with dozens of series tie-ins. The series has sold more than 93 million copies in 13 countries and won awards from the American Booksellers Association, the NEA Foundation and others.


“We met in 1984 in the office of the much missed Craig Walker, the brilliant editor who asked us to work together. We did not know each other. In the world of children’s books, it is not often necessary for illustrator and writer to actually meet, but there were conundrums with MSB. Every page was so complicated, we had to make decisions: how to make it work. Could it work? And we did. Together. And we became friends. What Joanna has meant to the world, what there is in the world because of her, is well known. What she meant to me I can’t describe. Everyone who knew her, worked with her, loved her, knows what a loss it is.” 

longtime colleague Degen

Written by Val

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