BIBLIOGRAPHY 1957-1959

Thank you to biographer Dennis Duffy for providing this bibliography (including all of the original covers) of Leonard's more than 100 works.

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Take Me To Your President (1957)

 

New York: G P Putnam’s Sons, 1957 [Adult Fiction].

 

A farmer from the Yorkshire village of Mars accidentally takes off in an experimental English space rocket. When the rocket lands in the American desert the space-suited farmer tells his rescuers that he is from Mars, and he lets them assume he means the planet. He uses his position as an “emissary from space” to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty between the Americans and Soviets.

 

“Once again Mr. Wibberley has conjured a unique sort of comedy from a blend of fantasy, blandly satirical spoofing, and sound common sense; and he has managed, with the same old offhand skill, to make the wildly implausible seem entirely convincing.”—New York Herald Tribune Book Review

 

“... he is better than ever in his specialty at mixing calm realism and wild fantasy into a magnificent cocktail of political commentary.”—The Catholic World Magazine

Leonard Wibberley
Kevin O'Connor and the Light Brigade (1957)

New York: Ariel Books (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy), 1957 [Youth Historical Fiction].

 

The Crimean War, and especially the charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, are presented in the fictional account of a poor Irish lad serving with the Tenth Hussars. In addition to giving a history of the Crimean War, Wibberley also provides incisive political and social commentary on the treatment of the Irish by the English in the mid-1800s.

 

"Another wild Irish adventure by a master... Color, breathless suspense, good vigorously battling evil are Wibberley's fortés here and elsewhere."—Kirkus Reviews

 

"An exciting story with background and atmosphere"—Saturday Review

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Mexican Road Race (1957)

The Black Tiger Series, Book 2

New York: Ives, Washburn, 1957 [Youth Fiction as Patrick O’Connor].

The second of six sports-car racing stories about Woody Hartford, a young racing enthusiast, and his car—the Black Tiger.

After Woody totals the Black Tiger, the only chance to save the car's company from bankruptcy is to race the brand new Black Tiger—the Mark II--the Mexican Road Race, a grueling 2,000-mile race from southern Mexico to Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican/US border.

Woody and his eclectic and international team of mechanics (including Worm McNess) will have to learn to work together—putting the Black Tiger first and their egos second—if they are going to win.

This exciting story of one of the most famous sports car races is based on the author's firsthand experience of car racing and his understanding of the qualities required of the successful driver: courage, caution, sportsmanship, and intimate knowledge of his machine.

"...a lot of vintage racing excitement. O'Connor manages to make every racing scene unique--no repetitive descriptions, plenty of action and inside racing detail. If only sports journalists wrote like this."—Goodreads Review

Leonard Wibberley
The Lost Harpooner (1957)

 

New York: Ives, Washburn, 1957 [Youth Fiction as Patrick O’Connor].

 

The excitement of life aboard a whaling ship in the 1840s is captured in this tale about a young man’s search for his father, a harpooner who had been lost on a voyage to the South Seas.
 

"Here is introduction to the vanished gore and glory of the whaling industry rigged with a memorable blend of characterization and action."—Kirkus Reviews

Leonard Wibberley
John Barry: Father of the Navy (1957)

 

New York: Ariel Books (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy), 1957 [Youth Biography].

 

Born in Ireland, John Barry came the American colonies as a young man and pursued a life at sea.  During the Revolutionary War he was named captain of one of the first American naval vessels and served valiantly throughout the war capturing or sinking a large number of British warships.  Following the war the new American government did not appreciate the need to maintain a naval force and Barry returned to merchant vessels.

 

But Barry continued to argue that the fledgling United States of America needed a navy to protect its interests in the Atlantic against French and English encroachment.  In 1794 his efforts bore fruit when the United States Navy was organized with John Barry assigned to command the first frigate in the navy.

 

 

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Beware of the Mouse (1958)
The Mouse that Roared Series, Book 5

 

New York, G P Putnam’s Sons, 1958 [Adult Fiction]. 

 

This prequel to The Mouse That Roared tells how the Duchy of Grand Fenwick came to be in 1470 when a small force of English longbow men withstood the might of the French army to obtain a treaty guaranteeing the borders of their tiny realm.

 

"...in a roundly rousing tale which emphasizes that 'doubt before battle is more powerful than any cannon and terror has destroyed more armies than all the weapons in the world' and that the 'world (is) not a place for timid men — nor liberty a birthright for those who fear to fight and speak for come what may.' Wibberley's boys ride again with humor, soundness and believable sanity. Simple and symbolical and fun for all."Kirkus Reviews

 

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Black Tiger at Le Mans (1958)

The Black Tiger Series, Book 3

New York: Ives, Washburn, 1958 [Youth Fiction as Patrick O’Connor].

 

The third of six sports-car racing stories about Woody Hartford, a young racing enthusiast, and his car—the Black Tiger.

Woody Hartford, already winner of the Mexican Road Race with his Black Tiger, doesn't want to race any more. It's too dangerous. He's got a wife now and a baby on the way. But when the Black Tiger's fate lies in winning Le Mans—the most prestigious and grueling race of all—Woody realizes he's been making excuses. He's just afraid and once again has to overcome his fears.

Written by racing enthusiast Leonard Wibberley (author of The Mouse that Roared) under the pen name Patrick O'Connor, The Black Tiger Series transports the reader back to a golden age of both racing and American life to tell timeless stories of courage, teamwork, glory, heartbreak, and the human condition.


★★★★★ "Loved this book! I think it should be required reading for new drivers. Or any of O'Connor's other Black Tiger books. I couldn't put it down."—Amazon Review

Leonard Wibberley
The Coming of the Green: The Triumphant Story of the Irish Immigrant in America (1958)

 

New York: Henry Holt, 1958 [Adult Non-fiction]. 

 

Leonard Wibberley, himself a Irishman living in the United States, shares the story of the Irish immigrants coming to America.  Wibberley makes clear the difficulties they faced beginning with his graphic portrayal of the difficult sea voyage, as well as the prejudice and exploitation faced by the penniless immigrants upon arrival.  But, as Wibberley tells it, the Irish were undaunted and persevered through all those challenges to establish themselves as an integral and critical part of the American culture.

 

"The delight and despair of Wibberley's heart—the Irish—are here traced in their new world history from the flood of immigrants in the mid-19th century to their assimilation as Americans more than a century later."—Kirkus Reviews

 

Leonard Wibberley
Wes Powell: Conqueror of the Colorado (1958)

 

New York: Ariel Books (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy), 1958 [Youth Biography]. 

 

Following service in the Civil War in which he lost an arm in battle John Wesley Powell was sent by the government to explore and map unknown regions of the American West, particularly the plateau country created by the Green and Colorado Rivers. 

 

In 1869 he accomplished one of his most daring trips when he led the first expedition that travelled the length of the Colorado River including the Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

 

"This adventurous account is good reading for sixth grade and up."—The Saturday Review

 

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Apprentice to a Revolution
(aka, Matt Tyler's Chronicle) (1958)

 

New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1958 [Youth Historical Fiction as Christopher Webb].

 

Matt Tyler, a simple cobbler’s apprentice in Boston, finds himself caught up in major events of the Revolutionary War from the siege of Boston to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Filled with exciting action on land and at sea.

 

"Matt Tyler, a prosperous Philadelphia cobbler, acts about recording the story of his and his companions' roles in the Great Liberty War. Lively descriptions of the battle between the Continental Army and the Hercules, clever interpolation of actual and fictional characters, and a strong sense of locale, all act together here to give the young reader a full sense of the times. Matt, the picaresque hero, is likeable, both as a lovelorn apprentice and later, when as a result of his experiences in the war, he emerges a solid and realistic adult.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

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The Quest for Excaliber (1959)
(a.k.a., Escape from Buckingham Palace)

 

New York: G P Putnam’s Sons, 1959 [Adult Fiction]. 

 

Sometimes there are just too many rules, even when you are set to be a ruler someday...

Princess Pamela will one day be Queen of England, but all she really wants is a little freedom.

So she escapes Buckingham palace, and adventure ensues...

Escape from Buckingham Palace combines Arthurian legend and Leonard Wibberley's trademark humor to give the reader a wry commentary on government that's organized, nationalized, impersonalized, bureaucratized, and held together by red tape.

 

"Few writers have so luxuriant an imagination as that engaging Irishman, Leonard Wibberley."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"As in The Mouse that Roared... Leonard Wibberley writes so plausibly about the implausible that the reader willingly even happily suspends disbelief... For all the spoofing, there is an undercurrent of the poetic and a touch of wistfulness for a more humane society."—Richard Armour, American Poet and Shakespeare Scholar

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Something to Read (1959)

 

New York: Ives Washburn, 1959 [Short Stories and Opinion Pieces].

 

Having had occasion to look around for "something to read," with long and short pieces that would not prove too deeply engaging, Leonard Wibberley—author of The Mouse that Roared as well as over 100 other novels—curated a personal selection of such choices from his writings. They are both published and unpublished works by this thoughtful and humorous man.

★★★★★"The stories here remind me of Mark Twain. They are that wonderful."—Amazon Review

★★★★★"A good read 40 years ago. A great read now."—Amazon Review

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John Treegate's Musket (1959)
The Treegate Series, Book 1

 

New York: Ariel Books (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy), 1959 [Youth Historical Fiction]. 

 

The action in this first book of the Peter Treegate series about the American Revolution takes place in the years leading up to the war. 

 

The roots of the conflict between the Colonies and England are presented in an even-handed manner that recognizes that many in the colonies desired to remain subjects of the King George III. 

 

This book introduces us to the Treegate family of Boston through whose eyes the war will be seen.  While the father John Treegate travels to England in an effort to find a peaceful resolution to the disagreements between Crown and Colony, the son Peter finds himself aboard a ship trying the break the British blockade of American shipping. 

 

Following a hurricane that shipwrecks him on the Carolina coast Peter is rescued by the Maclaren of Spey, a Scotsman who fled his home country when the English defeated the rebellious Scots in 1745 and has no love for the English. 

 

At the end of the first book, father and son are back in Boston standing together with the Maclaren on Breed’s Hill prepared to repel the British forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Recommended reading in the Seton Home Study Guide for Grade 8.

 

"A dramatic story which casts a broad view of the various factions at work up to the moment of the American revolution, well told by Leonard Wibberley, prolific writer of adult and juvenile fiction."—Kirkus Reviews

Leonard Wibberley
The Five Dollar Watch Mystery (1959)

 

New York: Ives, Washburn, 1959 [Youth Fiction as Patrick O’Connor]. 

 

Mike Reading has a new job as a cub reporter on the city paper and a new father, Bill Caxton, the reporter who helped him solve The Watermelon Mystery.  Investigating a suspicious suicide Mike and Bill uncover a murder mystery with its root in the German concentration camps during World War Two.  Mike’s own life is in danger before the mystery is solved.

Leonard Wibberley
No Garlic in the Soup! (1959)

A Portuguese Adventure

 

New York: Ives Washburn, 1959 [Adult Non-fiction]. 

 

Leonard Wibberley uproots his family from their home in California and moves them to Portugal.  We see through the eyes of a sympathetic foreigner the glory that was Portugal and the country that is struggling to build a hopeful future. 

 

Wibberley provides a vivid, lively, humorous picture of an American family striving to fit into a strange yet fascinating culture.

The Saint Maker by Leonard Holton Wibber
The Saint Maker (1959)
A Father Bredder Mystery, Book 1

 

New York: Dodd, Mead, 1959 [Father Joseph Bredder Mystery as Leonard Holton]. 

 

This is Wibberley’s first book in the Father Bredder mystery series.  Father Bredder has upset the Reverend Mother of the Convent of the Holy Innocents where he is priest and apologizes by sending her a melon.  When she opens the bag she discovers a woman’s severed head. 

 

The priest works closely with Lieutenant Louis Minardi of the Los Angeles Police Department as well as his friends and parishioners among the residents of the seedier sections of downtown LA to discover who is the self-appointed murderer or “saint maker” in their midst.   

 

Named "A Red Badge Novel of Suspense" alongside Agatha Christie, Michael Innes, and Hugh Pentecost, The Father Bredder Mysteries, written by Leonard Wibberley under the pen name Leonard Holton, inspired a television show starring George Kennedy.

Leonard Wibberley
Gift of a Star (1959)

 

Woodstock (IL): Dramatic Publishing Co., 1959 [One-act Play].

 

A family disillusioned by the commercialism and phoniness of the holiday season discovers the true spirit of Christmas.