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  • Taimi Maria Ranta (1916–1995)

Taimi Maria Ranta, Professor Emeritus of Children’s Literature at Illinois State University, died 23 December 1995 in Bloomington, Illinois. An internationally known specialist in the field of children’s literature, Dr. Ranta served as the President of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) from 1980–81 and was an active member of ChLA serving on the Phoenix Award Committee and the International Children’s Book Award Committee.

Dr. Ranta received her B.A. from Northern Michigan University, her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and joined the faculty at Illinois State University in 1959. Dr. Ranta received numerous honors during the course of her academic career. She received a Fulbright Grant to study Finnish reading pedagogy in 1953, and in 1957 was knighted with the Order of the White Rose, First Class, by the Finnish government for furthering better relations between Finland and the United States. Ranta was named Outstanding Teacher of the College of Arts and Science at Illinois State University in 1980; the Illinois Reading Council awarded her the Reading Hall of Fame Award in 1993, and the International Reading Association nominated her for the 1995 Arbuthnot Award.

Dr. Ranta was instrumental in the establishment of a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate program in children’s literature in the English Department at Illinois State University. The Taimi Maria Ranta Children’s and Young Adult Literature Scholarship has been established at Illinois State University to recognize her lasting contributions to the study of children’s literature. Memorials may be made in Dr. Ranta’s name to the ChLA, P.O. Box 138, Battle Creek, MI 49016.


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