Annabelle Irwin, co-author of more than a dozen YA novels with Lee Hadley under the pseudonym Hadley Irwin, died on September 13 in Des Moines, Iowa. She was 82.
Born in Peterson, Iowa, Irwin grew up on a farm and, as a child, became fascinated with her family's Welsh heritage and with books. She majored in music at Morningside College in Sioux City and taught music and, later, English, for 30 years at various high schools in Iowa and Illinois. After receiving her master's degree from the University of Iowa, Irwin began teaching English at Iowa State University in 1969. During the early 1970s she began collaborating with Hadley, who also taught English at Iowa State.
The duo produced 13 novels, working mainly with editor Margaret K. McElderry. The last title, Sarah with an H, was published in 1995, just after Hadley died of cancer. After Hadley's death, Irwin continued writing and left a finished but unpublished novel.
Irwin and Hadley's books dealt with typical YA themes in the classic "problem novel" genre, such as abuse, suicide and drug use. Awards for their books include an honor book designation from the Jane Addams Peace Assocation in 1981 for We Are Mesquakie, We Are One (Feminist Press), and an ALA Best Young Adult Book Award in 1982 for What About Grandma? (Atheneum). Abby, My Love (also Atheneum), which focuses on incest, was adapted as a CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1988.