39 pages 1 hour read

Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father's Dragon

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1948

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.


Authorial Context: Ruth Stiles Gannett

Gannett wrote My Father’s Dragon when she was 25 years old. The story and its two sequels have been continuously in print since their publication, suggesting their enduring, cross-generational popularity.

Born in 1923 to journalist parents Mary Ross Gannett and Lewis Stiles Gannett, young Gannett attended City and Country, an innovative elementary school, which Gannett believes helped foster her creativity and imagination. The school emphasized hands-on learning and during the 10 years she attended, Gannett “played with large and small blocks, learned to sing, read and write, modeled clay, painted, built furniture, conducted science experiments, and wrote stories for her own amusement” (“About Ruth and Ruth.” My Father’s Dragon.org).

Gannett attended a Quaker boarding school, and then in 1940, shortly before the United States entered World War II, she began her studies at Vassar College. Gannett graduated from Vassar in 1944 with a chemistry degree. She went on to work at a Boston hospital and later at a radiation laboratory. Gannett had started writing a story about a baby dragon but discontinued it while working at a ski resort. When that job ended, Ruth lived with her parents while looking for new work. She started writing her “dragon story” again during that time.