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Joanna Cole, 1944–2020: Creator of the Magic School Bus

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Joanna Cole, the author of the Magic School Bus books, passed away on July 12. She was 75 years old. Have you read any of the books or watched the TV shows? Then you know that boarding that bus means you’re in for a truly out-of-this-world field trip! Learning about science is always fun and exciting with the wacky Ms. Frizzle – a character Joanna based on one of her own fifth grade teachers.

Joanna has loved science since she was a kid. "I always enjoyed explaining things and writing reports for school,” she wrote on the Scholastic website, where there are also Magic School Bus games and activities. She said about her teacher: “She loved her subject. Every week she had a child do an experiment in front of the room and I wanted to be that child every week.” Do you have a favourite teacher? Some of our most memorable teachers, like Ms. Frizzle, encourage us to take chances, make mistakes and get messy!

Joanna created the Magic School Bus in 1986 with illustrator Bruce Degen. In every story, Ms. Frizzle takes her students on adventures through time and space. Joanna’s last book comes out next year but you can place it on hold now. Plus there’s a movie in the works! So the Magic School Bus will continue to take us on amazing rides, swinging through the stars and rafting rivers of lava. Seatbelts, everyone!

There are 13 books in the original series, and many more tie-in titles. Explore the solar system, the age of the dinosaurs, the human body and more!

 

The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks


The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth 

 

The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body 

 

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System 

 

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor 

 

The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs
The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs

 

The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane
The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane

 

The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive
The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive

 

The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip
The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip

 

The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses
The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses

 

The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition
The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition

 

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

 

The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution
The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution