'Magic School Bus' Author Joanna Cole Dies at 75 – What Happened?

Odette Odendaal
Jul 19, 2020
12:30 A.M.

Author of the award-winning book series "The Magic School Bus," Joanna Cole, passed away at the age of 75, but the adventures of Ms. Frizzle is far from over.


The sad news of Joanna Cole's passing was announced through a press release on Scholastic earlier this week. An award-winning author, Cole created over 250 books in "The Magic School Bus" series, and she passed away on July 12 aged 75.

Cole, who lived with her husband Phil in Sioux City, Iowa, created the series back in 1986. In the books, Ms. Frizzle and her students encounter a myriad of magical trips on their school bus as they learned more about everything from the solar system to the human body.


Humorously, Cole's books made science and learning both interesting and educational - evident in the over 93 million copies sold in 13 countries.

Boasting with prestigious children's book awards, the book series earned the NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice award, and an American Booksellers Association Choice award, to name but a few.

Before Cole passed from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, she and Bruce Degen finished another in the series called "The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution," and it's slated for publication next year Spring. Additionally, Universal Pictures also began working on a feature film based on the books.


Actress Elizabeth Banks, who landed the role of Ms. Frizzle in the movie, sent her condolences and "love to Joanna's family" on social media after she heard the news and added:

"These books have brought so much joy to children for so many years and I am so honored I get to help shine a light on the legendary Ms. Frizzle."


Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1944, Cole felt passionate about science since her childhood days, and it was about more than just facts, it was about ideas, and wonder, as she once said:

"I try to ask a question, such as how do scientists guess what dinosaurs were like? Then I try to answer the question as I write the book."

Sir Ian Holm poses during a photo call held on June 12, 2005, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images.

Sir Ian Holm poses during a photo call held on June 12, 2005, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images.

Last month, the entertainment industry also bid a sad and final farewell to Sir Ian Holm, who became best known for his roles in "Lord of the Rings," and "Alien."

The veteran actor was 88 when he passed, and according to reports, he did so peacefully while surrounded by his loved ones in the hospital.

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