William Warner Sleator III was born February 13, 1945, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, to William Warner Sleator, Jr., a university professor, and Esther Kaplan, a physician. He grew up in University City, Missouri, near St. Louis. As a child, Sleator was interested in music, studying the piano and cello for a number of years and writing musical compositions with macabre titles, such as "Guillotines in Springtime" and "The Haunted Easter Egg." According to Sleator, he was surrounded by scientists as a youth and enjoyed reading science fiction.
In 1967, Sleator received a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University and spent the next year in England, where he studied musical composition and worked as a pianist at the Royal Ballet School. He returned to the United States in 1968 and spent the next nine years as a rehearsal pianist for the Boston Ballet. Following that, Sleator took a job as assistant to children's book illustrator Blair Lent and soon began writing for children and young adults.
Sleator's first book, The Angry Moon, was illustrated by Lent and was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1971. Sleator has continued his collaboration with Lent and has composed the score for Lent's animated film Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky. Most of Sleator's recent books aimed at young adults fall into the science fiction genre and have proven to be extremely popular. His books have won a number of awards, including making the American...
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