Biography

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 173

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, born on May 11, 1927, in Lemoore, California, has spent most of her life in her native state. Growing up before the age of television, traveling infrequently, and seeing few movies led her to depend on books for excitement. A nearby library provided an inexhaustible supply of...

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Zilpha Keatley Snyder, born on May 11, 1927, in Lemoore, California, has spent most of her life in her native state. Growing up before the age of television, traveling infrequently, and seeing few movies led her to depend on books for excitement. A nearby library provided an inexhaustible supply of magic, adventure, and excitement. She decided at the age of eight to become a professional writer, but many years passed before the publication of her first book, Season of Ponies.

Before her success as a writer, Snyder attended college, married, had children, and taught school for nine years. She says students she had taught in Berkeley, California, served as models for the six main characters in The Egypt Game. Snyder also bases her characters and plotlines on her own experiences, family, friends, pets, interests, and travels.

Three of her novels—The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm—have been runners-up for the Newbery Medal. The Changeling and The Headless Cupid have been awarded the Christopher Medal in recognition of exceptional quality.

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