An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she is the creator of contemporary novels and historical fiction for young adults, middle-grade fiction and fantasy, lyrical prose poems, beginning readers, collections of short stories, volumes of poetry and verse, books of prayers and blessings, two autobiographies, and a biography of three well-known children's writers; several volumes of the author's fiction and picture books are published in series, including the popular "Henry and Mudge" easy readers about a small boy and his very large dog.
Rylant is perhaps most well known as a novelist. Characteristically, she portrays introspective, compassionate young people who live in rural settings or in small towns and who tend to be set apart from their peers.
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