Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Zilpha Keatley Snyder (May 11, 1927 – October 8, 2014) was an American author of books for children and young adults. Three of Snyder's works were named Newbery Honor books: The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid and The Witches of Worm. She was most famous for writing adventure stories and fantasies.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder
BornMay 11, 1927
Lemoore, California, US
DiedOctober 8, 2014 (aged 87)
San Francisco, California
OccupationChildren's fiction writer
GenreFantasy novels, mainly
Notable worksThe Egypt Game series
SpouseLarry Snyder
Children3: Susan Melissa, Douglas, and Ben


Snyder was born in Lemoore, California, and spent all but brief periods of her life in Northern California.[1] She began writing fiction in the 1960s and worked with editor Jean Karl on her debut novel Season of Ponies, which Atheneum Books published in 1964.[2]

Snyder was heavily involved in Below the Root, a 1984 computer game that is set in the Green Sky universe after the events of Until the Celebration. She worked with programmer Dale Disharoon on several aspects of the game including the map and characters.[3][4]

Between 1964 and 2011, Snyder completed 46 books. Atheneum published her first 22 books and (as a Simon & Schuster imprint) her last three books.[5]

Snyder died at the age of 87 in 2014 from a stroke in San Francisco.[2]

Published books

The Egypt Game series

Stanley Family series

  • The Headless Cupid (1971), also issued as A Witch in the Family – Newbery Honor Book
  • The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case (1979)
  • Blair's Nightmare (1985)
  • Janie's Private Eyes (1989)

Green Sky trilogy

Castle Court series

  • The Box and the Bone (1995)
  • The Diamond War (1995)
  • Ghost Invasion (1995)
  • Secret Weapons (1995)

Gib series


  • Season of Ponies (Atheneum Books, 1964) – her first book[2]
  • The Velvet Room (1965)
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1966)
  • Black and Blue Magic (1967)
  • Eyes in the Fishbowl (1968)
  • Today Is Saturday (1969)
  • The Changeling (1970)
  • The Witches of Worm (1972) – Newbery Honor Book
  • The Princess and the Giants (1973)
  • The Truth About Stone Hollow (1974), also issued as The Ghosts of Stone Hollow
  • Heirs of Darkness (1978)
  • A Fabulous Creature (1981)
  • Come on Patsy(1982)
  • The Birds of Summer (1983)
  • The Changing Maze (1983)
  • And Condors Danced (1987)
  • Squeak Saves the Day and Other Tooley Tales (1988)
  • Song of the Gargoyle (1991)
  • Libby on Wednesday (1991)
  • Fool's Gold (1993)
  • Cat Running (1994)
  • The Trespassers (1995)
  • The Runaways (1999)
  • Spyhole Secrets (2001)
  • The Ghosts of Rathburn Park (2002)
  • The Unseen (2004)
  • The Magic Nation Thing (2005)
  • The Treasures Of Weatherby (2006)
  • The Bronze Pen (Atheneum, 2008)
  • William S and the Great Escape (2009)
  • William's Midsummer Dreams (2011) – sequel to William S. and her last book published[5]


  1. "Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1927–) – Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights, Autobiography Feature". Brief Biographies (biography.jrank.org). Retrieved 2016-12-05. Completed 2005 or 2006, evidently.
  2. "Obituary: Zilpha Keatley Snyder". Shannon Maughan. October 8, 2014. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  3. "Autobiography". Zilpha Keatley Snyder (zksnyder.com). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  4. Below the Root game instruction manual.
  5. (Home). Zilpha Keatley Snyder (zksnyder.com). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
      Three frames published 2011 to 2013 evidently. Snyder described her latest, William's Midsummer Dreams (Atheneum, 2011), counted it her 46th book, and mentioned "another in the works".
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