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Cynthia Rylant Author Study II
Children's Literature with Dr. Vardell

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Following is a list of books that have received an award or special recognition:

A Sampling of Cynthia Rylant's Award Winning Books

Cynthia Rylant has written many, many books, including children's picture books, poetry, and young adult titles. Many of them are so excellent! It was difficult to choose which books to note here. To narrow down the many choices, this list focuses on books that Cynthia Rylant has won an award for. Though the books listed here are not the most current books to date that she has written, they carry a stature with them that makes them timeless. This list is arranged alphabetically by title.


Rylant, Cynthia. 1991. BIRTHDAY PRESENTS. Illus. by Sucie Stevenson. New York: Scholastic. ISBN:0-531-07026-3.

        Childrens Choice Book Award


This topic for this book, birthdays, is a favorite with all children. A six-year- old girl is told about each of her birthdays through to her present one. Family love is expressed through memories and history.


 ________. 1985. A BLUE-EYED DAISY. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0027779602. 

        Childrens Choice Books


Set in West Virginia, the protagonist of the story is an eleven-year-old girl, Ellie, whose family is suffering through a difficult time. Her father's accident in a coalmine keeps him from being able to work and he turns to alcohol for comfort.  Through the story the reader is led to understand Ellie's feelings of sadness and joy over the normal things of life that are so important to a preteen girl.



________. 1993. CHILDREN OF CHRISTMAS: STORIES FOR THE SEASON. Illus. by Steven D. Schindler. New York: Orchard Books. ISBN: 0785734686.

        School Library Journal best book of the year


Short Christmas stories are shared in this book. These realistic stories are often about loneliness often felt during the Christmas season. The Horn Book gave it a starred review, saying this: "These five stellar storiescan be read aloud or silently, alone or in a group, at Christmas or in July, and by adults or children, ordinary places (and) ordinary people suddenly become extraordinary ...unforgettable fiction."


________. 1991. A COUPLE OF KOOKS AND OTHER STORIES ABOUT LOVE. New York: Scholastic.         ISBN: 0531059006.

        ALA Best Book Winner


This title for young adults to adults includes eight short stories about love. Half of the stories are about adolescents while the other stories include rekindled romance in the life of a grandfather. Publishers Weekly says "As poignant and vibrant as Rylant's previous works."



________. 1996. A FINE WHITE DUST. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. ISBN: 0-689-80462-8.

        1987 Best Books for Young Adults 1986

        Newbery Honor Book 1987

        ALA Notable Book


This book is about a thirteen-year-old boy who gets swept into the excitement of revival meetings led by an iterant preacher. Leaving his family, the boy, Pete, learns lessons about trust when the excursion ends with negative results.


________. 1998. HENRY AND MUDGE IN THE GREEN TIME. Illus. by Sucie Stevenson. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0-689-81000-8.

        Junior Literary Guild Selection


Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge Ready- to- Read series books have been winning the hearts of children for fifteen years now.  The authors son, Nate, is the inspiration for the character Henry. This particular title is the third in the series and the summer-time setting is of this story is humorous, teary (after a bee sting), and a great big bundle of sunny, seasonal fun.


 ________. 1991. A KINDNESS. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0531057674.

        ALA Best Book for Young Adults


This book, written for a young adult audience, discusses the sensitive issue of abortion. A fifteen-year-old boy is upset when his single mother gets pregnant. He encourages her to get an abortion, but love wins out and she refuses. Publishers Weekly says "A powerful novel with not one discordant emotion or superfluous word."


 ________. 1992. MISSING MAY. Madison, WI: Turtleback Books. ISBN: 0-606-05468-5.

        Newbery Medal 1993

        Boston-Globe-Horn Book Awards 1992

        Mark Twain Award (nominated for an award) 1995


MISSING MAY is about a twelve-year-old orphaned girl grappling with the death of her Aunt May, whom she has been living with. Learning to handle  Uncle Ob's extreme grief and her own is the sensitive topic of this book.  Diane Keaton has bought the film rights to this book.


To view the letter that she received from the Newbery Award Committee, click on the link:


________. 1985. THE RELATIVES CAME. Illus. by Stephen Gammell. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0-02-777240-3.

        1986 Notable Childrens Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies for 1985

        Caldecott Honor Book 1987


"In a rainbow colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons." Who needs a family reunion when they can jump right into this book? The illustrations and story line are fun, lively and leave you feeling loved.


________. 1985. WHEN I WAS YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS. Diane Goode. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 0-525-42525-X.

        Caldecott Honor Book 1983

        ALA Notable Book


WHEN I WAS YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS is Cynthia Rylant's first book. This is a sweet story about a young girl growing up in the Appalachian region of the U. S. It is based on memories of the author's childhood years spent with her grandparents. Written in one hour and sent off to four publishing houses, it went on to win recognition for the illustrations beautifully rendered by Diane Goode.


Cynthia Rylant III Click on the words to the left to go to the next page.




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