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Creator / Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Zilpha Keatley Snyder (May 11, 1927 – October 8, 2014) was an American author of books for children and young adults. She was most famous for writing adventure stories and fantasies.


Tropes found in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's works include:

  • Big Fancy House: Often slightly (or more than slightly) decrepit and filled with stories of better days. In Season Of Ponies (1966) it's a huge, well-appointed but gloomy farmhouse. In The Changeling 1970 there are two. Ivy Carson's home had belonged to her mother's wealthy Hispanic family before they were evicted and bankrupted by a freeway overpass. Her mother became an alcoholic and married Mr. Carson, who tried to remodel the place and ended up ruining it for good. The other house, where the little girls learn the tragic story of Annabelle, is a burnt-out shellnote .In The Velvet Room (1965) a huge old house is simply boarded up and dusty save for one room, the library nicknamed in the title, although at the end of the story there are plans to reopen it as a museum.
  • Elders: An old person (usually female, although in The Egypt Game it's a man) knows secrets and background information that they impart to the younger people, either during the action or at the very end of the tale.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Snyder often keeps you guessing if honest-to-God magic has happened, or serendipitous coincidence.
  • Uptight Loves Wild or Manic Pixie Dream... Something: Many of her stories have intelligent, imaginative children in oppressive life circumstances. They encounter something or (usually) someone who is extremely unusual and possibly unearthly, who introduces them to amazing possibilities in themselves and in life. Often this only lasts over one summer or comes and goes unexpectedly.