When Cynthia was eight, her mother graduated from nursing school. She moved to Beaver, West Virginia. In Beaver, Cynthia transformed herself and went from tomboy to a majorette. At the age of thirteen Rylants father died. (jrank.org) After she graduated she went University of Charleston and graduated from Marshall University with a masters degree in English, in 1976. Rylant then went to job find a job. She applied at the Cabell County Public Library in Huntington, West Virginia (Rylant 2).
At age twenty-two, Rylant got the job as a clerk for the childrens book section of the library. During this time she discovered the books Goodnight Moon and Charlottes Web. These books inspired her to write her own. Within five months she had finish writing her first story and was pregnant with her first child. She bought a book with publishers addresses and started mailing her stories to New York companies in 1978. That same year she gave birth to her son Nathaniel and named him after her favorite writer (Rylant 3-4).
A short while later, a New York editor wrote back and said he loved Cynthias novel. I was standing in my yard when I read her letter, Rylant says, and I was so excited that I yelled to the mailman, who was about four houses down, that I was going to be published. (Murtha 1) Her first book, When I Was Young in the Mountains was published in 1982.The book was based off her childhood experiences while she was living with her grandparents (About.com Childrens Books 1). It won the American Book Award and became a Caldecott Honor Book for Diane Good Illustrations (jrank.org 2).
Rylants first marriage ended in divorce and she met Dav Pilkey, who was also an author (Murtha). When she met him she was a part-time teacher at Marshall University and stayed in this position for a year. She then moved to Kent, Ohio and received a library science degree from Kent State University in 1982. Three years later she published her first novel A Blue Eyed Daisy. Henry and Mudge: The First Book Of their Adventures was published in 1987. Rylant based the story off of her son and a dog she knew. She created a whole series of these novels. In 1992 she wrote a young adult novel called Missing May, which is one of her most accredited novels. In 1993 the book received the Newbery Award. (jrank.org)
Cynthia Rylant has become a very successful writer. She has numerous honors and awards. She grew up not knowing about a library to writing her own books. Although her younger life was rough it gave her the opportunity to explore. Her experiences influence most of her books. Cynthia Rylant is still living today and only has one child.
About.com Childrens Books. Spotlight on Award Winning Author Cynthia Rylant. n.d. 24 3 2012