Cynthia Rylant (born June 6, 1954) is an American author. She has written more than 100 children's books in English and Spanish. With the divorce of her parents when she was four and living without running water and electricity she became an author including works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her novel Missing May won the 1993 Newbery Medal and A Fine White Dust was a 1987 Newbery Honor book.
Rylant has received a number of awards and honors for her work. A Fine White Dust (1987) won a Newbery Honor, and Missing May (1993) won a Newbery Medal. When I Was Young in the Mountains (1982) and The Relatives Came (1985) received Caldecott Honors. The Relatives Came and Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds (1991) are each Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Books, as is Missing May, which deals with the loss of a loved one. A Kindness (1988), Soda Jerk (1990), and A Couple of Kooks and Other Stories about Love (1990) have each been named a "Best Book of the Year for Young Adults" by the American Library Association.