Cynthia Voigt (born February 25, 1942) is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse. Her first book in the Tillerman family series, Homecoming, was nominated for several international prizes and made into a 1996 film . Her novel Dicey's Song won the 1983 Newbery Medal.
Cynthia Voigt was born Cynthia Irving February 25, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts and worked in advertising in New York City. In 1964, she married and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she started teaching. After divorcing in 1972, she taught high school English in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and elementary English in Annapolis. She began writing again and remarried in 1974, to Walter Voigt, and is the mother of two children, Peter and Jessica.
The Tillerman Cycle follows the struggles of the eponymous family, beginning with Homecoming, in which one generation of Tillerman children is abandoned by their mother. The young four-some must find their way to their estranged grandmother, under the leadership of thirteen year old Dicey, the eldest sibling and main character of the series. Three of the books are, however, centered on other characters--The Runner follows Dicey's uncle, Bullet. Come a Stranger and A Solitary Blue cover some of the same territory as Dicey's Song from the perspectives of Mina and Jeff, respectively, who are two of Dicey's friends. Throughout Voigt's novels, she taps into the emotional aspects of the struggles of the Tillerman children, as well as the other protagonists of her novels, making the Tillerman cycle a series of books appropriate for all ages.
1982 Dicey's Song
1983 A Solitary Blue
1985 The Runner
1986 Come a Stranger
1987 Sons from Afar
1989 Seventeen Against the Dealer
The vast majority of Voigt's work is marked by a contemporary or historical setting and a realistic style. The "Kingdom" books break from the former, being set in an unspecified but apparently invented region in a circa-medieval period of historical development. While the world is invented, however, it remains realistic in its construction, and resembles in most respects a historically faithful period setting, rather than a sword and sorcerer fairyland. What myths are present in the Kingdom are usually seen to have historical basis; the first novel, Jackaroo, deals with such a myth...a Robin Hood-like figure who is really just an archetype whose guise is donned by various nobles and commoners through the years.
The Kingdom books are connected by history and geography rather than the lifespan of any one character or family; though characters in later novels are sometimes descended from characters in earlier novels, their adventures are usually the stuff of myth or distant memory.