Skip to main content

Macalaster, Elizabeth G. 1951- (Ryan Ann Hunter, a joint pseudonym)

Macalaster, Elizabeth G. 1951- (Ryan Ann Hunter, a joint pseudonym)

PERSONAL:

Born October 10, 1951, in Laconia, NH; daughter of Gordon G. and Jane Macalaster; married Daniel K. Sayner, May 29, 1982; children: Jack, Jane. Education: Goucher College, B.A., 1973; Dalhousie University, M.Sc. (biology), 1976; Boston University, M.S. (science communications), 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, beach-combing, sailing, bird-watching, reading.

ADDRESSES:

Home—South Newfane, VT. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC, writer-editor, 1978-79; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, MD, writer-editor, 1979-82. Volunteer science specialist at elementary schools in New Jersey and California, beginning 1990.

MEMBER:

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Awards of excellence, picture book and poetry categories, Ventura/Santa Barbara chapter, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 1998; awards for Ryan Ann Hunter titles include Parenting Magazine Book of the Year Award, 1999, international honor book citation, Society of School Librarians, 1999, gold best book award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2000, and Austin Young Engineer's Award, K-2 nonfiction category, 2002, all for Dig a Tunnel; and "best of the best" citation, Chicago Public Library, 2003, for Into the Air: An Illustrated Timeline of Flight.

WRITINGS:

CHILDREN'S BOOKS; WITH PAMELA D. GREENWOOD, UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM RYAN ANN HUNTER

Cross a Bridge, illustrated by Edward Miller, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1998.

Into the Sky, illustrated by Edward Miller, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1998.

Dig a Tunnel, illustrated by Edward Miller, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1999.

Take Off!, illustrated by Edward Miller, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.

In Disguise! Stories of Real Women Spies, Beyond Words (Hillsboro, OR), 2003.

Into the Air: An Illustrated Timeline of Flight, illustrated by Yan Nascimbene, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2003.

Robots Slither, illustrated by Julia Gorton, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.

OTHER

Contributor to Earth Science, Physical Science, and Life Science, all textbooks for Silver Burdett; and to Cephalopod Life Cycles, edited by Peter Boyle, Academic Press, 1983. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Highlights for Children, Sea Frontiers, and Issues for the Chesapeake.

SIDELIGHTS:

Elizabeth G. Macalaster writes children's books with collaborator Pamela D. Greenwood under the joint pseudonym Ryan Ann Hunter. Their first book was Cross a Bridge, in which "young construction and transportation enthusiasts are inducted into the world of bridges," according to a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews. The book was noted by critics for its exceptionally simple, yet apt, presentation of its subject. In only a brief sentence or two on each page, the authors discuss the basics of a variety of bridges while emphasizing their usefulness.

In Into the Sky Hunter offers a similar treatment of skyscrapers. As in Cross a Bridge, the text balances technical information on foundations, walls, windows, and the history of tall buildings with more poetic prose emphasizing the majesty of skyscrapers. And, like the earlier book, the simple but precise language is combined with illustrations. For Kathy Piehl, writing in School Library Journal, the book effectively captures "the excitement inherent in creating huge structures that soar above their surroundings."

Hunter's third book, Dig a Tunnel, was similarly cited for packing a lot of information into a form that is accessible to the youngest readers. School Library Journal reviewer Lee Bock described Dig a Tunnel as "filled with useful information expressed in a lively style." In the text, the authors begin with animals and insects that tunnel, then move quickly into a survey of human tunnels built to solve a variety of problems. Reviewers made special mention of Hunter's tactic of inserting interesting details or anecdotes about specific tunnels into the text.

Under her own name, Macalaster writes for older children and adults. She once told CA: "I grew up in New England surrounded by woods, mountains, and water. I feel like it was always summer (or winter) camp at my house, with my father the head counselor. Our backyard was always full of pets and animals others found or discarded. So, an appreciation for animals and the outdoors came easily.

"I wasn't read to very much, that is, except for poetry. My parents read it out loud to my sister and me early on. They also played records of poetry. I remember crying every time ‘Little Boy Blue’ was recited.

"Writing poetry was a natural start to writing for me, and I still write it. I love searching for that right word or two to express a complex thought or feeling. But, in preparing reports and articles in my field of marine biology, I started to focus more on nonfiction. Writing for lay people about the undersea world I was studying grew on me. For me, the real world is every bit as amazing and inspiring as make-believe, and I am constantly awed by what goes on just in my yard.

"In writing children's literature, it's been my goal to capture for children that miracle of the world around us and illuminate our connection to it."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April, 1998, Linda Perkins, review of Cross a Bridge, p. 1326; September 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of Into the Sky, p. 233.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1998, review of Cross a Bridge, p. 392; spring, 1999, review of Into the Sky, p. 32.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1998, review of Cross a Bridge, p. 268; August 1, 1998, review of Into the Sky, p. 1118.

Publishers Weekly, October 26, 1998, review of Into the Sky, p. 69; February 8, 1999, review of Dig a Tunnel, p. 212.

School Library Journal, September, 1998, Kathy Piehl, review of Into the Sky, p. 192; April, 1999, Lee Bock, review of Dig a Tunnel, p. 114.

ONLINE

Welcome to the Home Page of Ryan Ann Hunter,http://www.ryanannhunter.com (January 11, 2008).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Macalaster, Elizabeth G. 1951- (Ryan Ann Hunter, a joint pseudonym)." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Macalaster, Elizabeth G. 1951- (Ryan Ann Hunter, a joint pseudonym)." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/macalaster-elizabeth-g-1951-ryan-ann-hunter-joint-pseudonym

"Macalaster, Elizabeth G. 1951- (Ryan Ann Hunter, a joint pseudonym)." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved September 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/macalaster-elizabeth-g-1951-ryan-ann-hunter-joint-pseudonym

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.