Norma Fox Mazer was best known has a young-adult novelist who tackled such controversial adolescent issues as poverty, betrayal, abandonment, and death. She authored over 30 books in her career. Her novel After the Rain was named a Newbery Honor Book by the American Library Association in 1988. Mazer was a finalist for the National Book Award for her novel A Figure of Speech. Her books were known for their untidy endings: illness, death, and sorrow were common themes in her stories. Mazer died at the age of 78 on October 17, 2009.