Ellen Raskin was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the Great Depression and grew up there. She wrote several books, including The Westing Game, which won the Newbery Medal, Figgs & Phantoms, The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, and The Strange Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel), which won the Newbery Honor. She also worked as a graphic artist and authored and drew a number of picture books. She produced dust jackets for dozens of books, including Madeleine L'Engle's famous A Wrinkle in Time in its initial edition. Raskin died on August 8, 1984, in New York City, at the age of 56.