Ellen Raskin lived in many worlds: in the world of books; in the world of dreams; and in New York City, where she wrote and illustrated in an 1820 haunted house. Raskin was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up during the Great Depression. She was the author of several novels, including the Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game, the Newbery Honor-winning Figgs & Phantoms, The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel). She also wrote and illustrated many picture books and was an accomplished graphic artist. She designed dust jackets for more than 1,000 books including the first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's classic A Wrinkle in Time. Raskin died at the age of 56 on August 8, 1984, in New York City.