Nebraska Authors

Zibby Oneal

AKA: Mary Elizabeth

Born 1934 Omaha, NE (USA)

Oneal grew up in Omaha during World War II, and she engaged in every patriotic practice recommended by the government or anyone else. "Those years still fascinate me. Looking back, they seem almost surrealistic. It was as though the whole civilian population in America had gone a little mad. Life was zany. As children, we were thrilled by the excitement of it all. We saw no moral issue."

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Ann Arbor, MI

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Juvenile Fiction; Young Adult Fiction; Young Adult Nonfiction; Children's Literature


American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, In Summer Light
American Library Association Notable Book, In Summer Light
Phoenix Award
National Book Award for Children's Books, Nominee


War Work. 1971.
The Improbable Adventures Of Marvelous O'Hara Soapstone. 1972.
The Language of Goldfish. 1980.
A Formal Feeling. 1982.
In Summer Light. 1985.
Maude And Walter. 1985.
Grandma Moses: Painter of Rural America. 1987.
A Long Way to Go. 1990.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to NebraskaAuthors@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

Zibby Oneal

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)