Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Mary Ellen Snodgrass (born February 29, 1944) is an American author born in Wilmington, North Carolina to William Russell and Lucy Ella (Hester) Robinson. She married Hugh Edwin Snodgrass in 1984 and is the mother of a foster daughter, Deborah Whisnant Cruz, and the grandmother of Jacob Thomas Cruz.

She is an award-winning author of textbooks and general reference works, and a former columnist for the Charlotte Observer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University, and holds degrees in English, Latin, psychology, and education of gifted children. She teaches English and Latin at Lenoir Rhyne University. In addition to her membership on the North Carolina Library Board, she serves the N.C. Humanities Commission as a traveling lecturer.



Freelance writer, Charlotte Observer columnist, and book reviewer, Harcourt Brace, Scribner, Islands, Ms., Globe, Canadian Medical Association Journal, American Guidance Service, Econo-Clad, ESP, Walch, Demco, American Reference Books Annual, Cliffs Notes, Silver Burdett, Perma-Bound, Amsco, Kercher Associates, Perfection Form, Media Materials, Presbyterian Center, National Textbook, Scott-Foresman, McGraw-Hill, McClanahan, Falletta Associates, Gale Group, Prentice-Hall, H. W. Wilson, Psychological Corporation, G. K. Hall, On the Issues, Learning Links, Bancroft-Sage, Hexco, Continental Press-West, Libraries Unlimited, Story House, Salem Press, Blackbirch, Twayne, ABC-Clio, School Library Media Activities Monthly, Recorded Books, Listening Library, Pubworks, Millbrook, McDougal-Littell, ARBA, Marshall-Cavendish, Oxford University Press, Choice, ISIS, Booklist, Fitzroy-Dearborn, Plymbridge, Moschovitis, Holt-Rinehart, Routledge, Facts on File, M. E. Sharpe, Grolier, Video Library, McFarland, Gumdrop, Wiley, Greenwood, Scarecrow, CQ Press, 1985-2011

Classroom Experience

  • Teacher of English, humanities, and Latin, Hickory High School, 1966-1985 English department chair, 1968–1976
  • North Carolina State Textbook Commission evaluator, 1972
  • city language arts chair, 1968–1970
  • professor of Latin and English, Lenoir Rhyne University, 2008–2010


  • 55 Lessons in Latin I and II, J. Weston Walch, 1986.
  • The Great American English Handbook, Perma-Bound, 1987.
  • Library Skills, J. Weston Walch, 1988.
  • Poetry Skills, E.S.P., 1988.
  • Greek Classics Notes, Cliffs Notes, 1988.
  • Roman Classics Notes, Cliffs Notes, 1988.
  • Wise Words, The Gifted Child Today, 1989.
  • (With Peter Gammond) Bluffer's Guide to Bluffing, Cliffs Notes, 1989.
  • Bluff Your Way in the Deep South, Centennial Press, 1990.
  • The English Book, Perma-Bound, 1990.
  • Cliffs Notes in the Classroom, Cliffs Notes, 1990.
  • Reading the Newspaper, Media Materials, 1990.
  • Writing Letters, Media Materials, 1990.
  • (Editor) Contests for Students: All You Need to Know to Enter and Win 600 Contests, Gale, 1990.
  • Characters from Young Adult Literature, Libraries Unlimited, 1991.
  • Environmental Awareness, Volume 1: Acid Rain, Volume 2: Air Pollution, Volume 3: Land Pollution, Volume 4: Solid Waste, Volume 5: Toxic Waste, Volume 6: Water Pollution, Bancroft-Sage, 1991.
  • Silver: A Study Guide, LRN Links, 1991.
  • Late Achievers: Famous People Who Succeeded Late in Life, Libraries Unlimited, 1992.
  • Crossing Barriers: People Who Overcame, Libraries Unlimited, 1993.
  • Auctori Latini, AMSCO School Publications, 1993.
  • Japan vs. U.S.A., Millbrook Press, 1993.
  • Black History Month Resource Books, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.
  • (With Lotsee Patterson) Indian Terms of the Americas, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1994.
  • Voyages in Classical Mythology, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1994.
  • Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1995.
  • An Illustrated Dictionary of Little-Known Words from Literary Classics, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1995.
  • Literary Maps for Young Adult Literature, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1995.
  • Celebrating Women's History: A Women's History, Gale (New York), 1996.
  • Encyclopedia of Satirical Literature, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996.
  • Encyclopedia of Frontier Literature, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.
  • Encyclopedia of Southern Literature, ABC-CLIo (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.
  • Signs of the Zodiac: A Reference Guide to Historical, Mythological, and Cultural Associations, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1997.
  • Encyclopedia of Fable, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998.
  • (With Corki Miller) Storytellers: A Biographical Directory of 120 English-Speaking Performers Worldwide, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1998.
  • Historical Encyclopedia of Nursing, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1999.
  • The Light in the Forest: Notes, Cliffs Notes (Lincoln, NE), 1999.
  • (With Gary Carey) A Multicultural Dictionary of Literary Terms, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1999.
  • Encyclopedia of World Scriptures, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2001.
  • Who's Who in the Middle Ages, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2001.
  • Holt-Rinehart literature series, 2002.
  • Literary Treks: Characters in Motion, Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
  • Encyclopedia of World Scripture, McFarland, 2002.
  • Contemporary Black Biography, Gale Group, 2002.
  • Contemporary Fashion, Gale Group, 2002.
  • Contemporary Hispanic Biography, Gale Group, 2002.
  • Contemporary Musicians, Gale Group, 2002.
  • Contemporary World Biography, Gale Group, 2002.
  • Coins and Currency in History, McFarland, 2003.
  • Chronology of World Epidemics, McFarland, 2003.
  • A History of Women in the United States, co-author, Grolier, 2003.
  • Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature, Facts on File, 2004.
  • Encyclopedia of Kitchen History, Fitzroy-Dearborn, 2004.
  • Amy Tan, McFarland, 2004.
  • August Wilson, McFarland, 2004.
  • Barbara Kingsolver, McFarland, 2004.
  • Crossroads, Perma-Bound, 2004-2005.
  • World Shores and Beaches, McFarland, 2005.
  • Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature, Facts on File, 2006.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Hamlet, Wiley, 2006.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Julius Caesar, Wiley, 2006.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Macbeth, Wiley, 2006.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Romeo and Juliet, Wiley, 2006.
  • Walter Dean Myers, McFarland, 2006.
  • Kaye Gibbons, McFarland, 2006.
  • Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad, M. E. Sharpe, 2007.
  • Beating the Odds, Greenwood, 2008.
  • Civil Disobedience, 2 vols., M. E. Sharpe, 2008.
  • Jamaica Kincaid, McFarland, 2008.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Taming of the Shrew, Wiley, 2008.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Othello, Wiley, 2008.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! Twelfth Night, Wiley, 2008.
  • Shakespeare on the Double! A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wiley, 2008.
  • English with Style, Perma-Bound 2008.
  • Reading Nora Roberts, Greenwood, 2009.
  • Peter Carey, McFarland, 2009.
  • Civil Disobedience, 2 vols., M. E. Sharpe, 2009.
  • Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire, Facts on File, 2009.
  • Michel Faber and Feminism: The Neo-Gothic Novel, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010
  • Leslie Marmon Silko, McFarland, 2011
  • The Civil War Era and Reconstruction: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, M. E. Sharpe, 2011

Works in Progress

  • Foodways, M. E. Sharpe
  • Women's Oratory
  • Essay in "The Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought," CQ Press, 2012

Awards and honors

  • Hickory Chamber of Commerce Star Teacher Award, 1971, 1972
  • Hickory Daily Record writing contest winner, 1983
  • Anchorage Education Association writing contest runner-up, 1988
  • Who’s Who,1989–2002
  • Something About the Author, 1993
  • New York Public Library Book Choice, 1994 , 2006
  • Choice magazine reference work of the year, November 1994
  • International Authors and Writers Who’s Who, 1995, 1996, 1998
  • ALA, Choice, and Library Journal reference book of the year, 1996
  • Library Journal reference book of the year, 2000
  • Contemporary Authors, 2006
  • Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad, Booklist Editors Choice, 2008
  • Guest lecturer, Honors College, UNC-Greensboro, October 2011


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