I grew up in the South—in Savannah and Athens, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. When I was little, I loved stories about olden-day girls—my favorites were Betsy-Tacy, All-of-a-Kind Family, and Little House on the Prairie. When I wasn’t reading books about olden-day girls, I loved playing olden-days with my sister, Marci. (We always fought over who got to be Laura. Marci had braids, which worked in her favor, but I was older and bossier so I usually won.) So imagine my delight when I went to college and discovered that I could take entire classes on (and get credit for learning about) olden-day girls! (Yay, Smith College!) I learned to call it women’s history, but really, it was the same topic I’d been interested in since I was five.
Now I have the great pleasure and honor of editing books for children myself. A lot of the books I edit—like Babymouse and Junie B. Jones—take place nowadays, but some, like Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm and The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis, are about olden-day girls. I also write picture books, most of them true stories about brave women and girls in history, women like Amelia Bloomer and Juliette Gordon Low, women with gumption and guts who had the courage to take a stand for the things they believed in, even when the rest of the world told them they were wrong. That kind of person inspires me because I think it’s exactly that kind of courage that changes the world.
I live in Brooklyn, New York, with my family. When I’m not writing or editing, I’m usually reading with my kids. They like stories about the olden-days too (and graphic novels and series and books that make them laugh and…).
If you’d like to find out more about me, you can check out these interviews: