||I grew up in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. My mother taught drama at a wonderful day camp in rural Maryland, called Valley Mill Camp, and my sister and I got to go for free. We were lucky to spend every summer swimming, kayaking, riding horses, and running around barefoot in the forest. We also enjoyed sailing and swimming in the Chesapeake Bay when we visited my grandmother. We always wanted to build a tree house there, but, unfortunately, never did.
I went to Maryland public schools until I was 12 and then to a Quaker school called Sidwell Friends (Robin Elder's family starts their meals with a moment of silence -- a Quaker practice that I learned at Sidwell).
|At Harvard College, I studied lots of things -- history, economics, creative writing, biology -- because I couldn't decide what I wanted to be. After college, I moved to San Francisco, where I found a job at an environmental organization. I hadn't known much about forests, water, or pollution when I started the job, but I learned a lot and found the work so interesting I decided to go to law school. After graduating from Berkeley Law School, I began working at a small firm that practices environmental law.
I also got married and had three children -- a boy, a girl, and then another boy. Every night before bed, I read them stories. I read so many stories over so many years that it made me want to write a story of my own -- one that would be exciting, would reflect my children's love of nature, and would include kids that you might find in the wonderful multi-cultural city of San Francisco. Click to read a Shelf Elf interview with more information about the writing of Operation Redwood.
Like most writers, I always loved to read. When I was a girl, some of my favorite children's books were:
When I found a book I liked, I often read everything by that author.
- The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
- The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit
- Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Some of the books that I most enjoyed reading to my kids (or listening to with them) have been:
What are your favorite books?
- Farmer Boy and the other Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
- The Abernathy Boys by L.J. Hunt
- The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
- Jim the Boy by Tony Earley
- The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
- The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry