Jeanne Birdsall is an American author awarded with the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2005 for her debut novel The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. She was raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and, while she decided to become a writer at age ten, she didn't start until she was 41. She worked on other jobs in between, most notably as a photographer, and some of her work has been displayed in galleries around the world. Birdsall has had several pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits and a snail. She currently lives in a house that is "old and comfortable, full of unruly animals, and surrounded by gardens" in Northampton, Massachusetts, which is coincidentally the town that Eric Carl, another famous author and illustrator, lives.