Currently alive, at 59 years of age.
1956 – She was born this year in Chicago, Illinois. She spent her early childhood in the South; both her first adult novel and first children’s novel take place in Southern states. She’s a high school drop-out. BA in journalism from the University of Southern California; attended graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University.
1986 – Her first published short story appeared in The New Yorker in this year.
2005 – Her first adult novel was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her first children’s book, Kira-Kira, won this year’s Newbery Medal.
2006 – Her second children’s book “Weed flower” was published in the spring of this year.
2007 – Her third children’s novel, about the Vietnam War from a war dog’s perspective, was published in January of this year by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. She has three more children’s books scheduled to be published by Atheneum.