Betsy Cromer Byars was born in1928. She graduated from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina. While she was in graduate school, she began writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post and Look. Byars writes novels for young people. She is an expert at tapping in to the pain of adolescence, using bits of her own experience to flavor her characters. She is author of more than 23 books and has won numerous awards. Her book about a 14-year-old girl and her mentally retarded brother, The Summer of the Swans (1970), won the Newberry Award as the most distinguished contribution to children's literature that year. Other books include The 18th Emergency (1973), The TV Kid (1976), and After the Goat Man (1995).