Jean Van Leeuwen was born in 1937 and grew up in the town of Rutherford, New Jersey. After high school she attended Syracuse University, where she majored in journalism, thinking she would like to work on a magazine. Van leeuwen did work for a magazine briefly, then drifted into book publishing, where she found herself in the world of childrenï¿½s books, as an editor. She decided to try her hand at writing children's books and so took a writing class.Eventually, her first book, Timothy's Flower, was published. Since then, Van Leeuwen has written more than forty books. In her spare time she teaches a Writers' Workshop for adults and visit schools to talk about books. She also volunteers in a first-grade classroom, where she helps children with their writing. Van Leeuwen has written books that have won a wide array of honors, including the William Allen White Award, the South Carolina Childrenï¿½s Book Award, and the Booklist Editorsï¿½ Choices.