Author Pam Muï¿½oz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books. She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. She currently lives in Leucadia, California.
JOE CEPEDA has illustrated many books for children, including What a Truly Cool World by Julius Lester and Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron. He lives in Whittier, California. DARCY PATTISON is the author of The River Dragon, illustrated by Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng, as well as the fantasy novel The Wayfinder. She teaches writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and reviews children's books for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas.