Avi was born in 1937, in the city of New York and raised in Brooklyn. He began his writing career as a playwright, and didn't start writing childrens books until he had kids of his own.
Sharon Creech was on born July 29, 1945 in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She was in college when she took literature and writing courses and became intrigued by story-telling. Later, she was a teacher (high school English and writing) in England and in Switzerland. Her novel Walk Two Moons received in 1995 Newbery Medal; The Wanderer was a 2001 Newbery Honor book and Ruby Holler received the 2002 Carnegie Medal. In 2007, Heartbeat was a finalist in the Junior Division (4th to 6th grades) of the Young Reader's Choice Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Association. She has written over 15 fiction novels for young readers. She is married to Lyle Rigg, who is the headmaster of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, and have two grown children, Rob and Karin.
Patricia MacLachlan was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on March 3, 1938. She received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1962 and taught English at a junior high school until 1979. She began writing picture books and novels at the age of thirty-five. Her works include The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, Skylark, Caleb's Story, Grandfather's Dance, Three Names, All the Places to Love, Before You Came, Cat Talk, and Snowflakes Fall. She won the Golden Kite Award for Arthur, for the Very First Time and the 1986 Newbery Medal for Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Katherine Paterson was born in Qing Jiang, Jiangsu, China in 1932. She attended King College in Bristol, Tennessee and then graduate school in Virginia where she studied Bible and Christian education. Before going to graduate school, she was a teacher for one year and after graduate school, she moved to Japan to be a missionary. Her first book, Sign of the Chrysanthemum was published in 1991. Other titles to follow included The Bridge to Terabithia and Jacod Have I Loved which both won her a Newbery Award, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Lyddie and The Master Puppeteer. In addition to the Newbery Award, she is the recipient of numerous others including the Scott O'Dell Award, the National Book Award for Children's Literature, the American Book Award, the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults Award and the New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year Award. She was also honored with the Hans Christian Anderson Award.
Richard Peck was born in Decatur, Illinois on April 5, 1934. He received a bachelor's degree in English from DePauw University in 1956. After college, he was drafted into the army and served as a soldier in Germany, ghost-writing sermons for chaplains. After the war, he became an English teacher, lecturing to middle school students in Illinois and New York City. While still teaching, he wrote a column on the architecture of historic neighborhoods for the New York Times and contributed articles to the Saturday Review of Literature and the Chicago Tribune as well as other magazines and newspapers. Peck quit teaching on May 2, 1971. He went home and started writing right away. He wrote his first novel, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt, and brought it to Holt, Rinehart and Winston (now Henry Holt). An editor called him on the following morning to say it had been accepted and they wanted a second novel. He has written more than 30 books for both adults and young adults. A Year down Yonder won the Newbery Medal in 2001 and Are You in the House Alone? won an Edgar Award. In 1990, Richard Peck received the MAE Award, a prestigious award sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with School Library Journal. His books have also received or been finalists for the National Book Award, ALA Notable Books, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award.