Nina Bawden was born in Ilford, Essex, England on January 19, 1925. She received a B.A. in 1946 and a M.A. in 1951 from Somerville College, Oxford. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 40 books for both children and adults. Her first adult novel was published in 1953. Her books for adults include Circles of Deceit, The Ruffian on the Stair, and Dear Austen. Her first children's book The Secret Passage was published in 1963. Her children's books include Kept in the Dark, Humbug, The Birds on the Trees, Carrie's War, The Outside Child, Granny the Pag, and Off the Road. She received numerous awards for her work including the 1976 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Peppermint Pig and the 1977 Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year Award for Afternoon of a Good Woman. She was made a CBE in 1995 and received the ST Dupont Golden Pen Award for a lifetime's contribution to literature in 2004. She died on August 22, 2012 at the age of 87.