I'm a science writer and the author of more than eighty books about science and discovery for children. My books have been NCTE Notable, Junior Library Guild, and Bank Street Best Books selections. I won the 2018 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature in youth books and the 2017 Riverby Award for nature books for young readers.
I grew up on the outskirts of Greensburg, a small city in western Pennsylvania. When I was eight, my family moved to 45 acres in rural Clarion County. I spent hours roaming fields, splashing in streams, and playing in the woods. I also loved drawing, reading, and writing.
In college I studied science, earning a BS in biochemistry (University of Massachusetts) and a PhD in cellular and molecular biology (University of Wisconsin). My graduate research focused on how plants sense and respond to their environment. I worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow—one year each at the University of Wisconsin and Penn State University.
In 2004 I traded my lab coat for a laptop and became a science writer for kids. My books range from picture books to nonfiction for teens. I also write for magazines and websites. I write most often about plants, animals, ecology, evolution, and the environment.
One of the best parts of my job is getting to speak with dedicated researchers all over the world about the work they do. And I love sharing what I'm learning with my readers.
I live in State College, Pennsylvania, with my family, and a dog, two cats, and a gaggle of chickens. When not writing, I love to bake bread, grow gardens, and go for long walks in the woods.
Interviews, blog posts, and more
If you want to learn more about me or my writing, you can…
Read my answers to some questions frequently asked questions
See a list of awards my books have won.
Visit my author's page at Lerner Books.
Read this author interview on Nancy Sanders' Blogzone (January 2014).
See an interview in my hometown paper, The Centre Daily Times (State College, PA) (July 2014).
Check out this author interview with Sue Heavenrich on GROG Blog (September 2016).
Read my Authors for Earth Day Blog post on writing Birds vs. Blades? (December 2016).
Read an author Q&A on the Lerner Books blog (July 2016).
See my blog post, "Nonfiction truths," on Tara Lazar's StoryStorm 2017 (January 2017).