I grew up in the Pennsylvania countryside, the second of four children. I spent much of my childhood outdoors: roaming woods and fields, splashing in streams, climbing trees, and swimming in my family's backyard pool. I also loved drawing, reading, and writing.
In college, I studied biochemistry (BS, University of Massachusetts) and molecular biology (PhD, University of Wisconsin). I then worked as a post-doctoral scientist, doing research on biology in labs at the University of Wisconsin and Penn State University,
After my children were born, I was ready to try something new. I left the lab and began to write books for kids. Writing gave me a way to use my training as a scientist and share my love of the natural world with curious readers. My first book was published in 2008, and since then I have authored more than seventy books, ranging from picture books to nonfiction for teens.
When I'm not writing, I love to plant gardens, cook good food, drink coffee, and explore the mountains near my Pennsylvania home. My favorite people to spend time with are my husband, Rick Hirsch, and our three children, Anna, Eva, and Ellie.
One of the things I love about being a writer is that I am always learning something new about the world. I get a thrill out of sharing what I am learning with my readers.
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)