I grew up on 50 acres in western Pennsylvania, the second of four children. As a child I spent lots of time outdoors—roaming woods and fields, splashing in streams, climbing trees, and swimming in my family's backyard pool. I also loved drawing and reading and writing.
My delight in the world of nature followed me to college, where I studied biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts and then molecular biology and plant biology at the University of Wisconsin.
After college and graduate school, I worked as a laboratory scientist for two years. Then I decided it was time to leave the lab and try something new. At the same time, I was exploring nature with my own children and reading wonderful books to them. I began writing about science and nature for children.
My first book (on polar bears) was published in 2008. Since then, I have authored more than sixty books, ranging from picture books to nonfiction for teens. My writing draws both on my background as a working scientist and on my endless curiosity about the world of living things.
In addition to writing, I love digging in the dirt in my garden in central Pennsylvania, cooking good food, baking bread, drinking coffee, going for walks, and exploring the nearby woods with my dog, Sadie. My favorite people in the world 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. I love the daily challenge of wrestling my thoughts into words, and I get a thrill out of sharing my writing with my readers.
Interviews, blog posts, and more
Visit my author's page at Lerner Books
Author Q&A on the Lerner Books blog (July 2016)
Author interview on Nancy Sanders' Blogzone (January 2014)
Author interview in The Centre Daily Times (State College, PA) (July 2014)
Author interview with Sue Heavenrich on GROG Blog (September 2016)
My Authors for Earth Day Blog post on writing Birds vs. Blades? (December 2016)
My blog post, "Nonfiction truths," on Tara Lazar's StoryStorm 2017 (January 2017)
Websites of friends who make wonderful books