Jeanne Birdsall grew up in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, where she attended wonderful public schools. Jeanne had lots of great teachers, but her favorites were: Mrs. Corkhill, sixth grade, who encouraged her intellectual curiosity; Mr. Tremonte, eighth grade algebra, who taught Jeanne to love and respect math; and Miss Basehore, second and fourth year Latin, to whom Jeanne (and Mr. Penderwick) will be forever grateful. Although she first decided to become a writer when she was ten years old, it took Jeanne until she was forty-one to get started. In the years in between, Jeanne had many strange jobs to support herself while working hard as a photographer–the kind that makes art. Some of Jeanne's photographs are included in the permanent collections of museums, including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Jeanne's home now is with her husband in Northampton, Massachusetts. Their house is old and comfortable, full of unruly animals, and surrounded by gardens.