Award-winning author Caroline B. Cooney knows what young adults like to read. In fact, Cooney's all-time favorite fan letter came from a 12-year-old girl who hated reading. But after being forced to read one of Cooney's books, the girl admitted it had not been a waste of time and had even been enjoyable. "And so," wrote the girl, "I have come to an important decision. I am writing to tell you that I have decided to read a second book."
Caroline Cooney was born in 1947 and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. This prolific author was always ambitious, and as a youth, loved school and was involved in many different activities. Cooney was also an avid reader and recalls that series books such as The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames were her favorites. These characters had a big influence on her life, and in fact, she says that "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse was my reason to go to nursing school in Boston later in life."
Cooney began writing in college. She professes, "I love writing and do not know why it is considered such a difficult, agonizing profession. I love all of it, thinking up the plots, getting to know the kids in the story, their parents, backyards, pizza toppings."
Cooney is a master of mixing spellbinding suspense with thought-provoking insight into teenagers' lives. One of her most popular books is THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON --- the gripping story of a young girl who discovers that the picture of a missing child on a milk carton is actually a picture of herself. After writing this book, Cooney received hundreds of letters from readers who were bothered by the ending. "It wasn't that they didn't like the ending, it was that they wanted some kind of resolution. Some said I should have written another chapter." However, Cooney says she liked leaving the reader worrying about the character just as they would a real person. But one day, her daughter, Sayre, had an idea for a sequel that was so good, Cooney had to write it. The book that evolved was called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JANIE? Continuing where that novel leaves off, Cooney explores the themes of betrayal and peer pressure in THE VOICE ON THE RADIO. Concluding the Janie Quartet is WHAT JANIE FOUND, in which Cooney masterfully spins a suspenseful story of family secrets that will have readers captivated until the very last word.
Cooney's novel BURNING UP explores the destructive nature of hatred, the crime of indifference, and the power of accepting love and responsibility.
In THE RANSOM OF MERCY CARTER, Cooney looks at an actual historic event that had been virtually unexplored in literature for young people. During a 1704 Indian attack on the Deerfield, Massachusetts, settlement, Mercy Carter is separated from her family and taken to a Kahnawake Indian village in Canada. As she awaits ransom, she discovers that the "savages" have traditions and family life that in time become her own.
Cooney completed her Time Travel Quartet with FOR ALL TIME. In her novel GODDESS OF YESTERDAY, Cooney brings ancient Greece to life through careful research and master storytelling.
Most recently Cooney's DIAMONDS IN THE SHADOW was named a 2008 ALA/YALSA Quick Pick and was a nominee for the Edgar Allen Poe Awards. Her latest gripping thriller, IF THE WITNESS LIED, details how love, devotion, and forgiveness make resilience --- and recovery --- possible.
Caroline B. Cooney