Meet the Author

Jean Craighead George

Portrait of Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George decided to become a writer when she was in the third grade. She and her brothers spent weekends camping and observing nature with their parents, who were entomologists (scientists who study insects). After coming home, George wrote about her experiences. At first, she recalls, she wrote poems, because she was "unable to sit still very long." In junior high school, her writing grew into longer poems and then short stories. In college she wrote essays, and after graduating she wrote articles as a journalist for the Washington Post. "Finally, at the age of 24," she says, "I took on the novel. I have been writing novels for young people ever since."

George is fascinated by animals, their habitats, and their interactions with people. George herself has kept more than 173 wild animals in her lifetime — and that's not counting at least 47 cats and 9 dogs! Her experiences with all these animals have directly fed her writing. George says that she goes to every location she writes about and that all her characters are based on herself or on friends, family members, or animals she has known. "I have discovered I cannot dream up characters as incredible as the ones I meet in the wilderness," she says.

Jean Craighead George says she is never at a loss for ideas: "I'm asleep if I can't get any ideas for writing. Ideas are everywhere. Your shoes must have been many places with tales to tell. The rain coming down the windowpane is a tale to tell — and on and on."

Jean Craighead George
You can learn more about Jean Craighead George at her Web site.

Photography Credit


Other Books Written by Jean Craighead George

  • On the Far Side of the Mountain
  • Frightful's Mountain
  • Julie of the Wolves
    (illustrated by John Schoenherr)
  • Julie
    (illustrated by Wendell Minor)
  • Julie's Wolf Pack
    (illustrated by Wendell Minor)
  • How to Talk to Your Cat
    (illustrated by Paul Meisel)
  • How to Talk to Your Dog
    (illustrated by Sue Truesdell)
  • The Moon of the Monarch Butterflies
    (illustrated by Murray Tinkelman)
  • One Day in the Woods
    (illustrated by Gary Allen)
  • The Tarantula in My Purse, and 172 Other Wild Pets
  • Water Sky
  • Snow Bear
    (illustrated by Wendell Minor)
  • Nutik, the Wolf Pup
    (illustrated by Ted Rand)