Birdsall was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburbs. She decided to become a writer at the age of ten - but she didn't start until she was 41. She worked first on other jobs, most notably as a photographer, and some of her work has been displayed in galleries around the world.
Birdsall's first book was published when she was 44. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy introduced the Penderwick sisters and won the National Book Award.
Her second book was a sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (2008). The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, is her third book in the series.
Jeanne Birdsall's website
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