Irene Hunt has established herself as one of the premier writers of childrens and young adult literature. Her first book, Across Five Aprils, published in 1964, won great acclaim for its dazzling characterizations and colorful historical detail. It also won numerous awards, including an American Notable Book Award, the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and the Charles W. Follett Award. She soon followed with other popular books such as Up a Road Slowly, which won a Newbery Medal, and No Promises in the Wind. Her books have received enthusiastic response due to their superior plot points and imaginative method of storytelling. Hunt was born on May 18, 1907, in Pontiac, Ill. and attended the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Originally a teacher of French and English in the public school system, she later taught psychology at the University of South Dakota, eventually returning to the public school system. Across Five Aprils was written in response to the literary needs of her students.