Barbara Park ( born Barbara Lynne Tidswell on April 21, 1947) spent her first two years of college at Rider University in New Jersey and earned her B. S. degree from the University of Alabama. She began writing childrens books after she had children of her own, since 1981, the first of which was called Operation: Dump the Chump. It was not her first book to be published though, that honor went to Dont Make Me Smile. Park is best known for her Junie B. Jones series which was first published in 1992. Since then, at least two new Junie B. books have been written a year. Park also writes books for older children, such as The Kid in the Red Jacket, which deal with more in-depth issues. She has won seven Childrens Choice Awards, and four Parents Choice Awards.