Jane OConnor was born in New York City in 1947. She received a bachelors degree in English literature from Smith College in 1969. In 1971, she began her publishing career by working in the editorial department of Hastings House Publishers. From 1977 to 1983, she was an editor at Scholastic, Inc.; then she moved to Random House, where she became editor-in-chief of childrens books. In 1989, she moved to Grosset and Dunlap. Her first novel, Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby, was published in 1979. Since then she has written more than 30 childrens books including the Nina, Nina Ballerina stories, the Fancy Nancy series and the adult novels Dangerous Admissions and Almost True Confessions. She has won numerous awards including the New York Academy of Sciences Honor book in 1981 for Magic in the Movies: The Story of Special Effects, with Katy Hall; Golden Sower Award, Nebraska Library Association in 1982 for Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby; and the Quill Award for Best Picture Book in 2007 for Fancy Nancy. She is vice-president and editor-at-large for Penguin Books for Young Readers.