Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Amy MacDonald received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and worked in a number of positions related to writing and publishing before publishing her first children’s book. She was awarded a fellowship to study journalism at the Journalists in Europe program administered by the Centre de Formation des Journalistes in Paris in 1982. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in many national and international publications from Child magazine to the Times of London and The New Yorker magazine.
Published by the Harvard Common Press, under the pseudonym Del Tremens, MacDonald’s first book, A Very Young Housewife, was an adult parody of a children’s book. Her successive books have all been written specifically for a young audience. Little Beaver and the Echo was cited as one of the year’s Top Ten children’s books by the New York Times and as a Best Book of the Year by Parents magazine. It won the Silver Stylus award in the Netherlands, and was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award in Great Britain, as well as the Kate Greenaway Medal. It has been published in over 20 languages worldwide.
Her other books include Rachel Fister’s Blister, Cousin Ruth’s Tooth, No More Nice, No More Nasty, Please Malese!, The Spider Who Created the World, the Let’s Explore series, and Quentin Fenton Herter III. These books have won various awards, from Horn Book Fanfare Awards to the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice, Ten Best Books for Babies, and the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Medal.
She has taught writing at Harvard University, the Stonecoast Writers Conference, and the University of Maine. As a member of the Maine Arts Commission Touring Artist Program, she has conducted workshops in schools in the US and abroad, and has developed teacher training workshops on writing for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
She lives in Falmouth, Maine, with her husband and children.