Joan Aiken was born in 1924, and has long been considered one of the more versatile and imaginative authors of books for young readers. Her novels and books of short stories, revealing her delight in wit, wordplay and sly parody, are highly regarded for their vivid imagery. Her work has garnered critical praise and literary awards since 1962 when she won the Lewis Carroll Bookshelf Award for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Cold Shoulder Road (1997) won the first Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize for Children’s Literature. She lives in Sussex, England.