Lynne Reid Banks was born in London and evacuated to Canada during WW2. Her discovery on her return at the age of 15 of the horrors of the Holocaust influenced her whole life. After a period of acting and writing she became the UK's first woman TV news reporter, which led to a visit to Israel in 1960, and two years later she emigrated. She lived in Kibbutz Yas'ur in the Galilee for nearly 9 years, married sculptor Chaim Stephenson, returning the UK with him and their three sons in 1971, since when she has written full-time. She has had 40 books for adults and young readers published, including The L-Shaped Room, One More River, Broken Bridge and two books of Jewish history, plus three books for children about a poisonous centipede who definitely has a Jewish mother.