Kathleen Karr (nee Csere) was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised on a chicken farm in Dorothy, New Jersey. After spending 10 years in the exclusive company of 5,000 laying hens, she escaped to college. (No snickers at the escaped, please. It should be self-evident.) After accumulating several degrees in English Literature she ended up spending an inordinate amount of time in the film business. Having been published widely in the film field, one day the fiction bug bit. Kathleen did her apprenticeship in women's fiction (garnering a coveted "Golden Medallion" from the Romance Writers of America) before her children requested a book for them. The result was It Ain't Always Easy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990) and the beginning of a new career.
Kathleen wrote historical fiction for middle school and young adult readers. She was the recipient of the 2003 Agatha Award for best Children's/YA Mystery of the Year for The Seventh Knot (she is pictured left with her award), the SCBWI's 2000 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction for The Boxer, as well as ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults commendations for her other works. The Great Turkey Walk was chosen as Best Book of the Year by both Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal and was selected by more than 25 state lists.
In pursuit of authentic historical plots, Kathleen traveled extensively and researched at the Library of Congress and National Archives in Washington, D.C., where she lived with her husband. Kathleen was a member and former president of the Children's Book Guild of Washington, D.C. She was also on the Advisory Board and a reviewer for Children's Literature.