Irene Hunt was born in Pontiac, Illinois. When her father died in 1914, Hunt went to
live at her grandparents' farm, and it was there that she heard her grandfather's
stories of his boyhood during the Civil War. Hunt was a teacher of English and French
for many years before she turned her grandfather's stories into Across Five Aprils,
the highly acclaimed historical novel. Hunt won the Newbery Medal with her 1966 novel,
Up a Road Slowly. She has spent most of her life in Illinois, the setting of Across
Five Aprils, but currently lives in Largo, Florida.