is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels The Long Night of Leo and Bree, Razzle, What''s in a Name,
and Hard Love
(an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie''s Girl.
She has a bachelor''s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children''s librarian, she lives with her husband in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Visit her Web site at www.ellenwittlinger.com.
Ellen Wittlinger writes: "I began with the idea of having a teenager travel cross country. I knew Robin would be mourning the immediate loss of her longtime boyfriend, but I stumbled on the idea of having her deal with her difficult, truly mourning cousins. The idea of the ''journey'' novel during which the actual traveling echoes an inward journey is not new, but it''s effective, I think, because it''s so often true. Traveling takes you out of your usual routine and allows you to see other options for your life."