Carolyn Marsden grew up in Mexico City and Southern California. Although she wrote for adults for many years, she began to write for children after the birth of her daughters. She attended Vermont College and earned an MFA in Writing for Children.
Carolyn is is best known in the world of children’s literature for her multicultural/historical novels for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers.
Her first book, The Gold-Threaded Dress, published by Candlewick, was a Booklist Top Ten Youth Novel of 2002. Her second novel, Silk Umbrellas, was a Texas Bluebonnet nominee and Booklist Top Ten Art Novel of 2003. Since then, Carolyn has published many more award-winning middle grade and YA novels with Candlewick, Viking, and Carolrhoda, almost all with multicultural/historical themes. The most recent of her fourteen published books are Starfields (Candlewick 2011), set in Chiapas, Mexico; The White Zone (Carolrhoda 2012), set in contemporary Baghdad; and My Own Revolution (Candlewick 2012), which takes place in 1960s Czechoslovakia.
Carolyn has taught writing since the 1970s, most recently with the University of California at San Diego. She lives in California with her Thai husband and two half-Thai daughters.