Irene Hunt was the author of a number of notable children's books. Across Five Aprils, her debut novel, was a Newbery Honor Book and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner. In 1966, her second novel, Along a Road Slowly, won the Newbery Medal. Hunt was born in southern Illinois and attended the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado, earning degrees from both institutions. She taught for many years in northern Illinois public schools before going on to teach psychology at the University of South Dakota. In 2001, she passed away.