On November 16, 1915, acclaimed biographer Jean Fritz was born in China to American missionaries. She developed a lifelong interest in American history as a result of her time there, which lasted until she was almost thirteen years old. Homesick, My Own Story, a Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award winner, is about her youth in China. Fritz wrote forty-five books for children and teenagers. Many of them are about historical American characters, earning her a reputation as the leading author of children's and young adult biographies.
Fritz has also received the National Humanities Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award, among other honors. Several ALA Notable Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Awards have been won, including the Christopher Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Non-Fiction Award, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and numerous ALA Notable Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Awards. On May 14, 2017, she passed away.