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Patricia Beatty was born in Portland, Oregon, and was a longtime resident of southern California. After graduating from college, she taught high school English and history, and later held various positions as a science and technical librarian and also as a children's librarian. She taught Writing Fiction for Children at several branches of the University of California.
Patricia Beatty is the author of many popular and award-winning children's books, including such NCSS Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies as Eight Mules from Monterey; Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant; Turn Homeward, Hannalee; Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee; and Jayhawker. Her novel Lupita MaÑana is a Jane Addams Children's Book Award honor book, and Charley Skedaddle won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.