A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Juwanda G. Ford was born in 1967 and wrote her first book, My Book of Poems, at the age of six; she still has the book, and brings it to schools when she visits. Ford grew up in a poor and often dangerous neighborhood in which her own mother was shot and killed when Ford was just 11; she was raised by her grandmother, and escaped into a world of books and imagination. Ford went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College and a graduate degree in publishing from Oxford Brookes University in England.
A talented athlete, Ford has always balanced her writing with sports and outdoor activities. She has taught outdoor education, and worked in children's book publishing for a number of years before publishing her first book for young readers, A Kente Dress for Kenya. In addition to writing, Ford enjoys camping, cooking, and traveling, and remains active in community service. She enjoys speaking to students about reading, writing, staying in school, and working hard to achieve dreams.