Natalie Standiford is the author of many books for teens and children. Her middle grade novel The Secret Tree "takes its rightful place in the now classic genre of 'neighborhood kids' that began with Beverly Cleary," said The New York Times, which named it a Notable Children's Book of 2012. Her young adult novels include How to Say Goodbye in Robot, Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, and The Boy on the Bridge. Natalie was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the setting of many of her books. She studied Russian Language and Literature at Brown University and spent a semester at the State University of Leningrad, which inspired The Boy on the Bridge. After college she moved to New York City. "I wanted to be a writer," she says, "but I wasn't sure how to do that, so I took a job in publishing, which turned out to be a good idea." She worked first as an editorial assistant and then as an assistant editor in Random House's Children's Book division. "It was the perfect apprenticeship for me," Natalie says. However, she wanted to be a writer and not an editor, so she quit to write full-time. She wrote picture books, chapter books, and easy readers before entering the teen market. Natalie is also a musician. She plays bass in the band Tiger Beat, which comprises fellow young adult authors Dan Ehrenhaft, Libby Bray, and Barnabas Miller.