Peter Roop was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, in 1951. Since 1973, when he graduated from Lawrence University, he has been an elementary-school teacher. It was in his early teaching days that Roop first decided to try his hand at writing for children, and it was the misguided notion that it would be easy that convinced him he would be successful. Though he discovered soon enough that the task he'd chosen was a difficult one, Roop persevered, writing and publishing his first short stories and articles while teaching in England on a Fulbright exchange program. In 1980, to enhance both his teaching and his writing, he got his Master's degree in children's literature from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College in Boston, where he studied with, among others, Newbery Medalist Scott O'Dell.
Inspired by his mentor, Roop has written numerous books set in faraway places and historical periods. In collaboration with his wife, Connie, he has written everything from fiction to joke books to science to biographies. Both alone and in collaboration, Roop has authored 50 books, seven of which have been Reading Rainbow selections. He continues to teach and give workshops for students, teachers, and parents. His success in helping students realize their own creative efforts has earned him the nickname “The Pied Piper of Writing;” he has also been Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year.
The Roops live in Appleton, Wisconsin. They have two children.