"Underlying everything I write is the essentiality of the creative act. For me, creative self expression is the truest form of empowerment, giving us the life-long tools to deal with whatever difficult or wondrous surprise life throws our way." Tracy Mack's first novel, Drawing Lessons, was named a Booklist Top Ten First Bovel for Young Adults, a New York Public Llibrary Book for the Teen Age, a Bank Street College Best Book and a Teen People Next Award Finalist. Birdland, her second novel, garnered praise from Walter Dean Myers, Mary Pope Osborne and Julia Alvarez. Tracy grew up in a one-square-mile village near the Hudson River, just north of New York City. She attributes much of her early daydreaming and writing to attempting to transport herself from her two loud older brothers and their ever-present rock bands. Tracy studied literature and art history at the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as a camp counselor, a waitress, an English teacher in Spain, and an editor. She is also a devoted yogini, a champion jacks player, a passionate mountain climber, a novice potter, and a very enthusiastic dancer. She and her husband divide their time between Brooklyn, New York and the Berkshires. Tracy Mack is also Executive Editor of Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.