Nancy White Carlstrom has written more than 50 books for children, including the Jesse Bear series with illustrator Bruce Degan.

Born the daughter of steel mill worker William J. and Eva (Lawrence) White, Nancy White Carlstrom was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, on August 4, 1948.She practiced writing poetry, enjoyed reading books like Little Women, and wanted to become a children’s book author at an early age.Carlstrom worked in the children’s department of her local library in Washington during her high school years.She graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, majoring in Elementary Education and earning her B.A. in 1970, also studying at Harvard Extension School and Radcliffe from 1974 to 1976.In September of 1974, she married David R. Carlstrom, later a pilot and a marketing director at Fairbanks International Airport.They had two children—Jesse and Joshua.

She draws inspiration from her 18 years living in Alaska, volunteer experiences in Africa and Haiti, and raising her two sons.