Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Amy MacDonald received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. She has been employed in a number of positions related to writing and publishing. She worked as an editor of the Harvard Post and Highwire Magazine (a magazine for teenagers) and as a copy editor at Cambridge University Press in England. She was awarded a fellowship to study journalism at the Journalists in Europe program administered by the Centre de Formation des Journalistes in Paris in 1982.
As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in many national and international publications including:
• The New Yorker magazine
• Europ magazine
• The Guardian
• The Times
• Parents magazine
• Parenting magazine
• Child magazine
Published by the Harvard Common Press, under the pseudonym Del Tremens, MacDonald’s first book, A Very Young Housewife, was an adult parody of a children’s book. Her successive books have all been written specifically for a young audience. Little Beaver and the Echo appeared on the Horn Book Fanfare list and was cited as one of the year’s Top Ten Children’s Books by the New York Times and as a Best Book of the Year by Parents magazine. It won the Silver Stylus award in the Netherlands, and was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award in Great Britain, as well as the Kate Greenaway Medal. It has been published in over 26 languages worldwide.
Her other books include Rachel Fister’s Blister, Cousin Ruth’s Tooth, No More Nice, No More Nasty, Please Malese!, The Spider Who Created the World, and Quentin Fenton Herter III. These books have won awards ranging from Best Books for Babies to the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award, to the Oppenheim Platinum and Parents Choice Gold awards.
Her documentary film, “On This Island,” about the role of arts in Maine’s smallest, island school, earned a New England Emmy nomination and was screened on national television (PBS’s Independent Lens series).
She has taught writing at Harvard University, the Stonecoast Writers Conference, and the University of Maine. As a member of the New England Foundation for the Arts Touring Artist Roster, she has conducted workshops in hundreds of schools from Maine to California (and abroad). After developing teacher training workshops for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C, she was invited to join their national Partners in Education roster as one of 30 Kennedy Center teaching artists who teach an arts-intergrated approach to the curriculum. She is an Associate Editor of Teaching Artist Journal.