Valerie Tripp is
the author of over 30 books in the American Girl series, as well as other
children’s books. Born in 1951, she had an early interest in reading, and she
has used elements of her own childhood, including members of her large family
and some of her childhood friends, in many of her books.
Tripp has also written reading textbooks, and has a Masters of Education degree
from Harvard University. Her writing career began when she started work in the
publishing industry. While she had intended to work as an editor, she was soon
asked to write books for educational and literacy programs.
Through her work at Addison-Wesley, Tripp met Pleasant Rowland, the editor who
started the American Girl books. Tripp was one of the first writers of the
In her American Girl books, Tripp uses historical settings to frame the stories.
Her Felicity books, including the award-winning Felicity Learns a Lesson, are
about a girl in colonial Williamsburg. The Josefina series centers on a Hispanic
girl in 1820s New Mexico, while the Kate series is set in the Great Depression,
and the Molly books take place during World War I. In addition to writing these
four series in full, she has also contributed to the brand’s Samantha series and
the series of books about the girls’ best friends.
Tripp has done numerous speaking and book signing tours, through which she
encourages reading and literacy.