Rebecca Caudill was born February 2, 1899 in Harlan County, Kentucky. She graduated from Wesleyan College and received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1922. She taught English in high school and college and worked as an editor for a time. She published her first book for children, Barrie and Daughter, in 1943. She married James Ayars in 1931 and they lived in Urbana, Illinois with their two children. Well-known as an author who set many books in the Appalachia of her childhood, she was a loved and respected author in her home state of Kentucky, her adopted state of Illinois, and throughout the country. The schoolchildren of Illinois vote each year on their favorite book, which is given the Rebecca Caudill Award. Her book, Tree of Freedom, was a Newbery Honor Book in 1950. A Pocketful of Cricket was a Caldecott Honor Book in Ms. Caudill died in 1985. Seven of her manuscripts can be found at the Children’s Literature Research Collection in Minneapolis, Minnesota.