Old Greenwich, Connecticut
The Face on the Milk Carton
Caroline Bruce Cooney, the daughter of a purchasing agent and a teacher, grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. There she led what she has described as a happy, suburban childhood. She studied and played piano and organ, and she read widely, preferring children's books, for their happy endings, over adult books. She has one brother.
She attended Indiana University, Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, and the University of Connecticut. A music major, she struggled at college and never finished. Though she stood out in high school, in college she was only average. This, she said, was a severe blow to her ego.
At age twenty, Cooney married, eventually having three children. She is now divorced. After her marriage, she began writing, and at age twenty-four she completed her first novel. She wrote seven more, none of which found publishers. The magazine Seventeen, however, accepted one of her humorous stories, and her first young adult book, Safe as the Grave, a mystery, was published in 1979. The next year, her first adult novel, Rear-View Mirror, was published. From 1981 on, she concentrated on young adult books.
There's “no question that many of today's teenagers must contend with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and widespread sexual activity which often begins frighteningly early,” she told Deborah Klezmer. “Though it's ridiculous to suggest that these problems don't exist, I have the impression that kids still yearn for absolutely wholesome childhoods. They want hope, want things to work out, want reassurance that even were they to do something rotten, they and the people around them would still be all right.”