Deborah Kent was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Little Falls. She graduated from Oberlin College and received a master's degree from Smith College School for Social Work. For four years, she was a social worker at University Settlement House on New York's Lower East Side. In 1975, Ms. Kent moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she wrote her first young-adult novel, Belonging. In San Miguel, Ms. Kent helped to found the Centro de Crecimiento, a school for children with disabilities. Ms. Kent is the author of numerous young-adult novels and nonfiction titles for children. She lives in Chicago with her husband, children's author R. Conrad Stein, and their daughter, Janna.