Julia Alvarez is the author of numerous books for adults including In the Time of the Butterflies, and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, which was picked by New York librarians as one of 21 classics for the 21st century. She is also an accomplished writer of children's and YA books including The Tia Lola Stories, Return to Sender, and Before We Were Free, which was an ALA Best Book of 2002 and winner of ALA's Pura Belpre Award. She is Writer in Residence at Middlebury College, and co-founder with Bill Eichner of Alta Gracia, a sustainable coffee farm and literacy center in the Dominican Republic. And she is a founding member of Border of Lights, an ongoing movement to promote peace and collaboration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She lives in Vermont.