About Mitali Perkins

One of life's greatest joys is to create spaces where children feel safe, welcome, and beloved. Stories are one such space. — Mitali Perkins

I'm the author of nine books for young readers
published by Random House, Charlesbridge, Candlewick,
Little Brown, and Dutton.

I'm proud to be a Girl Scouts Storyteller. Here's a video they made about me and my stories:

Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?

That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.

I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.

By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.

My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.

After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong characters trying to bridge different cultures.

I love visiting schools and libraries to discuss “books between cultures” and the life-changing power of story. I also love it when people stop by my virtual “fire escape” (mitaliperkins.com), or my blog about books between cultures (mitaliblog.com).

When I’m Not Writing

After stints in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malibu, and Newton (in the Boston area), we're finally settling down in California, where my husband is a Presbyterian pastor. If you want to know out more about how I ended up married to a pastor, you may find the start of the story here.

I teach two Jan Term courses at Saint Mary's College of California, one called "Race, Culture, and Power in Children's Books," and the other is "The Least of These: Marginalized Children in the Bay Area." I also spend a lot of time in schools and libraries throughout the rest of the year talking about growing up between cultures and the life-changing power of story.

I love it when guests stop by my virtual “fire escape,” a.k.a., my blog, which is mostly about books between cultures (mitaliblog.com). You may also contact me via Facebook or Twitter if you need more information about my books or life, as I'm a bit of a social media freak.

Short Bio

Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) was born in India and immigrated to the States with her parents and two sisters when she was seven. Bengali-style, their names rhyme: Sonali means "gold,” Rupali means "silver,” and “Mitali” means “friendly.” Mitali had to live up to her name because her family moved so much — she’s lived in India, Ghana, Cameroon, England, New York, Mexico, California, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Massachusetts. Mitali studied political science at Stanford University and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley before deciding to try and change the world by writing stories for young readers. Now she’s settled in Orinda, a town east of San Francisco, where she writes full-time.