An avid reader, Cooney read many books while she was in elementary school, the three books that mostly impacted her during that era being Sword of The Wilderness by Elizabeth Coalsworth, Indian Captive, by Lois Lenski, and Black River Captive by West Lanthrop.
Cooney played the piano, directed a chorus and was a church organ player by the time she was 15. When she was a teenager, she favored reading The Hardy Boys, and Cherry Ames.
During college, she studied arts, music and English. It was in college that she began to write and considered writing as a career for the first time.
She has written 69 books and earned various important awards for many of them.
Among her books: