Annie Barrows was born in 1962 in San Diego, California, but quickly moved to the small town of San Anselmo in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent most of her childhood at the library. She wouldn’t leave, so they hired her to shelve books at the age of twelve.
Annie attended UC Berkeley and received a B. A. in medieval history. She knows more than the average person about 3rd century saints. Under the impression that a career in publishing meant she’d get to read a lot, Annie became a proofreader at an art magazine and later an editor at a textbook publishing company. In 1988, Chronicle Books hired Annie as an editorial assistant, from which platform she became successively assistant editor, managing editor, Editor, and Senior Editor. Somewhere in this trajectory, she acquired Griffin & Sabine, Chronicle’s first New York Times best seller.
In 1996, Annie received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Mills College and had a baby, a confluence of events that persuaded her to leave editorial work and move into writing. She wrote several non-fiction books on topics ranging from fortune-telling to opera before turning her attention to children’s books. In 2006, the first book in her children’s series Ivy and Bean was published. This title, an ALA Notable Book, was followed by eleven others. The Ivy and Bean series appears with some regularity on the New York Times best seller list and a number of other national best seller lists. The series has been translated into fourteen languages, and several films based on the books are scheduled to begin production in 2021.
Annie has written a number of other titles for children, including mid-grade novels, a foray into young adult fiction, and several picture books (just the words; not the pictures). Her latest children’s series, featuring a nine-year-old kid named Iggy who never met an impulse he didn’t like, began in 2020 with The Best of Iggy.
Annie also writes for adults. She was co-author, with her aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was published The Dial Press in 2008. A New York Times best-seller, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has been published in thirty-two countries and twenty-six languages.
Her first solo novel, The Truth According to Us, was published in the summer of 2015 and became a national best-seller.
Annie lives in Northern California with her family and whatever it is that’s living under the shed in her backyard.