about cheryl Cheryl Alylward Whitesel


I grew up near Chicago. When I was eight, my mother praised a story I’d written about a rabbit. From that moment everything changed for me–I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I began inventing stories, and I did it all the time. For Christmas I always asked for a pack of five hundred sheets of new notebook paper. I wrote with colored pencils so that when I felt stumped over my plot or characters, I could change to a different color. Somehow, doing that gave me a fresh outlook and plenty of new ideas. I went to college at Northwestern University, then to Law School at Tulane University. But even while I was studying other things, I kept writing. (Sometimes I should have studied more and written less!)

My husband is Paul Cassingham and we have one son, Ross. When he was seven months old, we moved to Asia. I was glad to stop being a lawyer and pick up on my childhood dream to write books for young people. Before returning home to Chicago, we lived in Asia for twelve years. I was inspired by extensive travel through Asian countries. The best part of living abroad is meeting wonderful people who are so different from yourself–and yet the same. I loved my adopted continent so much that I wanted to bring stories of Asia to American children.


No Place Like Home