M.E. Kerr (Maryjane Meaker) is a pioneer in realistic fiction for teenagers. Her characters and plots often deal with ordinary teenagers who, faced with extraordinary situations and events, must make tough choices.
One of her best known characters is Dinky. Overweight and starved for attention, Dinky, in Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! uses the only words she knows that will get her parents' attention. In Gentlehands, Budd's summer romance with Skye is interrupted by the shocking revelation that his cultured, refined grandfather is the notorious Nazi war criminal Gentlehands. Me Me Me Me Me: Not a Novel is an autobiographical look at the real-life people, events, and situations Kerr uses as springboards for her characters and plots. Erick's live is uneventful and calm in Night Kites, until he and his family must deal with his older brother Pete's secret - that Pete is gay and has AIDS.
Kerr says, "When I think of myself and what I would have like to have found in books those many years ago, I remember being depressed by all the neatly tied-up, happy-ending stories, the abundance of winners, the themes of winning, solving, finding - when around me it didn't seem that easy. So I write with a different feeling when I write for young adults. I guess I write for myself at that age."
A native of Auburn, New York, Kerr attended the University of Missouri. She now lives in East Hampton in Long Island, New York. She has written adult mysteries under the name of Vin Packer and has written books for adults under the name M.J. Meaker.