Valerie Tripp says writing books for American Girl is her ideal job. It allows her to use her experience as a creator of educational materials for children, her interest in American history, and her imagination. Tripp is the author of the three-book series about her newest BeForever character Maryellen Larkin, a fun and funny girl growing up in Florida in the 1950s, when girls wore poodle skirts and danced to rock ’n’ roll. Ms. Tripp says, “her stories show the era’s dilemma of conformity versus diversity.” Since graduating from Yale and Harvard University, Ms. Tripp has been creating educational materials for major publishers, including stories for The Superkids Reading Program and six Just One More stories for beginning readers, which are used in bilingual reading programs. She was honored as a March of Dimes Mother of the Year for her volunteer work in the local elementary schools and public libraries and honored with The Prevention of Blindness Society’s Community Service Award. Tripp lives in Maryland with her husband Michael, daughter Katherine, and golden retriever, Mr. Bingley.