Since his childhood in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, two things have sustained Alden Carter through good times and bad: books and rivers. He has been an avid reader and canoe enthusiast for as long as he can remember. Carter graduated from the University of Kansas in 1969 with a degree in English and humanities. He became an officer in the Navy, and after five years left to become a teacher of high school English and journalism. He longed to pursue writing full-time, however, and quit his job to do so in 1980, with the support of his wife, Carol Shadis-Carter, a social worker.
Carter's first book, Growing Season, was published in 1984. Since then, he has written a number of critically acclaimed novels for young adults, including Up Country, Dogwolf, Bull Catcher, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place. In addition to his novels, Carter is the author of numerous nonfiction and picture books, many written in collaboration with his wife, and one in collaboration with his daughter. Carter keeps in touch with his audience through conferences and school visits. He lives in Marshfield, Wisconsin, with his wife, son, and daughter. They enjoy hiking, bicycling, baseball — and, of course, reading and canoeing.