Amanda Minnie Douglas was born in New York and studied American and English literature with a tutor after the family moved to New Jersey. She was hoping to study engraving and design when a family illness made it necessary for her to be at home and help with financial support. A friend of the novelist Louisa May Alcott, she took up a career as a writer. Several of her early stories were published in popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and the Lady’s Friend. Her first novel, In Trust (1866), proved to be one of her most popular. She was a prolific writer who produced one or more books a year for many years. Her works for children included Larry (1893), for which she was awarded a $2,000 prize from the juvenile magazine Youth’s Companion, and the ten-volume Little Girl series, one of the first examples of historical fiction for girls. Amanda M. Douglas never married and spent nearly her whole life in Newark.