Carol Kendall, née Seeger, was born in Bucyrus, Ohio, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio University in 1939. That same year, she married Paul Murray Kendall, an English professor, historian, and a biographer with whom she had two daughters. Although some of her early published works, beginning with The Black Seven in 1946, were written for adults, she is best-known for her children's science fiction and fantasy novels. Her book The Gammage Cup (1960) was a Newbery Honor book and won the Ohioana award. It was adapted into an animated film for television. She also won the Parents Choice award and the Mythopoeic Society Aslan award for The Firelings (1981). After traveling in Asia, she became interested in folk tales and translated and retold, with co-author Yao-wen Li, two collections: Sweet and Sour: Tales of China and Cinnamon Moon.