Sonia Levitin was born in Berlin, Germany. Her father Max Wolff, a prominent clothing designer, escaped Nazi Germany to the USA, settling in New York and then in Los Angeles. At age 3, Sonia, her mother Helene, and two sisters made their way to Switzerland before being reunited with her father in the USA in 1939. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her future husband, Lloyd Levitin, whom she married in 1953. She then completed a degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania and the couple went to live in the San Francisco Bay area and had two children. She worked as a publicist and columnist for several newspapers until her first children's novel, Journey to America, was published in 1970 to great acclaim and became a bestseller. She is the author of picture books, mysteries, humor, historical adventures, and novels for young adults, many with Jewish themes, that sometimes feature semi-autobiographical characters. Her work has won numerous awards, including the Southern California Council on Literature for Children's Distinguished Body of Work Award. She is also noted as a painter whose artwork was displayed in 2015 for the first time.