Most famous for her New York Times bestselling children's series The Books of Elsewhere, West is also known for her Pushcart Prize-nominated poems "Lakeside" and "Obituary Clipping, in an Envelope."
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and pursued additional coursework at Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Her first Books of Elsewhere volume, The Shadows, was shortlisted for the Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award; the Texas Bluebonnet Award; and the Illinois Bluestem Award.
Though born in Minnesota, she grew up primarily in River Falls, Wisconsin. After marrying Ryan West, she settled in her birth city of Red Wing, Minnesota.
She and fellow children's author John Coy are both Minnesota natives.