Janet Wong was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Southern and Northern California. During her junior year in college, she lived in France, studying art history at the Universite de Bordeaux. When she returned from France, Janet founded the UCLA Immigrant Children's Art Project, a program focused on teaching refugee children to express themselves through art. Janet graduated from UCLA, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in History and College Honors. She then obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a director of the Yale Law and Technology Association and worked for New Haven Legal Aid. After practicing corporate and labor law for a few years for GTE and Universal Studios Hollywood, she chose to write for young people instead.
Janet's poems have been reprinted in many textbooks and anthologies, as well as in some more unusual venues. "Albert J. Bell" from A Suitcase of Seaweed was selected to appear on 5,000 subway and bus posters as part of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority's "Poetry in Motion" program, and poems from Behind the Wheel have been featured on a car-talk radio show.
Janet's awards include the International Reading Association's "Celebrate Literacy Award," presented by the Foothill Reading Council for exemplary service in the promotion of literacy. She also has been appointed to the Commission on Literature of the National Council of Teachers of English. Janet's first two books have received seStone Center Recognition of Merit, given by the Claremont Graduate School's Stone Center for Children's Books.