DuPrau received a BA in English Literature from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She has been a high school English teacher, an editor for educational publishing companies, a technical writer for Apple Inc. and a freelance writer. On her website and several other online biographies, DuPrau is described as a gardening enthusiast and dog lover. She is also an ice skater, a bird watcher, a meditator, a house builder, a gardener, a piano player, a stripper and gourmet vegetarian cook. DuPrau has no children. She has two nephews and a niece. She also had a Cairn Terrier named Ethan who was almost 16 years old when he died. She now has a new puppy named Jockey, who is a Norfolk Terrier.
On her website, Jeanne DuPrau writes:
I didn't really set out to "be a writer." I just wrote. Reading and writing have always been my favorite things, though for a while I wanted to be a writer and an illustrator. I still have my very first book, which I wrote when I was about five years old. It's called Frosty the Snowman, has five pages, and is illustrated with red and green crayon.
The City of Ember (2003) — This story takes place in a sunless, moonless city where the only light comes from electric lamps. As supplies run low and the electrical system starts to fail, the city is headed for disaster. Two children, Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, take on the task of finding the way out.
The People of Sparks (2005) — The story opens where The City of Ember left off, with the residents of the dying city of Ember joining young heroes Lina and Doon and making their way to a small settlement, where all at first goes well but conflict soon arises.
The Prophet of Yonwood (2006) — This is the third novel in the series. However, it is a prequel, rather than a sequel, to the other two books. It is set about fifty years before the Disaster and the establishment of Ember, and approximately three hundred years before the events of The City of Ember and The People of Sparks. The story focuses on a woman's frightening vision of the future and the townspeople's reaction to it.
The Diamond of Darkhold (2008) — The Diamond of Darkhold is the fourth book in the series. It picks up where The People of Sparks left off, during the Emberites' first winter above ground. The two children must go back to Ember to discover something that was lost and left behind.
Car Trouble (2005)
Adoption: The Facts, Feelings, and Issues of a Double Heritage
A film adaptation of The City of Ember, called City of Ember, was released in October 2008. It was filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland and stars Bill Murray as the Mayor of Ember, Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Tim Robbins and Martin Landau.