Jane Kurtz is a children's book author who has written several books for American Girl.
Jane Kurtz was born in Portland, Oregon. When she was two years old, her parents moved to Ethiopia. Jane grew up in Maji, a small town in the southwest corner of the country.
Since there were few televisions, radios, or movies her memories are of outdoors activities—climbing mountains, wading in rivers by the waterfalls—and listening to and making up her own stories, which she and her sisters acted out for days at a time. When she was in fourth grade, she went to boarding school in Addis Ababa. Her family left Ethiopia in the late 1970s. (A decade later her brother, his family, and her older sister and her family went back to teach in a girls' school in Addis Ababa.)
By the time Jane came back to the United States for college, she felt there was no way to talk about her childhood home to people here. She later chose to through children's books.
She often makes appearances where she shares memories from her own childhood and brings in memorabilia from Ethiopia. "It's been a healing and inspiring experience," she is quoted, "to re-connect with my childhood and also be able to help people know just a little of the beautiful country where I grew up."