Norton Juster was born June 2, 1929, in New York City. The son of an architect, Juster himself earned a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952. He has maintained an architectural practice since 1960, and has also taught design at the Pratt Institute (1960-1970) and at Hampshire College (1970 to the present).
The Phantom Tollbooth, Juster's first novel, was widely acclaimed as a delightful book for both children and adults. He has written seven other books, not all of them for young adults, but The Phantom Tollbooth remains his best-known. In 1979, out of a growing interest in the past, he compiled So Sweet to Labor: Rural Women in America, 1865-1895. This work contains letters, recipes, poetry, and other writings, all concerned with or written by farm women of the period.