Bonnie Lou Risby grew up in the Illinois woodlands atop the limestone bluffs across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. These woods were her playground where she and her siblings camped out, played detective, and enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors in every season. After attending college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she taught school in Columbia, IL, for 13 years. She has taught elementary school, middle school, and high school, concentrating on the subjects of French, English, and gifted education. When Risby helped write the grant to establish Columbia's Gifted Program in the early 1970s, there were few materials readily available that fit well with a one-period per week pullout program.
After the birth of her son, Risby retired from teaching and joined a family and marriage counseling practice for 12 years, continuing to write and create logic books in her spare moments. Retired from her therapy practice, she now works in a family business with her husband and son in Ballwin, MO. Risby has continued to write classroom books, chapter books, magazine articles, and books for young adults.
Besides writing, Risby loves taking float trips down Ozark streams, biking, long walks with her dog, gardening, family history, and travel.