Dorothy Law Hoobler was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Crestwood, New York. She graduated from Wells College in Aurora, New York, with a degree in history and went to New York City where she obtained a master’s degree in history from New York University. She and her husband Tom were married while both were working at textbook publishers. Four years later, they published their first book, a biography of Margaret Mead intended for young children. Dorothy interviewed Mead for the project, and recalls her saying, “Someday I’m going to die, but I’m never going to retire.” Dorothy and Tom have published some 100 books (under their own names — they have ghostwritten numerous other textbooks and mass market books.)

The first recognition of their efforts came from the Library of Congress, which chose their Album of World War I as one of four books to be mentioned on CBS TV as part of a project to encourage people to read. The Hooblers’ books have been cited many times for excellence by the New York Public Library in its annual publication Books for the Teen-Age and by the Parents’ Choice Foundation. They have also received significant awards from the National Council on the Social Studies and the Society for School Librarians International. In 2005 the Mystery Writers of America gave the Hooblers an Edgar award for their young-adult novel, In Darkness, Death.


Thomas William Hoobler was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended Catholic schools. He began working in his father’s print shop while still a boy and earned his first wages as a proofreader at the age of ten. He obtained a degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, where he was editor of the student weekly magazine The Scholastic. After working on a local magazine and spending a year at the Writer’s Workshop of the University of Iowa, Tom returned to Cincinnati to teach school. He moved to New York and met his future wife Dorothy on the first day he was there. He worked on trade magazines and for a textbook publisher early in his career. Besides the books he has published with his wife, Tom also wrote two science-fiction novels with his friend Burt Wetanson. One of them, The Hunters, has been optioned many times for motion-picture production.

In 2001, Tom appeared on the network version of the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and with help from his wife (who was his phone-a-friend) he won $500,000. The Hooblers used part of the money to spend a month traveling in Italy and decided to use the rest to try to write a book for adults, after years of working on YA books. They wrote three books for adults, including the well-received The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein and The Crimes of Paris, a book that the Hooblers had originally proposed as the story of the theft of the Mona Lisa. The Crimes of Paris was excerpted in Vanity Fair in May, 2009.

Most recently, Dorothy and Tom have been publishing books that are part of the Penguin “Big Head” book series, with books on Where are the Great Pyramids?, What was the San Francisco Earthquake?, and Where is the Taj Mahal? (published 2015, 2016, and 2017.)

Are You Prepared Book Jacket
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler Headshot