Ann Philippa Pearce OBE (23 January 1920 – 21 December 2006) was an English children's author.
The youngest of four children, Pearce was brought up in the Mill House in the village of Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire. Starting school late at the age of eight because of illness, she was educated at the Perse School for Girls in Cambridge, and went on to Girton College, Cambridge, after winning a scholarship to read English and History there.
After gaining her degree, she left university and moved to London where she found work as a civil servant. She wrote and produced schools radio programmes for the BBC, where she remained for thirteen years. From 1958 to 1960 she was children’s editor at the Oxford University Press, and from 1960 to 1967 at the André Deutsch publishing house.
In 1951 Pearce spent a long while in hospital, recovering from tuberculosis; during this stay she passed the time thinking about a canoe trip she had taken many years before. This was the inspiration for her first book, Minnow on the Say, published in 1955. Like several of her subsequent books, it was clearly inspired by the area where she had been raised, with the villages of Great and Little Shelford...