A former attorney, Jean Alicia Elster is a professional writer of fiction for children and young adults. She is the author of How It Happens (Wayne State University Press, 2021), The Colored Car (Wayne State University Press, 2013) and Who’s Jim Hines? (Wayne State University Press, 2008). She is also the author of the Joe Joe in the City series (Judson Press): I’ll Do the Right Thing (2003), I’ll Fly My Own Plane (2002), I Have a Dream, Too! (2002), and Just Call Me Joe Joe (2001). She is a recipient of the Michigan Notable Book Award (2014 and 2009), Midwest Book Award for Children’s Fiction (2014) and the Governor’s Emerging Artist Award (2002).
Elster served as a 2023 Kresge Artist Fellowship panelist in Literary Arts.