Betsy Maestro was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in elementary guidance from Southern Connecticut State College. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a kindergarten and first grade teacher for eleven years. During that time she became aware of the need for imaginative nonfiction to spark children's interests.
She has been creating books with her husband Giulio since 1974. She writes and he does the illustrating. They are best known for their nonfiction titles which include the American Story series. Together, they have produced over ninety titles. Her other works include How Do Apples Grow? and Why Do Leaves Change Color?