Mitali Bose Perkins was born in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Her name means "friendly" in Bangla, and she had to try and live up to it because the Bose family moved so often, living in India, Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York City, and Mexico City before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area when she was in middle school.
Perkins graduated college with degrees in political science from Stanford University and public policy from U.C. Berkeley, and went on to teach middle school, high school, and college students, before publishing her first book.
She is the author of the middle grade and YA novels Monsoon Summer, The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen, First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover and First Daughter: White House Rules, as well as Rickshaw Girl. Her book, The Secret Keeper, was shortlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award and called "achingly realistic" by Kirkus Reviews and "heartbreaking and hopeful" by Booklist. The Bamboo People, her newest novel, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which praised the book as "a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship."
She lives in Massachusetts.