Shortly after Todd was born in New York City his parents moved to Roslyn Heights, New York (Long Island). Todd went to the I.U. Willets Elementary school and then attended the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. His best subject was science. He also liked to read, but had difficulty with spelling and grammar, and struggled in English. His favorite sports were tennis, skiing, and fishing.
Todd went to college at New York University for a few years, and then dropped out. He lived on a commune, then lived in Europe where he was a street musician. All the while, he wrote songs and poems and lots of letters to his friends back home.
After returning to the United States he studied literature and writing at Beloit College. After college, Todd worked as a reporter at the Middletown Times Herald-Record newspaper in Middletown, New York, and later at Compton Advertising in New York City.
In 1978, he sold his first novel, Angel Dust Blues, and used the money to start the Dr. Wing Tip Shoo fortune cookie company. For the next 12 years, Todd sold many more fortune cookies than books.
In 1990, Todd moved with his family to Westchester County, N.Y. He is the author of more than 140 books for teens and middle graders including the best-selling Help! I’m Trapped In series, and numerous award-winning YA novels including The Wave, Give A Boy A Gun, The Accident, Can’t Get There From Here, Boot Camp, If I Grow Up and Fallout.
Several of his books have been adapted for television and his novels The Wave and How I Created My Perfect Prom Date became feature films. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he has also written for television, newspapers such as The New York Times, and magazines such as The New Yorker and Esquire.
Todd now divides his time between Westchester and Montauk, NY. He likes to read and watch movies, spend time with his grown children, play tennis and ski, but his favorite new sport is surfing.
With daughter, Lia.