Her peers across the country recognize Odean as an expert in children's literature. She was recently elected to the Caldecott Award Committee by her fellow children's librarians and was also a member of the 1991 Newbery Award Committee. From 1991 through 1993, she served on the Notable Children's Book Committee of the American Library Association, a national committee of nine which evaluates all of the year's children's books. Odean has also been a reviewer of children's books for School Library Journal since 1985.
The author of the groundbreaking work Great Books for Girls: More Than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls and Tomorrow's Women (Ballantine Books, 1997) and High Steppers, Fallen Angels, and Lollipops: Wall Street Slang (Henry Holt Owl Paperbacks, 1989) on the folklore and slang of the stock market, Odean has also done some free-lance writing.
Odean has been talking about the importance of books in children's lives on NBC-TV's Today and with newspapers, local television and radio shows across the country.
She lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with her husband, Ross Cheit, a professor at Brown University.