Zerna Addis Sharp (August 12, 1889 – June 17, 1981) was a US author, writer and teacher. She became known for creating the Dick and Jane beginning readers, and many other readers for children. Sharp noted the reduced reading ability of children during her travels and urged a new reading format for primers. She suggested that primers introduce a word at a time to new readers, and the Dick and Jane primers adhered to this format. The names "Dick" and "Jane" were chosen because they were easy to sound. The primers were sold from 1927 to 1973.