LaPietra was born in Illinois and graduated from Northwestern University’s Theater School in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science in Speech.
In 1990, the Women’s National Book Association named LaPietra the winner of the Lucille Micheels Pannell Award for "bringing children and books together" with the John Bellairs Walk. The Walk led to the placement of a historical marker at the Cronin House. The marker honors The House with a Clock in its Walls, the first Bellairs book set in New Zebedee.
In 1995, author Brad Strickland dedicated The Doom of the Haunted Opera to Ann and husband, Anthony, "who helped me explore the haunted opera!"
As the founder of Little Red Hen Productions, LaPietra created Marshall-Color Me Historical, a coloring book to help teach local history to children was also translated into Japanese for distribution to Marshall's sister city of Koka-cho, Japan .
LaPietra - known by nicknames such as "the book lady", "the story lady", and "Crazy Annie" from fans and customers - was forced to close the bookstore in 2006 due to poor health.