Joan Bauer (novelist)

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Joan Baehler Bauer (born July 12, 1951) is an American writer of young adult literature currently resides in Brooklyn.[1] The main characters in her books are typically teenagers who are dealing with complicated family issues, such as alcoholism, abandonment, illness, and self-esteem issues, but such issues are faced with a light touch and humor is added in to lighten it up.

Bauer was born in River Forest, Illinois.[1] Before publishing her first book, she worked for the Chicago Tribune, McGraw-Hill books, and WLS Radio. She has won several awards for her writing including a Los Angeles Times Book Prize (for young-adult literature, Rules of the Road in 1998), a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (for fiction, Rules of the Road in 1999), and a Christopher Award (Close to Famous, one of six Books for Young People named in 2012). Bauer is married and the parent of one daughter.[citation needed]

Bauer's first book was set in rural Iowa: Squashed, published in 1992 by Delacorte Press, a Dell Publishing imprint. According to Delacorte, she won its annual Prize for an Outstanding First Young Adult Novel. "Sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan's life would be almost perfect if she could just get her potentially prize-winning pumpkin to put on about 200 more pounds—and if she could take off 20 herself ... in hopes of attracting Wes, the new boy in town."[2]

The novel Hope Was Here, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 2000, was one of four Newbery Honor Books, or runners-up for the 2001 Newbery Medal.[3] The American Library Association award recognizes the year's most distinguished contribution to American children's literature; a distinct award for young-adult books had been introduced in 2000, the Michael L. Printz Award. Hope Was Here features Hope Yancey, a 16-year-old waitress in small-town Wisconsin. According to the Newbery Committee chair, "Bauer juggles story lines as well as Hope juggles plates, and the lessons of waitressing expand into lessons about the essentials of life."[3]


  • Squashed (Delacorte Press, 1992)[2]
  • Thwonk (Delacorte, 1995) – a young-adult fantasy novel[4]
  • Sticks (Delacorte, 1996)
  • Rules of the Road (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1998) – Golden Kite Award, LA Times Book Prize
  • Backwater (Putnam, 1999)
  • Hope Was Here (Putnam, 2000) – a Newbery Honor Book[3]
  • Stand Tall (Putnam, 2002)
  • Best Foot Forward (Putnam, 2005)
  • Peeled (Putnam, 2008)
  • Close to Famous (Viking Press, 2011)
  • Almost Home (Viking, 2012)
  • Tell Me (Viking, 2014) – forthcoming September[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Joan Bauer (1951-) Biography {...}". Brief Biographies. Retrieved 2010-04-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Publisher description for Squashed / Joan Bauer". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "2001 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  4. Joan Bauer at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  5. "Tell me". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2014-03-31.

External links