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Raising Lumie

A story about heroes — some are human and some have four feet!

“Bauer (Soar) employs her well-honed skill at depicting believable, evolving relationships that are rooted in love and nurtured by encouragement…funny, forthright…big-hearted…”

Publishers Weekly, starred

“Bauer once again works her magic crafting memorable characters overflowing with courage and kindness…”

Kirkus Reviews, starred

“…let the story wash over you and work its magic…”


Read Four Questions for Joan Bauer in Publishers Weekly HERE  

More about Raising Lumie


A boy who can’t run gives a town wings.

“An outstanding, tender exploration of courage  and the true nature of heroism…”

— Kirkus Reviews, starred

“Largehearted warmth…able characterizations, a page-turning plot, and winning humor.”

— Booklist, starred

“Joan Bauer is a superb author who knows how to get readers to care about her characters . . . This book is perfect for middle school students and would make a great read-aloud.”

School Library Connection, starred review

“Triumphant and moving.”

— School Library Journal

  • Winner of The Christopher Award
  • A Texas Bluebonnet Book
  • Winner of the Charlie May Simon Honor Book Award of Arkansas
  • An ILC Children’s Choices pick
  • A Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee
  • A Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Nominee
  • An Illinois 2018 Bluestem Award Nominee
More about Soar

Tell Me

published in September 2014:

A young, comic actor with troubles at home, sees a girl who might be held against her will…but will anyone listen?

“A multi-faceted plot combining crime drama with a modern coming of age story.  Anna’s voice rings clear…allowing readers to sing, cry…and keep their minds and eyes alert to worlds other than their own.”

— School Library Journal

More about Tell Me

Almost Home

A courageous girl loses her home, but she doesn’t lose her dream.

“Newbery Honor winner Bauer has created one of her strongest young women yet…”

                                                 — Kirkus Reviews — starred

“Skillfully tells the tale of precocious and street-smart Sugar Mae Cole.”

                                                 — John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, for The New York Times

“Told with humor and pathos…a memorable novel…”

                                                  — School Library Journal

  •  A Texas Lone Star Book
  •  A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2013
  •  Nominated for seven state awards
More about Almost Home

Close to Famous

     Foster McFee wants to make the world a better place one cupcake at a time, but first she has to face the thing that makes her feel like an all-out loser.

“{A} heartwarming novel about a determined girl who faces adversity with humor, heart — and cupcakes.”

                                                           — Publishers Weekly

“Tastier than a batch of Foster’s triple chocolate cupcakes.”

                                                           — School Library Journal

  •  Winner of the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award
  •  Winner of the Christopher Award
  •  Winner of the Judy Lopez Memorial Prize
  •  Nominated for 14 state awards
More about Close to Famous


High school journalist Hildy Biddle is covering a big story and asking a huge question: Is there a ghost at the old Ludlow House, or is this an urban legend promoted by a local newspaper desperate for more readership?

“Wonderfully teachable, highly readable, and ready to delight Bauer fans, old and new.”     

VOYA highlighted review

  •  Nominated for 3 state awards
Lies.  Propaganda.  Fear.  Hysteria.  Courage.  Freedom of the Press.  Truth.
More about Peeled

Rules of the Road

Intrepid teenage shoe salesperson, Jenna Boller, needs to get out of town for the summer because of her alcoholic dad, and gets more than she imagined when she’s hired to drive her elderly boss down to Texas for a corporate showdown.

“{Full of} fabulous and somewhat flamboyant characters, witty dialogue, and memorable scenes…Bauer’s best yet.”

                     — School Library Journal, starred review

“Jubilant, strong and funny, this is a road trip to remember.”

The Bulletin, starred review

  •  Chosen as as one of the top young adult books of the quarter century by the American Library Association.
  •  Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  •  Winner of the Golden Kite Award of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
  •  An ALA Notable Book
  •  An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  •  An ALA Quick Pick
  •  A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  •  An American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists”
  •  A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
  •  Nominated for 21 state awards
More about Rules of the Road

Best Foot Forward

Jenna is a manager now, but her first assignment isn’t easy — managing Tanner Cobb, a former (she hopes) shoplifter and convict whose street smarts might be what she and Mrs. Gladstone need to uncover the wrongdoing at Gladstone Shoes.

“Via vivid characterizations, crisp, believable dialogue and some exciting scenarios, Bauer keeps her fans hooked for an entertaining ride.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • Winner of The Book for All Seasons (New York Library Association)
  • An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Nominated for 2 state awards
More about Best Foot Forward

Stand Tall

At age 12, Tree stands 6′ 3 1/2″ and not much makes sense — why his parents are getting divorced, why he’s terrible on the basketball court — but he begins to find his purpose helping Grandpa…and then comes Sophie, an older, bolder girl at school with a motto and a mission.

“An eloquent story of ordinary heroes.”

Kirkus Reviews

“…a triumphant tale…”

      — Publisher’s Weekly

  • An ALA Notable Book
  • Nominated for 15 state awards
More about Stand Tall

Hope Was Here

Ace teenage waitress, Hope Yancey, and her aunt Addie move from Brooklyn to work in a diner in Mulhoney WI, where their new boss is recovering from leukemia and getting ready to run for mayor to clean up the corruption in town.

“When it comes to creating strong, independent, and funny teenaged female characters, Bauer is in a class by herself.”

School Library Journal, starred review

  • Winner of the Newbery Honor Award
  • Winner of the Christopher Award
  • Winner of Michigan’s Thumbs Up Award
  • Winner of the M. Jerry Weiss Reading Award
  • An ALA Notable Book
  • Nominated for 25 State awards
More about Hope Was Here


Ivy is determined to help her grandmother write the Breedlove family history, but it won’t be complete unless Aunt Jo, a hermit living in the Adirondacks, has her say… how far will Ivy go to find the truth?

“This warm, funny, patchwork quilt of a book offers a sturdy heroine, vivid characters, a touch of romance, and a final survival adventure that will keep readers turning the pages to the last.”

— Booklist

“Rich with engaging characters, a light love interest, and dramatic tension in a well-paced plot, this is another great read from Bauer.”

— School Library Journal

  • A Smithsonian Magazine Best Book
  • Nominated for 5 state awards
More about Backwater


      Mickey Vernon is desperate to win the pool tournament at his family’s pool hall… but can he beat the bully and show he’s got what his champion pool playing father had inside?

“Good characters, humor, and an engaging plot…a solid piece of middle-grade fiction. “

— Booklist

“Mickey’s authentic voice draws readers right into the story…Characters both major and minor come to life.”

             — Kirkus Reviews

  • Nominated for 11 state awards
More about Sticks


     It’s not that A.J. McCreary is ignoring the real cupid who flits into her life, she just wants him to focus and do his job — get Peter Terris, the best guy in school, to fall in love with her.

“This wacky ride through affairs of the heart never grows predictable!”

Kirkus Reviews, pointer

“Bauer’s forcefully funny writing remains stylish from start to finish.”

                                 — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • Nominated for 6 state awards
  • An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • An ALA Top Ten Quick Pick for Young Adults
  • A YALSA Popular Paperback
More about Thwonk


     Ellie Morgan is allergic to giving up, and she puts it all on the line to battle tradition and her father’s wishes in her quest to grow the biggest pumpkin in Iowa.

“This laugh-out-loud story is a delight…Ellie proves herself an all-around winner. So is Max and so is this book.”

— School Library Journal, starred review

  • Winner of the Delacorte Prize for an Outstanding First Young Adult Novel
  • Nominated for 13 state awards
  • A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
More about Squashed