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Doing a Report?


If you’re doing a report or an author study on me, thank you. This page is a good place to start. Below you’ll find Joan Bauer Condensed — short answers to questions most students ask when they are doing reports.  This page is designed to help you get as much info as you can quickly so that your report will be wonderful and your teacher will be beyond happy.  Get a good grade, okay?


Grew Up In:

River Forest, Illinois

My Family:

Father was a salesman; mother was a high school English teacher and knock-out jazz pianist; grandmother had been a professional storyteller. I am the oldest of three sisters. When my mother remarried years ago, I got a superb new dad and a wonderful blended family. Grand total: four sisters, two brothers, nine nephews, three nieces, one great niece, one great nephew, and one more on the way. I don’t know how many dogs. I am married to Evan, a marvelous man and we have one excellent grown daughter and a fine son-in-law. My extended family (including the Bauers) has spread across Illinois, Virginia, Alaska, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Germany, and Israel.


Roosevelt Grammar School, River Forest, Illinois; River Forest Junior High; Oak Park River Forest High School; Walther Lutheran High School; college courses over the years; no degree

School Stuff:

Good at writing and drama. Bad at gym; took me a year to finish the apron I was sewing in Home Ec. I liked cooking, though.

Interests Then:

Playing the flute, Girl Scouts, baking, listening to comedians; in high school, loved Latin, drama, and playing the guitar-wrote my own songs.

Interests Now:

Cooking, museums, jazz and classical music, theater, reading, hiking, playing the piano, (still) writing songs.

Biggest Creative Influence:

Nana, my grandmother. An amazing storyteller.

Favorite Teacher:

Mr. Wencel — my flute teacher and orchestra leader for 5 years.

Real Life Heroes:

Martin Luther King and Jimmy Carter.

Pets Through the Ages:


Tweety, my parakeet; Oscar, my turtle; Tiger, my cat, who I had to give away due to allergies; Love, my best cat, who made me sneeze, but I didn’t care; Brennan, my hamster, who would despair at the sight of Love; my daughter’s gerbils, Lassie and Laurie, Laura and Ashley; Gambit, my dog, a glorious Keeshond. But now I have Max, an adorable wheaten terrier.

Wanted to Be:

A writer, comedienne, comedy writer.

Began Writing Professionally:

When I was 30-right before my daughter was born–magazine articles on parenting.

Live Now In:

Brooklyn, NY with my husband and Max.

Favorite Color:


Favorite Book:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Favorite Word:


Favorite Beasts:

firefoxHorses!!!!! And firefoxes. (Here is the firefox at the Brooklyn Zoo.  My husband took the photo.)

Favorite Food:

Coconut cake with too much frosting

My Novels:

Fourteen in all. Squashed, Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road, Backwater, Hope Was
Here, Stand Tall, Best Foot Forward, Peeled, Close to Famous, Almost Home,

Tell Me, Soar, and my newest, Raising Lumie. (See Joan’s Work)

Favorite book that I have written:

I don’t have an absolute favorite, but whenever I start a new book — that becomes my favorite while I’m writing it.

Next Book:

Oh, it’s a secret!