Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joan Bauer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1951 in Oak Park, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Joan Bauer on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Bauer was born in Oak Park and grew up in River Forest, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Joan Bauer worked as a freelancer for broadcast and television before she started writing children’s books. Her first book was an immediate success and received several awards. Joan Bauer currently resides in New York.

Published Works

  • Squashed, Delacorte, 1992
  • Thwonk, Delacorte, 1995
  • Sticks, Delacorte, 1996
  • Rules of the Road, Putnam, 1998
  • Backwater, Putnam, 1999
  • Hope Was Here, Putnam, 2000
  • Stand Tall, Putnam, 2002
  • Best Foot Forward, Putnam, 2008
  • Peeled, Putnam, 2008
  • Close to Famous, Viking, 2011
  • Almost Home, Viking, 2012
  • Tell Me, Viking, 2014
  • Soar, Viking, 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Squashed /
ISBN: 1417696257. OCLC Number:

Speak,. New York, N.Y. :. 2005.

As sixteen-year-old Ellie pursues her two goals--growing the biggest pumpkin in Iowa and losing twenty pounds herself--she strengthens her relationship with her father and meets a young man with interests similar to her own.

Thwonk /
ISBN: 0142404292. OCLC Number:

Speak,. New York :. 2005, ©1995.

A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love.

Sticks /
ISBN: 0142404284. OCLC Number:

Delacorte Press,. New York :. 1996.

With the help of his grandmother, his dead father's best friend, and his own best friend, a math genius, ten-year-old Mickey prepares to compete in the most important pool championship of his life, despite his mother's reservations.

Backwater /
ISBN: 0142404349. OCLC Number:

. .

While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family.

Hope was here /
ISBN: 0142404241. OCLC Number:

G.P. Putnam's Sons,. New York, NY :. ©2000.

When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.

Stand tall /
ISBN: 0142404276. OCLC Number:

Speak,. New York :. 2005.

Tree, a six-foot-three-inch twelve-year-old, copes with his parents' recent divorce and his failure as an athlete by helping his grandfather, a Vietnam vet and recent amputee, and Sophie, a new girl at school.

Best foot forward /
ISBN: 0142406902. OCLC Number:

G.P. Putnam's Sons,. New York :. ©2005.

Between school and Al-Anon meetings, Jenna helps Mrs. Gladstone cope with escalating problems that result from the merger of Gladstone Shoes with Shoe Warehouse Corporation, while managing a new employee with a shoplifting record.

Peeled /
ISBN: 0142414301. OCLC Number:

Speak,. New York :. 2009.

In an upstate New York farming community, high school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates a series of strange occurrences at a house rumored to be haunted.

Close to famous /
ISBN: 0142420174. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. ©2011.

Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.

Almost home /
ISBN: 0670012890. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2012.

Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.

Tell me /
ISBN: 0451470338. OCLC Number:

. .

Feeling scared and powerless when her father's anger escalates and her parents separate, twelve-year-old Anna spends the summer with her grandmother and decides to make a difference when she sees what seems to be a girl held against her will.

Soar /
ISBN: 0451470346. OCLC Number:

. .

Moving to Hillcrest, Ohio, when his adoptive father accepts a temporary job, twelve-year-old Jeremiah, a heart transplant recipient, has sixty days to find a baseball team to coach.



  • Delacorte Prize for an Outstanding First Young Adult Novel
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • Thwonk

  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • ALA Top Ten Quick Pick for Young Adults
  • YALSA Popular Paperback
  • Backwater

  • Smithsonian Magazine Best Book
  • Hope Was Here

  • Newbery Honor Award
  • Christopher Award
  • Michigans Thumbs Up Award
  • M. Jerry Weiss Reading Award
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Stand Tall

  • ALA Notable Book
  • Best Foot Forward

  • NY Library Association, Book for All Seasons
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Rules of the Road

  • 2013 ILLINOIS READS Book
  • ALA Top Young Adult Books of the Quarter Century
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • Golden Kite Award of the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators
  • ALA Notable Book
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • ALA Quick Pick
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
  • BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
  • Close to Famous

  • American Library Associations Schneider Family Book Award
  • Christopher Award
  • Judy Lopez Memorial Prize
  • Almost Home

  • Texas Lone Star Book
  • 2013 Bank Street College Best Childrens Book

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    , contact author by writing to Joan Bauer c/o Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers 345 Hudson St. NY NY 10014