Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joan Wester Anderson  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1938 in Evanston, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Anderson was born in Evanston, Illinois. She is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and a former adjunct professor at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Author and lecturer Joan Wester Anderson was born in Evanston, Illinois. She began her writing career in 1973 with a series of family humor articles for local newspapers and Catholic publications, and was a monthly columnist for two national magazines during the 1980s. She has published more than one thousand articles and short stories in a variety of publications, including ''Woman’s Day'', ''Modern Bride'', ''Virtue'', ''Reader’s Digest'', and the New York Times Syndicate. Wester Anderson is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.= Published Works==*''Dear World: Don't Spin So Fast, I'm Having Trouble Hanging on'', Abbey Pr., 1982*''The Language of the Heart'', Zondervan, 1985*''Teen is a Four-Letter Word: A Survival Kit for Parents'', Betterway Books, 1990*''Where Angels Walk'', Ballantine Books, 1993*''Where Miracles Happen: True Stories of Heavenly Encounters'', Ballantine Books, 1995*''An Angel to Watch Over Me'', Ballantine Books, 1996*''Where Wonders Prevail: True Accounts That Bear Witness to the Existence of Heaven'', Ballantine Books, 1996*''Angels We Have Heard on High'', Ballantine Books, 1997*''Forever Young: The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend ; The Authorized Biography of Loretta Young'', Thomas Moore Publications, 2000*''In The Arms of Angels: True Stories of Heavenly Guardians'', Loyola Press, 2004*''The Power of Miracles: True Stories of God's Presence'', Loyola Press, 2005*''Guardian Angles'', Loyola Press, 2006*''Angels and Wonders: True Stories of Heaven on Earth, Loyola Press, 2008*''Where Miracles Happen: True Stories of Heavenly Encounters, Loyola University Press, 2009*''Moms Go Where Angels Fear to Tread: Adventures in Motherhood, GuidepostBooks, 2009*''If Moms Are Angels on Earth, Then Where's My Halo?: One Mom's Humorous Reflections, GuidpostBooks, 2011*''Angelic Tails: True Stories of Heavenly Canine Companions'', Loyola Press, 2011*''An Angel to Watch Over Me: True Stories of Children's Encounters with Angels'', Loyola Press, 2012*''Mom Knows Best: Classic Stories Every Mom Will Love'', Cedar Fort, Inc., 2012==Titles at Your Library==0870291882,0310469228,15

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Dear World: Don't Spin So Fast, I'm Having Trouble Hanging on
ISBN: 0870291882

Abbey Pr. 1982

Book by Anderson, Joan W.

The Language of the Heart (Serenade/Serenata No 24)
ISBN: 0310469228

Zondervan. 1985

There are many ways to say "I Love You." Sometimes the most eloquent is without any words at all...... Carrie Craig recognizes God's love everywhere - in the first crocuses of a Midwestern spring, in the tentative smile of a lonely child, even in the fallow field of a man's cold heart. And through her optimism and joyous faith, she speaks the language of the heart. Matt Braden's bitter past has left him cynical and distrustful, causing him to distance himself from anyone who threatens his self-imposed exile. Can he, too, learn the language of the heart before he destroys the best thing that has ever happened to him?

Teen Is a Four-Letter Word: A Survival Kit for Parents
ISBN: 1558701567

Betterway Books. 1990

Describes common problems teenagers and their parents face, and discusses step-parenting, negotiation and family contracts, and college

Where Angels Walk
ISBN: 0345383389

Ballantine Books. 1993

Just when you thought you were alone, along comes "Where Angels Walk," the heartwarming, spine-tingling, TRUE account of people just like you. People who, in a time of need, found themselves in the loving presence of Beings who led them out of the threatening darkness and into the light of hope. Defying explanation or description in our everyday terminology, the Beings they encountered can be called only…angels. For years, many of these people have cherished their extraordinary experiences in the secret depths of their hearts. And then author Joan Wester Anderson encouraged them to come forward with their spiritual treasures. Now YOU can share their wonder and their awe – and, by sharing it, transform and enhance your life.

Where Miracles Happen: True Stories of Heavenly Encounters
ISBN: 0345393058

Ballantine Books. 1995

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the miraculous."
--Albert Einstein
Where do miracles happen? Nearly a hundred wonderful true stories in this book abundantly testify that they happen everywhere, all the time. "Sometimes," writes the author, "we recognize one by a tiny quiver in the pit of our stomach, a prickle of tears, our hearts lifting up." And sometimes they simply bowl us over.
A destitute mother feeds her children for a week from a mysteriously refilling pot. A rainbow celebrates a child's release from suffering. An angel protects a teenager from terror in a hayloft. A medic at an isolated accident site suddenly finds the equipment needed to save a life. An imperfect heart is spontaneously made whole.
Many of the stories here came from people who had read Joan Wester Anderson's bestseller Where Angels Walk. They showed, she says, that "the greatest and most profound adventures with Him were taking place not at the feet of distant gurus but in our own kitchens, our cars, wherever hearts were open. Such happenings were far too precious to hide in my files." Instead she shares with us a book of wonders: amazing, uplifting, inspiring.
"In short, unadorned stories, Anderson retells fresh accounts of modern miracles...She emphasizes that miracles most often happen in partnership with a loving, attentive God and her prevailing message of hope is irresistible."
--Publishers Weekly

Angel to Watch Over Me
ISBN: 0345397738

Ballantine Books. 1996

"INSPIRATIONAL AND HEARTWARMING...Anyone who was ever once a child will enjoy it--and so will those who are still children, or children at heart."
Perhaps because children have not yet learned to disbelieve what their eyes, ears, and hearts tell them, they have a special closeness with angels. After the publication of Joan Wester Anderson's New York Times bestseller Where Angels Walk, people urged her to write a book entirely about children's experiences with angels--and sent along their own personal narratives as witness to these miraculous visitations.
An Angel to Watch Over Me is the result: a wonderful collection of stories that documents and describes extraordinary encounters between children and celestial visions. There's the grandmotherly angel who consoles an ailing girl in a hospital emergency room, and the angel who helps a Texas boy lose his fear of thunderstorms. There are angels who combat darkness, bring glad tidings, and offer comfort. Angel prayers, mothers' memories, beautiful illustrations, and some heavenly hugs also grace these pages. For those who read this wondrous book, angels become a warm and loving presence in everyday life, a blessed part of being.
--Antoinette Bosco
"MIRACULOUS...Poems, songs, and other angelic messages dot the text along with sweet drawings."

Where Wonders Prevail
ISBN: 0345397312

Ballantine Books. 1996

Years ago we might have assumed that miracles were possible, but surely not for ordinary folk like us. Today we are learning that such a philosophy is too limited. God has not abandoned His people. He continues to call uswith little signs or awesome wonders--every day of our lives.
Is there anyone who does not long for signs of God's loving presence, some token of guidance and protection? Joan Wester Anderson's cherished books testify to that deep human longing and to the miracles that God has wrought in answer to His children's needs.
In Where Wonders Prevail, the author gathers dozens of true stories that tell of safe passage through the very heart of trouble and danger. The missionary priest in the Nicaraguan jungle whose life was saved by the prayer of friends in Michigan. The New York City cop who went about his dangerous work protected by heavenly bodyguards. Teenaged best friends Patty and Joni, whose closeness not even death could erase. Two-year-old Erin's last-second reprieve from disease. The lonely Seattle man whose life was transformed by a mysterious little messenger. Another young man who was literally wrapped in angel wings on a Georgia highway and the author's own sign from heaven, glowing on her front lawn.
In Joan Wester Anderson's simple and moving narrative, we find many such glimpses of heaven--wondrous rescues and answers to prayer, visions of life hereafter, and inspirational healings. It reminds us that God is always near, every step of our way.

Angels We Have Heard on High
ISBN: 0345412036

Ballantine Books. 1997

In this beautiful book, New York Times bestselling author Joan Wester Anderson weaves a wreath of the blessings we receive when we least expect them--a joyful reminder that today, no less than two thousand years ago, Christmas is the season of miracles.

Prayers from people on a Christmas card lists bring a long-lost son home. The music of Christmas transforms an irritable Santa Claus line at a mall. A cross glows without electricity in a message of hope, and an angel warms a freezing child. All these and other wonderful stories reveal that when we have faith, we can find ourselves unexpected