38. Our author today has had her share of hardships. Her father was an alcoholic and her parents divorced when she was eight. After starting a career in writing, she was laid up by a severe car accident. While recovering, she wrote her first young adult novel involving a giant pumpkin. Through it all, she has kept her sense of humor.
The author is Joan Bauer, and the book about the pumpkin is her novel Squashed. Jan’s books have won numerous awards, and her novel Hope is Here is a Newbery Honor book. A common theme of her books is overcoming adversity, of which she has had a great deal of experience.
Joan Bauer grew up in Illinois and now lives in Brooklyn, yet she has written books with such strong settings in Iowa (Squashed) and Wisconsin (Hope is Here) that I’ve included them in my list of books set in different states. I admire an author who can take her characters and her reader to another place like that.
This is an interesting video of Joan Bauer discussing her books and her life.
Other books by Joan Bauer:
39. This author started his career by publishing a book that he wrote while he was a seventh grader. At 16 he won the Air Canada Award for most promising writer in Canada, and he has never stopped writing since. He often uses humor in his books, although his most popular series is filled with the adventures of a scuba-diving team.
I realized after writing this question that if I had included the fact he was on of the 39 Clues authors you might have been able to recognize him right away. Gordon Korman recently wrote on his blog that yes, indeed there will be another 39 Clues series, a prequel, and he will be one of the authors.
The novel he wrote in seventh grade, and which was published when he was 14 by Scholastic is This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. The books about the scuba-diving team are the Dive series.
Check out his enthusiasm for writing and middle grade books, and his incredible road to being a published author at 14 in this video:
Other books by Gordon Korman: