Joan Bauer A Student Companion by Alleen Pace Nilsen


Joan Bauer A Student Companion by Alleen Pace Nilsen

Joan Bauer is one of the most popular young adult novelists today. She is well-respected not only by her readers, but also by librarians and critics, having won a Newbery Honor for Hope Was Here (2001), among other awards. Drawing on personal experiences with divorce and family alcoholism, Bauer has her seemingly ordinary teenage characters face situations that test, and prove, their maturity and confidence. Following an introduction to Bauer's work, and a biographical chapter, this volume examines each novel by breaking it down into sections on plot, characterization, setting, and themes. Readers consulting this book for research, or for deeper analysis of a favorite novel, will find this a complete resource.


Nilsen is among Bauer's fans, but she focuses on how Bauer creates narratives and characters that appeal to teens. Nilsen gives teachers of young adult readers, librarians and the readers themselves an illuminating interview with the author, a well-balanced critique of Bauer's short stories and essays on each of her eight novels (to date)...From Nilsen's assessment it is obvious that Bauer's topics, such as the trials and tribulations of learning how to drive in Rules of the Road, comes from the heart of a storyteller who is truly on the side of the kids. - Reference & Research Book News Nilsen's book has a wealth of interesting information, including a lengthy interview with Bauer that is broken into topical sections, a discussion of Bauer's writing style, an examination of Bauer's short stories, and a chapter devoted to each of her novels...Students who want to contemplate a future in writing would do well to read the sections of this book in which Bauer discusses the background to her stories, the process of writing, how she creates characters and plots, the importance of humor, and the importance of nurturing a true love for writing. This book also provides a solid introduction for students to literary criticism...This book is a most appropriate and welcome addition for high school libraries as well as high school English teachers

- VOYA If you are a fan of Joan Bauer's teen books focusing on teen problems with a touch of humor and a dose of reality, then you will be interested in Nilsen's in-depth study of this author and her books. Designed for the librarian and teacher who wants to concentrate on YA authors in the classroom, at least some of the time, the book gives the teacher and librarian background enough along with normal Internet sources on this author to be able to do a great job including her works in classroom and library programs. You will find not only the normal biographical information and an interview with the author, but also essays describing and commenting on each of Bauer's principal works. Bauer has won a number of awards for her work, and so if you are a fan or you have teens who are, this is a good addition to your library. - Teacher Librarian

About the Author

Alleen Pace Nilsen is Professor of English and Director of English Education at Arizona State University in Tempe. She is founding editor of the ALAN Review (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) and co-author of the leading textbook on young adult literature, Literature for Today's Young Adults, 7th ed. She has written numerous articles about books for teenaged readers for such publications as English Journal, School Library Journal, and the Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literature (JAAL) of the International Reading Society.

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Book Info


176 pages


Alleen Pace Nilsen
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Publication date

30th June 2007



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