Charlottesville, VA
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Welcome! Right up front, some exciting stuff. Please visit my hot new website: www.joancarrisbooks.com.

WELCOME TO THE BED AND BISCUIT is Joan Carris's 19th book. Set at an animal boarding facility out in the country, the story concerns its owner, a retired veterinarian named Adam Bender, and his household pets--punctuated by boarding pets and herds of animals, such as the five llamas in the far pasture. The household pets are the real stars of the story: Ernest, an earnest mini-pig; Gabby, a Vietnamese hill mynah; and Milly, a young marmalade pussycat. When Grampa Bender arrives home after fighting a neighbor's barn fire, he has something in a bundle that he takes up to his bedroom. What's in the bundle, the slim chances of its survival, and his housepets' testy response to it make for a funny, heartwarming story of a blended family. The book's many illustrations are by Noah Z. Jones, whose own sense of humor further enlivens the story. Joan is revoltingly proud of the whole thing and sings the praises of Candlewick Press to all who will listen.

Welcome To The Bed and Biscuit. Text copyright (c) 2006 by Joan Carris. Illustrations copyright (c) 2006 by Noah Z. Jones. Reproduced by permission of the publisher. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

A Ghost of a Chance (Little, Brown '92) is again in print. It is the story of twelve year-old Punch Wagner and his friend Tom, who hunt for Blackbeard's missing treasure while on vacation in Beaufort, NC, where the pirate lived near the end of his notorious career. But in order to hunt, they need the help of a local boy, Skeeter Grace, who is highly scornful of Yankee tourists.

Kirkus Review describes it well: "A summer vacation novel with everything--dolphins, buried treasure, a pirate's ghost, and a most appealing cast of humans. Carris, who has a sure touch with the supernatural, leaves just enough of the ghostly manifestations unexplained to tweak the imagination."

A new, factual chapter (at the end) describes the ongoing recovery of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, whose sand-logged remains are only a few miles from my house. I also included some great pirate info, such as: "Why did pirates so often wear black eye patches?" and "Did they take baths?"

Aargh! Pirates are strange birds!

 

North Shore BooksNext--I became the publisher of North Shore Books--just to test my patience and fortitude, I guess. Because people ask for them wherever I speak, I brought Witch-Cat and When the Boys Ran The House back into print. Now, anyone who wants to (Please!) can order them.



When the Boys Ran the House
READER'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER
in Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa.

Jut(12), Marty(10), Nick(7), and Gus(2) actually do run the house while Mom is sick and Dad's in Europe on business. But it's not easy and often it's downright mysterious. How did all those bees get in the kitchen? What is the awful odor in the living room? And why is the cat getting so fat? Running the house is not easy, but it's awfully funny.

"A hilarious slice of life that also teaches the value of cooperation and the joy of being part of a family."
~Children's Book Review Service

"Very nice, lifelike moments... Involving approximation of how boys on their own might behave."
~Kirkus Reviews

ISBN: 0-9724391-0-2

Witch-Cat
A CBS STORY HOUR SPECIAL.
Also from RECORDED BOOKS.

Gwen Markham, age 12, appears to be a witchly mistake. Scornful of magic, Gwen has no idea that her newly-adopted cat, Rosetta, is a professional familiar, sent by the Supreme Right High Order of Greymalkins in Wales. Pity Rosetta, whose job is to teach Gwen how to be a good witch--someone whose power can bring about wonderful things.

Does magic really exist? Gwen doesn't think so. But Rosetta and the family pooch, Dinki, know better.

"...high-spirted fantasy about twentieth-century witchcraft."
~Booklist

"A warm and humorous family story, tinged with bits of magic."
~Children's Book Review Service

ISBN: 0-9724391-1-0

 

Joan Carris Author Card See me smiling in the nice picture? It's not to show off my teeth, heaven knows. My parents said, "Joan, do you want braces?" and I said, "No!" (Hoo, boy.)

I'm smiling because I love my work and because a smile precedes laughter, the healthiest thing we can do. Now, medical evidence abounds that proves the many benefits derived from a "laughing lifestyle."

I urge all parents and teachers to look beneath the surface of the more upbeat books for young people. Just because a book makes kids laugh does not mean that it is fluff. A good book has many layers. In When The Boys Ran The House, for instance, we see kids doing a very tough job and doing it well. My readers all comment on that. And in Witch-Cat, readers figure out (along with Gwen) what is really important in life.

Figuring out what is important in life is the job of kids. That's why it's so hard to be a kid. I remember. I wasn't particularly good at being a kid. I kept straying out of my neighborhood and talking in class. Two weeks into summer vacation I was bored to tears, literally. If I hadn't become a big-time reader, I'll bet my mother would have run away rather than face another summer with Joan.

Fortunately, college came along, then marriage, teaching high school, and a family of two girls and a boy. I'm never bored now. In fact, what with fixing up a new house, fighting the bugs and the heat in our coastal garden, teaching writing at the nearby Duke University Marine Lab, writing commentaries for Public Radio East, and being a mom and grandmom, I am usually on the run.

However...I always enjoy speaking to teachers about the trials of teaching writing, and I love talking with kids about books. When kids are laughing as I read a passage from one of my books, I am so full of happiness I think I will pop. Surely no one is luckier than those of us who have spent our lives with books and children and laughter.

 

My Books

A Ghost of a Chance
(age 8-12) Little, Brown 1992
in ppbk, from Coastal Carolina Press. ISBN: 1-928556-40-X
orig. Little, Brown hardcover (OP)

"A summer vacation novel with everything--dolphins, buried treasure, a pirate's ghost, and a most appealing cast of humans. Carris, who has a sure touch with the supernatural, leaves just enough of the ghostly manifestations unexplained to tweak the imagination."
~Kirkus

When The Boys Ran The House
(age 8 -12)
in paperback, from North Shore Books. ISBN: 0-9724391-0-2
orig. Harper Junior Books hardcover (OP)
Children's Choice Award Winner in Tennessee, Indiana, and Iowa

"A hilarious slice of life that also teaches the value of cooperation and the joy of being part of a family."
~Children's Book Review Service

 

Witch-Cat
(age 8 -12)
in paperback, North Shore Books. ISBN: 0-9724391-1-0
orig. Harper Junior Books hardcover (OP)
A CBS Story Hour Special: Available from Recorded Books

"...high-spirited fantasy about twentieth-century witchcraft."
~Booklist

"A warm and humorous family story, tinged with magic."
Children's Book. Review Service

Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia
(age 8 -12)
(sequel to Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls)
Little, Brown hardcover, a few available from North Shore Book
E-mail to order: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"Combining gothic overtones, a touch of humor, and a pinch of English culture, this novel is a fine contrast to cookie-cutter horror stories and will appeal to readers seeking 'another scary book.'"
~School Library Journal

Stolen Bones
(age 8-12)
Little, Brown hardcover, a few available from North Shore Books.
E-mail to order: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"This well-crafted story, nicely seasoned with well-integrated information on excavating fossils, offers much to admire: a large, well-individualized cast; the interaction between Alec and his mother; the evolving relationship between Alec and his grandfather, realistically portrayed; fine suspense when Alec confronts some suspects; and humor when friend Rina joins in."
~Kirkus

Titles available from Recorded Books:
~Witch-Cat (see review above)
~Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls (SLJ starred review)
~Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia (see review above)

Titles translated into French:
~Just a Little Ham (Can you raise a mini-pig in the house?)
~Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls
~The Revolt of 10-X< To order, write Le Pere Castor; 4 Rue Casimir-Delavigne; 75006 Paris; France

High School textbooks from Peterson's (now Thomson Learning):
~Success With Words (designed for personal or school use--a sure-fire vocabulary-builder)
~Word Flash: Vocabulary (for SATs, PSATs, and ACTs)
~Panic Plan for the SAT

Other titles, currently OP:
~Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls
~Howling for Home (a short chapter book, ages 7--10)
~Just A Little Ham
~Pets, Vets, and Marty Howard (2nd in the Howard boys' series)
~Hedgehogs In The Closet (3rd in the Howard boys' series)
~The Greatest Idea Ever (4th in the Howard boys' series)
~Rusty Timmons' First Million
~The Revolt of 10-X

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