Since 1980, a new book of mine has come into the house almost every year, whether it’s a textbook I’ve just revised or a new piece of children’s fiction. Every time is just as exciting as the first book, The Revolt of 10-X, which arrived in 1980!! These books appear below, the most recent one first., with a few words about each or a link to a page with more information.
Magic at the Bed and Biscuit
When an evil chicken named Malicia comes to board at the Bed and Biscuit, trouble comes with her. She insists on sleeping in the house with Grampa Bender’s family animals, and she doesn’t want Rory to crow at dawn. Who does she think she is? For the mini-pig Ernest and Gabby the old mynah bird, this chicken is tough to take. But for young Millie the cat and Sir Walter the Scottie—still a puppy—Malicia and her potent magic are downright scary. Somehow, this family of four must show Grampa what is going on behind his back.
Wild Times at the Bed & Biscuit
Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, 2009, Candlewick Press, with illustrations by Noah Z. Jones. [Available in bookstores and online.]
A Smithsonian.com Notable Book of 2009.
Ever since Grampa Bender opened his doors (and veterinary skills) to a despondent Canada goose, a cranky muskrat, and two tiny but rebellious fox kits, his animal boarding house has been turned upside down. Luckily, Ernest the mini-pig is on hand to marshal the other animals into being good hosts — but since wild things are, well, wild by nature, it has been trickier than he imagined. Plus Ernest is trying to train Sir Walter, the Scottish terrier puppy who is the newest addition to the family. But what if Sir Walter doesn’t want to be told what to do and decides that running wild like a fox sounds like lots of fun?
Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit
Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit, with illustrations by Noah Z. Jones.
(Candlewick, 2006 [Available in bookstores and online.]
There's a full house at Grandpa Bender's Bed and Biscuit, where the vet boards animals. Besides the guests, Grandpa has cows and chickens, but his inside animals are his family: Gabby the mynah bird; Milly, a young cat; and Ernest, a very clever minipig. When a fire orphans a tiny puppy, Grandpa brings it home, too--to the dismay of the other animals, especially Milly, who has enjoyed being the baby of the family. Kids just past the easy-reader stage will enjoy this.
Wicked Water, North Shore Books, 2005 [Ages 7 –11. Available through this website or by e-mail order.]
Wicked Water is the story of one young family during the tragic 1999 hurricane season, when underestimating Nature proved to be a mistake.
At home in Kinston, NC, Mom and Dad Lowe should have listened to 8 year-old Paisley and her 11 year-old brother, Davis. Instead they left their pet dogs and cats behind, and went on a trip, only to be stranded in floodwater, far from home.
A Ghost of a Chance
A Ghost of a Chance, Little, Brown 1992, Coastal Carolina Press, 2003, North Shore Books, 2005. [Ages 8--12. Available through this website or by e-mail order.]
BOOK SENSE CHILDREN'S PICK, 2003
The summer before seventh grade, when Punch Wagner and his friend, Tom, are vacationing in Beaufort, North Carolina, they decide to dig for Blackbeard's treasure. Keeping their hunt a secret from Punch's parents and teenage sister, Lila, is tricky, but they have the help of a local "guide," Skeeter Grace, who knows all the Blackbeard lore.
Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia
Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia, Little, Brown 1995. [Ages 8 –12. Available used online, or new, through this website, by e-mail order.]
When Todd Fearing, his best friend Jeff, and Todd’s great-aunt Morbelia visit the old Fearing family estate in England, odd things begin to happen, foreshadowing the scary events that follow. In London to see the sights, Todd knows they’re being followed by a series of most peculiar people. Someone is out to harm Aunt Morbelia, but why?
Stolen Bones, Little, Brown, 1993. [Ages 8 –12 Available used online.]
Alec Wright and his mother, a paleontologist, spend a summer in Montana at Alec’s grandfather’s dig, where museum-worthy fossils are appearing regularly ...yet they’re disappearing, too. In this double mystery, Alec bravely searches for the missing fossils, yet he also must discover the reason for his grandfather’s open dislike.
Word Flash, Peterson’s Guides, 1993. After many revisions, this book is now out of print, available only online, as a used book. This is a quick vocabulary brush-up before a major test.
Howling for Home
Howling for Home, Little, Brown, 1992 [Ages 7 – 10. Available online, used.
Beau is a six-month-old Bernese Mountain dog sent from Montana to the east coast as a family dog for a family that knows nothing about dogs. Soon, Beau and young Michael are in dog obedience school together. But this time, readers see dog school from the dog’s point of view. This is a warm, funny, memorable story that I am very proud of. [I think it’s also an Accelerated Reading title in the schools. The reviews are lost, sorry.]
The Greatest Idea Ever
The Greatest Idea Ever, HarperCollins, 1990. [Ages 8 – 12. Available used online.]
This is the 4th in the group of humorous, realistic books about the Howard boys. It’s Gus’s book, about his 4th grade experiences on returning from England to America. Of course, 4th grade is complicated—with a know-it-all girl, a new puppy to support, and cooking class, of all things.
Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls
Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls, Little, Brown, 1990. [Ages 8—12. Now only available in ppbk, online.]
“A very funny and touching story about a loving family that takes in an elderly relative obsessed with evil omens and bad luck. Todd is frustrated and angry that he has dyslexia and is terrified by his great aunt’s stories of screaming skulls and ghosts. …
Page 1 of 2
- Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, 2009, Candlewick Press, with illustrations by Noah Z. Jones.
- Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit, Candlewick, 2006. Ill. Noah Z. Jones.
- Wicked Water, North Shore Books, 2005.
- A Ghost of a Chance, Little, Brown 1992.
- Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia, Little, Brown 1995.
- Stolen Bones, Little, Brown, 1993
- Word Flash, Peterson’s Guides, 1993.
- Howling for Home, Little, Brown,
- The Greatest Idea Ever, HarperCollins, 1990.
- Aunt Morbelia and The Screaming Skulls, Little, Brown, 1990.
- Panic Plan for the SAT and PSAT, with Michael Crystal and Bill McQuade on Math, Peterson’s Guides, 1990.
- Just A Little Ham, Little, Brown, 1989
- Success With Words, Peterson’s Guides, 1987.
- Hedgehogs in the Closet, Lippincott (Harper), 1987.
- Rusty Timmons’ First Million, Lippincott (Harper), 1985
- Witch-Cat, Lippincott (Harper), 1984.
- Pets, Vets, and Marty Howard, Lippincott (Harper), 1984.
- When The Boys Ran The House, Lippincott (Harper), 1982
- S.A.T. Success, with Michael Crystal on Math, Peterson’s Guides, 1982.
- The Revolt of 10-X, HBJ, 1980