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J​o​an writes both fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. The author of over​ 20 books for young people, she is a journalist, writing tea​​cher, and 2015 graduate of the MF​A program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Praised by School Library Journal for her "bre​ezy style," she  prides herself in writing reader-friendly prose for children and teens.


By Joan Axelrod-Contrada 

and A​nn Malaspina

Illustrated by Paula J. Becker

Zek​e the Weather Geek: There's a Lizard in My Blizzard (Kids Can Press, 2023) is an illustrated early chapter books in which a boy and his pet lizard, along with his STEM nerd friends, save the day during severe weather events.


Stay tuned for news about our follow-up book, Zeke the Weather Geek: There's Mud in My Flood.


Nonfiction f​rom 

Twelve Library Books

The Twelve Worst Shipwrecks of All Time (Spring, 2019) takes readers on a narrative journey through infamous disasters at sea, including The Titanic, the pirate ship Whydah Gally, the Exxon Valdez, and recent refugee crossings. Concrete details show how a luxurious cruise or simple church outing can turn deadly. Back matter describes how to stay safe if planning a journey by boat or ship.


Sizzle from HIP Books 

This hi-lo novel published in 2013 explores the controversial topic of teen pregnancy. Free wants to live up to her name and become the lead singer in a girl rock band. When she falls for her guitar teacher, things get messy. Then, when she’s not careful, things gets worse. Free's journey explores difficult issues about relationships, empowerment, and family support.


Joan enjoys making her books entertaining for readers. Joan's hi-lo titles from Capstone Press such as The Kids' Guide to Mummies and The World's Most Famous Ghosts reflect her interest in the wacky and weird. To order Ghoulish Ghost Stories from, click on the image of the book.

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