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Joan Lowery Nixon

Gittings

“In every story I write I give a great deal of thought to the main character, because the story is his, or hers. The direction of the story is determined by the main character’s ambitions and reactions. The main character is the one to whom the readers will relate.”—Joan Lowery Nixon

Joan Lowery Nixon is the only four-time winner of the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award and a two-time winner of the California Young Reader Medal.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Whether it’s engrossing historical dramas, chilling mysteries, suspense-filled page-turners, or adventure stories, kids, teachers, and librarians love the books of Joan Lowery Nixon.

Nixon is half Californian, half Texan. She has a degree in journalism and credentials in elementary education. Nixon has written over 130 books for children from preschool age through young adult—including science books, co-authored with her husband, geologist Hershell Nixon. Her books have garnered numerous awards and accolades, including the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile and the Texas Institute of Letters Award. Many of Nixon’s books have won state children’s choice awards. She is the only four-time winner of the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. Nixon has four children and several grandchildren.

Nixon describes the pleasure she gets from writing mystery and suspense: “When I was young I discovered an evening radio program called I Love a Mystery. It was intriguing, suspenseful, and at times absolutely terrifying, and the title was correct. I did love a mystery—on radio, in films, and especially in books. Maybe I’m really a detective at heart because much later in my life, when I began to write books for young people, I discovered writing mysteries was even more fun than reading them.

“A mystery begins to develop in my mind when something sparks an idea and a question grows from it. What would it be like to move into a house in which a murder had taken place? How would I feel if my best friend were arrested for murder on circumstantial evidence? As a question develops into an answer, I give a great deal of thought to my main character. She is the most important part of the story, and I see it take shape through her eyes. Before I write a word of the story I know how I’ll begin it and how I’ll end it, making sure to put in honest clues and distracting red herrings—just to make the mystery all the more fun to solve. I love mysteries, and I want my readers to love them, too.”

In creating the acclaimed Orphan Train Adventures, Nixon explored a time and place in America’s recent past that is not widely covered in history lessons. She explains, “It was a part of history I hadn’t known: that beginning in 1854, over 100,000 homeless children were rescued from the streets of New York City and sent by train to new homes in the West. As I researched early journals, I found many letters—some hopeful, some sad—and reports which told of tears as brothers and sisters were separated or a child was not chosen. I wanted to bring history and fiction together in an exciting, adventurous time and place, to tell the stories of those who could have traveled west on the Orphan Train.”

Many of Nixon’s readers have written to her asking how to get published. Her novel The Making of a Writer, a part memoir, part how-to book, is her answer to them. From her first publication at age 10—a poem titled “Springtime”—to her graduation from Hollywood High during World War II, Nixon shares the incidents from her childhood that helped her to develop as a writer.


PRAISE

THE KIDNAPPING OF CHRISTINA LATTIMORE
“A fast-moving, entertaining mystery with an intelligent and spunky heroine.”—Booklist

MURDERED, MY SWEET
“Another solid Nixon mystery without too much violence and lots of suspense.”—Booklist


THE NAME OF THE GAME WAS MURDER
“Another successful page-turner. . . . Reluctant readers and mystery lovers alike will welcome a trip to this mansion.”—School Library Journal

SEARCH FOR THE SHADOWMAN
“Thrilling . . . a riveting tale of suspense set against a background of fascinating historical context brought up to date through e-mail and the Internet.”—School Library Journal

SPIRIT SEEKER
“Enriched with family troubles, guilty secrets, and a whiff of the supernatural, this page-turner will please the legions of Nixon fans.”—Kirkus Reviews

THE WEEKEND WAS MURDER!
“Masterfully constructed. . . . Ingeniously plotted, fast-paced and lighthearted, this mystery manages to blend an engrossing double murder brainteaser with the blossoming of a self-conscious teen into a self-assured young woman.”—Publishers Weekly

WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD
“Nixon’s reputation as the grande dame of mysteries for young readers remains solidly intact with this thriller . . . a topnotch choice.”—Starred, School Library Journal


THE ORPHAN TRAIN ADVENTURES

A FAMILY APART
“As close to perfect a book. . . . The plot is rational and well-paced; the characters are real and believable; the time setting is important in U.S. history; and the values all that anyone can ask for.”—VOYA

IN THE FACE OF DANGER
“This exciting and touching novel projects an aura of historical reality.”—School Library Journal

THE ORPHAN TRAIN CHILDREN SERIES

LUCY’S WISH
“There is suspense, surprise, and heartfelt emotion, and there is a useful historical note at the end.”—Booklist


Author Bookshelf

A Candidate for Murder

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

A suspense novel set in the world of politics.  With her father running for governor of Texas, Cary  is determined to find out why she appears to be in  danger.



"Nixon...



A Dangerous Promise

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

It's 1861, and although Mike Kelly is far younger than the legal age of 16, he and his best friend Todd secretly join up with the Second Kansas Infantry and become army drummer boys. Mike's dreams of...

A Family Apart

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

The first in an exciting new four-part series about the more than 100,000 homeless children taken from the streets of New York and sent west to new families. Book 1 is the story of six brothers and...


A Place to Belong

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Danny and his younger sister, Peg, are placed in St. Joseph, Missouri, with kind Alfrid and Olga Swenson. Danny is thrilled to have a "real" father again, but when Olga suddenly dies, he is devastated—until...

Caught in the Act

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

As the saga of the Kelly children continues, Mike Kelly is adopted by a German immigrant farm family living in Missouri. Although they are kind to him, they are mainly interested in having cheap labor....

Circle of Love

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

The Civil War has officially ended and Frances Mary Kelly's true love, Johnny, is back from the war. But to Frances's dismay, Johnny is hesitant to marry her. Attempting to ease her aching heart, Frances...


Don't Scream

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

When two new guys start at Jess's high school, she thinks the year is really looking up. What she can't know is that there is a connection between them. One has been given a new identity by the government....

Ghost Town

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Stagecoach robberies. Shoot-outs. Striking it rich. Throughout the Wild West small towns were formed, thriving with men and women from the East and gold from the mines. Notorious outlaws, desperadoes, and gunslingers rustled...

In The Face of Danger

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Shy Megan Kelly cannot forget the day a gypsy read her palm announcing to all that she would bring trouble to those around her. Afterward, trouble does follow her, until she takes the necessary steps...


Keeping Secrets

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

It's the autumn of 1863, and as the Civil War rages, a stranger named Violet seeks refuge with the Kelly family. Peg Kelly, 11, is thrilled—Violet treats her like an adult, not a child. Violet...

Land of Dreams

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Swedish immigrant Kristin Swensen lives on a farm in Minnesota. She hoped for a new life in America, but she realizes that her parents are clinging as closely as possible to the life they knew in Sweden....

Land of Hope

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

The family of Rebekah Levinsky emigrates from Russia and settles in New York City, hoping their dreams will come true. But instead of finding streets paved with gold, they find they must work seven days...


Land of Promise

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Irish immigrant Rose Carney has a difficult life in Chicago. She’s working to help pay for her mother’s and sisters’ passages, dealing with her father’s drinking problem, and worrying...

Laugh Till You Cry

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD Cody doesn’t like Texas. He and his mom were only supposed to spend the summer there, helping out his grandmother. But Cody’s grandmother is sick and needs them to stay. Now he’s the new...

Lucy's Wish

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Ten-year-old Lucy Griggs's mother has just died, leaving Lucy orphaned and living on the streets of 1866 New York City. Then Lucy hears about the Children's Aid Society, a group that sends orphans out West to new homes....


Murdered, My Sweet

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Jenny Jakes and her mother, a famous mystery writer, travel to San Antonio to see their cousin, Arnold Harmony, who's made his fortune in the chocolate business. Harmony, an eccentric millionaire, wants his will read...

Nightmare

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Emily has never fit in her overachieving family. Instead of getting straight As, she sits in the back row and hides behind her hair. As a result, her parents have enrolled her at Camp Excel—an academic camp for underachievers—for...

Nobody's There

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

A game of private detective turns deadly for an unlikely sleuth combo.

How did Abbie Thompson end up a sidekick to Edna Merkel, Senior Citizen Pseudo-Sleuth? It all started when Abbie was so furious at...


Playing for Keeps

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Rosie can’t believe her good luck. Her grandmother, Glory, needs a last-minute roommate for a cruise to the Caribbean. Glory doesn’t really need a companion–she’s eager for Rosie to meet her...

Search for the Shadowman

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Twelve-year-old Andy Bonner isn't thrilled with his teacher's assignment to explore family history. When he starts asking questions about his ancestors, he is startled to discover a black sheep in the...

Secret, Silent Screams

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Is Barry's death the latest tragedy in a string of suicides at Farrington Park High School? Or is it murder? Marti is sure her friend Barry didn't take his own life, but no one will believe her except Police Officer...


Shadowmaker

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

When Katie Gillian and her mother move from Houston to a small Texas town, they never imagine that violence and intrigue will interrrupt thier six-month stay.
Could the two bodies found have anything...

Spirit Seeker

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Holly Campbell's life has suddenly become a newspaper-headline nightmare. Her friend Cody's parents have just been found murdered, and Cody is the prime suspect. Even Holly's father, the police detective...

The Dark and Deadly Pool

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Liz enjoys her summer pool job at the glamorous Ridley Hotel.  Until the night, a dark and lonely night, a ghasty shadow surges up from the pool.  A face -- eyes wide, mouth gaping -- stares at Liz.  A...


The Haunting

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Fifteen-year-old Lia comes from a long line of courageous women, dating back to a Civil War survivor who single-handedly saved her Louisiana plantation house, Graymoss, from destruction. But Graymoss is haunted by a terrible...

The Making of a Writer

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Many of Joan Lowery Nixon’s readers have written to her to ask how they, too, can become published writers someday. This memoir, including anecdotes and advice, is her answer to them. From her first publication...

The Name of the Game Was Murder

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Novelist Augustus Trevor has written a manuscript that reveals the darkest secrets of his guests. Whoever can solve Trevor's clues can have his story removed from the book. But when Trevor is bludgeoned...


The Other Side of Dark

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Stacy wakes up in a room that's not hers, in a  body she doesn't recognize, to discover she's been  in a coma for four years. Her mother is  dead--murdered--and Stacy, recovering from a gunshot wound,...

The Specter

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Seventeen-year-old Dina is fighting cancer and is  angry at the whole world. But when Julie, a  nine-year-old survivor of a car accident, becomes Dina's  roommate at the hospital,...

The Stalker

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

When Jennifer Lee Wilcox returns home from the  beach, she finds that Stella Trax, her best friend's  mother, has just been murdered. The police think  Stella's daughter Bobbie did...


The Trap

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Julie resents being sent to spend the summer with her great aunt and uncle on their ranch in Texas, Rancho del Oro. Her swim team needs her and she’ll be away for the whole summer season. But her family
is...

The Weekend Was Murder

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

From Joan Lowery Nixon, four-time Edgar Allen Poe Best Young Adult Mystery Award winner and author of the Orphan Train historical fiction series, comes The Weekend was Murder!
   Mary Elizabeth can't wait for the weekend to begin...

Two Mysteries

By: Joan Lowery Nixon
with an introduction by: Mary Higgins Clark

Two of Joan Lowery Nixon's Edgar Award winners in one volume!

The Other Side of Dark:
Stacy wakes up in a room that’s not hers, in a body she doesn’t recognize, to discover she’s been in a coma for four years....



Whispers from the Dead

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Only Sarah senses the horror.



The minute she steps through the doorway of her family's new home, Sarah feels a smothering cold mist, and hears the echo of a scream and a heartbreaking whisper in Spanish,...



Who Are You?

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

From one of the foremost mystery writers for young adults comes a gripping double mystery about a high school student who finds out that a stranger has kept a secret file on her entire life.

Kristi Evans...

Ellis Island: Three Novels

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Moving and inspiring stories of the immigrant experience are offered up in this eOmni edition comprised of three novels from Joan Lowery Nixon’s historical fiction series, Ellis Island. Each story features a unique...