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Carman, Patrick 1966-

Carman, Patrick 1966-

Personal

Born February 27, 1966; son of an entrepreneur; married; wife's name Karen; children: Reece, Sierra (daughters). Education: Willamette University, B.S. (econom- ics). Hobbies and other interests: Mountain biking, fly fishing, crossword puzzles, basketball, reading, spending time with family.

Addresses

Home—WA. E-mail—fanmail@patrickcarman.com.

Career

Writer and entrepreneur. Founded four businesses, including an advertising agency. Volunteer on behalf of literacy campaigns.

Awards, Honors

iParenting Media Award, and Cochecho Readers Award, both 2005, National Lamplighter Award, 2007, and numerous state book award nominations, all for The Dark Hills Divide; National Lamplighter Award, 2008, for Beyond the Valley of Thorns; E.B. White Award nomination, 2008, and Truman Award nomination, 2009, both for Atherton; Kids Wings Award, Texas Bluebonnet Award shortlist, Oregon Battle of the Books listee, and E.B. White Award nomination, all 2008, all for House of Power.

Writings

Skeleton Creek, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2009.

"LAND OF ELYON" SERIES

The Dark Hills Divide, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Beyond the Valley of Thorns, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Tenth City, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Into the Mist (prequel), Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Stargazer, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2008.

"ATHERTON" SERIES

The House of Power, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

Rivers of Fire, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2008.

"ELLIOT'S PARK" SERIES

Saving Mister Nibbles, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2008.

Haunted Hike, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2008.

The Walnut Cup, illustrated by Steve James, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2009.

Author's novels have been translated into several languages.

Adaptations

Many of Carman's novels have been adapted as audiobooks by Brilliance Audio.

Sidelights

Patrick Carman is the author of several fantasy novels for middle-grade readers, including the "Land of Elyon" stories and the "Atherton" series, which mixes fantasy with ecological science fiction. His "Elliot's Park" books, which focus on a squirrel and his friends, are geared for younger readers and feature illustrations by Steve James, while the standalone novel Skeleton Creek attracts reluctant readers through its adventurous, fast-moving storyline and "multi-platform" format in which readers are guided to a special Web site that fleshes out the story.

A second-generation entrepreneur, Carman successfully launched four businesses—including an advertising agency—prior to turning to children's book writing full-time. Deciding that it was time to indulge his creative side, Carman penned a fantasy novel for young readers that was inspired by his daughters Reece and Sierra. Completing the book in nine months, he decided to publish the novel himself after failing to find a publisher.

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The Dark Hills Divide became a local hit in western Washington, where Carman lives, and a representative from Scholastic publishers eventually discovered the book at a well-known Seattle book store. Soon, Carman had a contract for several more novels in his "Land of Elyon" series.

Twelve-year-old Alexa Daley, the heroine of The Dark Hills Divide, has grown up in a city surrounded by high walls, and she feels increasingly claustrophobic and longing for escape. One day she finds a tunnel that allows her to leave the shelter of her protected city and venture out into the unknown, where she comes across a magical stone that enables her to communicate with animals. From these creatures Alexa learns that her home fortress has actually been penetrated by a spy who seeks to destroy the city. It is up to her to return to the city to identify this spy and eradicate the opposed threat to her friends and loved ones.

Calling The Dark Hills Divide an "entertaining, accessible fantasy" that features a "highly cinematic" text, School Library Journal contributor Beth Wright noted that Carman's inclusion of "double identities, mysterious codes, and Alexa's magical gift of speaking with animals" creates an entertaining plot. "The most endearing parts of the story are the relationships Alexa forms with animals who help her," commented Claire Rosser in a Kliatt review of the novel, while a Kirkus reviewer praised Alexa as a girl who, "with her brains courage and grit, proves to be an appealingly strong female hero." "Readers of all ages will gain much from this tale," concluded a Publishers Weekly contributor, praising Carman for creating a "plucky, convincingly curious heroine" who "follows her passion" despite her fears.

The "Land of Elyon" series continues in Beyond the Valley of Thorns, the first of several sequels following Alexa's adventures. Joined by several unusual friends, including a squirrel, a wolf, a hawk, a giant, and a midget named Yipes, the girl hopes to vanquish the evil ogre Abaddon from the land. To do so she must do battle with a swarm of poisonous bats as well as with Abaddon's ogre army. In The Tenth City the origin of Elyon are revealed, Yipes is kidnaped by Grindall, a powerful lord beholden to Abaddon, and the battle with the supernatural ogre and his army continues. In School Library Journal Jessi Platt described Carman's text in Beyond the Valley of Thorns as "poetic, full of childlike wonder, and well written," although the critic cautioned that the vocabulary of the fantasy adventure might be too complex for reluctant readers.

In Into the Mist Carman starts a second series of "Land of Elyon" novels, as Alexa and Yipes join Captain Roland Warvold on a voyage leading to a pivotal face-off against Lord Grindall. On the way, readers as well as Alexa learn the history of their land and the reason for the kingdom's great divide. Abaddon shows his power as a shapechanger in Stargazer, and in his guise as a

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terrifying sea monster the creature follows Alexa and company to a refuge called the Five Stone Pillars. Citing the "nonstop action" of Into the Mist, a Kirkus Reviews writer added that the story propels readers "from crisis to crisis and ends on a classic Carman cliffhanger."

Carman's "Atherton" series draws readers into another fantasy world. In Atherton the richest citizens live in the Highlands while the lower flatlands, known as the Tabletop, serve as home to the peasant classes. Everything changes, however, when an earthquake causes the lands of Atherton to resolve into a level plane, and social and political chaos is the result. In House of Power, twelve-year-old orphaned Edgar goes in search of a secret book said to contain Atherton's secrets, and the boy's quest leads him to discover the land's actual creator and learn the genesis of his world following Earth's ecological meltdown. Edgar's adventures continue in Rivers of Fire, as he and friends Samuel and Isabel attempt to restore water to their parched and ecologically damaged land.

Reviewing the first "Atherton" novel, Booklist contributor Jennifer Mattson predicted that Carman's intended middle-grade readership "will be caught up in the accessible, sf premise, extended with [the author's] evocative illustrations." While admitting that House of Power has a typical science-fiction premise, a Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that Carman's technique of seeding his plot with "frequently surprises," making the dystopian novel "a humdinger of a cliff-hanger [that] will leave even reluctant readers demanding more." Equally "fast-paced and suspenseful," according to another Kirkus Reviews critic, Rivers of Fire continues to draw fans into a saga in which "danger abounds, science seems to have run amok and a neat … ending ties up most of the loose ends."

In an interview for Scholastic.com, Carman reflected on his first novel and why he wrote it. "The walls in the book [The Dark Hills Divide] are very much like the emotional walls that kids build around themselves to cope with all the peer pressure. They feel they have to dress a certain way, to act a certain way, to talk to only certain people, and all of that. That's not what being a kid should have to be about. You should be able to just be yourself and be with the kids you want to be with and dress the way you want to dress and, … have a good experience with school. But so many kids are

afraid. And they lose themselves and they lost the opportunity of meeting the kids they probably should have met—of being the kid they really should have been."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2005, Sally Estes, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 1193; May 15, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of The House of Power, p. 60; May 15, 2008, Jennifer Mattson, review of Rivers of Fire, p. 56; June 1, 2008, Kay Weisman, review of Saving Mister Nibbles, p. 92; December 1, 2008, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Skeleton Creek, p. 52.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January, 2005, Timnah Card, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 202; July-August, 2007, review of The House of Power, p. 455.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2005, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 174; September 1, 2005, review of Beyond the Valley of Thorns, p. 969; May 1, 2007, review of The House of Power; September 1, 2007, review of Into the Mist; March 15, 2008, review of Saving Mister Nibbles!; April 15, 2008, review of Rivers of Fire; December 1, 2008, review of Skeleton Creek.

Kliatt, January, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 6.

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, John F. Baker, "Big Push for Self-published Kids' Author," p. 12; February 21, 2005, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 176; March 12, 2007, review of The House of Power, p. 58; December 15, 2008, review of Skeleton Creek, p. 55.

School Library Journal, April, 2005, Beth Wright, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 129; October, 2005, Jessi Platt, review of Beyond the Valley of Thorns, p. 154; August, 2006, Elizabeth Bird, review of The Tenth City, p. 117.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 19, 2004, Cecelia Goodnow, "For Authors with Drive and a Good Story, Self-Publishing Can Be the Ticket."

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2005, Ann Welton, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 53.

ONLINE

Patrick Carman Home Page,http://www.patrickcarman.com (January 26, 2009).

Scholastic Web site,http://www.scholastic.com/ (January 29, 2009), "Patrick Carman."

Trades-Entertainment Industry Analysis Web site,http://www.the-trades.com/ (December 5, 2004), Howard Price, interview with Carman.

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"Carman, Patrick 1966-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Carman, Patrick 1966-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carman-patrick-1966

"Carman, Patrick 1966-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carman-patrick-1966

Carman, Patrick

Carman, Patrick

Personal

Son of an entrepreneur; married; wife's name Karen; children: Reece, Sierra (daughters). Education: College graduate (economics).

Addresses

Home WA. Agent c/o Author Mail, Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Career

Writer and entrepreneur. Founded four businesses, including an advertising agency.

Writings

Beyond the Valley of Thorns, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Dark Hills Divide, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Adaptations

The Dark Hills Divide was adapted as an audiobook, Brilliance Audio, 2005.

Work in Progress

A third book in the "Land of Elyon" cycle.

Sidelights

Second-generation entrepreneur Patrick Carman successfully launched four businessesincluding an advertising agencyprior to turning to children's book writing full-time. Deciding that it was time to indulge his creative side, Carman penned a fantasy novel for young readers, inspired by his daughters Reece and Sierra. Completing the book in nine months, he decided to publish the novel himself after failing to find a publisher. The Dark Hills Divide became a local hit in western Washington, where Carman lives, and a representative from Scholastic publishers eventually discovered the book at a well-known Seattle book stores. Soon, Carman had a contract for the entire three-volume "Land of Elyon" series.

Twelve-year-old Alexa Daley, the heroine of The Dark Hills Divide, has grown up in a city surrounded by high walls, and she feels increasingly claustrophobic and longing for escape. One day she finds a tunnel that allows her to leave the shelter of her protected city and venture out into the unknown, where she comes across a magical stone that enables her to communicate with animals. From animals Alexa learns that her home fortress has actually been penetrated by a spy who seeks to destroy the city. It is up to her to return to the city to identify this spy and eradicate the opposed threat to her friends and loved ones.

Calling Carman's novel an "entertaining, accessible fantasy" that features a "highly cinematic" text, School Library Journal contributor Beth Wright noted that the author's inclusion of "double identities, mysterious codes, and Alexa's magical gift of speaking with animals" create an entertaining plot. "The most endearing parts of the story are the relationships Alexa forms with animals who help her" commented Claire Rosser in a Kliatt review of the novel, while a Kirkus reviewer praised Carman's heroine as a girl who, "with her brains courage and grit, proves to be an appealingly strong female hero." "Readers of all ages will gain much from this tale," concluded a Publishers Weekly contributor, praising Carman for creating a "plucky, convincingly curious heroine" who "follows her passion" despite her fears.

In an interview on Scholastic.com, Carman explained: "The walls in the book are very much like the emotional walls that kids build around themselves to cope with all the peer pressure. They feel they have to dress a certain way, to act a certain way, to talk to only certain people, and all of that. That's not what being a kid should have to be about. You should be able to just be yourself and be with the kids you want to be with and dress the way you want to dress and, have a good experience with school. But so many kids are afraid. And they lose themselves and they lost the opportunity of meeting the kids they probably should have metof being the kid they really should have been."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2005, Sally Estes, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 1193.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2005, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 174.

Kliatt, January, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 6.

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, John F. Baker, "Big Push for Self-published Kids' Author," p. 12; February 21, 2005, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 176.

School Library Journal, April, 2005, Beth Wright, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 129.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 19, 2004, Cecelia Goodnow, "For Authors with Drive and a Good Story, Self-Publishing Can Be the Ticket."

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2005, Ann Welton, review of The Dark Hills Divide, p. 53.

ONLINE

Scholastic Web site, http://www.scholastic.com/ (May 3, 2005), "Patrick Carman."

Trades-Entertainment Industry Analysis Web site, http://www.the-trades.com/ (December 5, 2004), Howard Price, interview with Carman.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Carman, Patrick." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Carman, Patrick." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carman-patrick

"Carman, Patrick." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carman-patrick