Behrman, Carol H(elen) 1925-

views updated

BEHRMAN, Carol H(elen) 1925-

PERSONAL: Born August 24, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Louis (a postal worker) and Sylvia (Leventhal) Bostwick; married Edward Behrman (an accountant), January 22, 1949; children: Bonnie, Joseph, Linda. Education: City College (now City College of the City University of New York), B.S.Ed. (cum laude), 1947; graduate study at Columbia University.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lerner Publishing, 1251 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55401.

CAREER: Writer. Teacher of business education in New York, NY, public schools, 1949-54; freelance writer, 1954-70; teacher of adult secretarial studies in public schools in Fair Lawn, NJ, and River Edge, NJ, 1970-73; Glen Ridge Middle School, Glen Ridge, NJ, teacher of typing and language arts, 1973-87. Conducted writing workshops at New York University, Seton Hall University, and at writers' conferences, including Cape Cod Writers Conference, New Jersey Writers Conference, and Chautauqua Writers Center.

MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, New Jersey Education Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: New Jersey Institute of Technology award, 1988, for Wanted: One New Dad.



There's Only One You, Southern Publishing (Nashville, TN), 1973.

Catch a Dancing Star, Dillon (Minneapolis, MN), 1975.

Become Your Own Ideal, Southern Publishing (Nashville, TN), 1980.

The Remarkable Writing Machine, Messner (New York, NY), 1981.

California Summer, Weekly Reader (Columbus, OH), 1982.

Stranger in My Heart, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1982.

The Wrong Kind, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1983.

Old Enough to Dream, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1984.

Miss Dr. Lucy, Review & Herald (Washington, DC), 1984.

Ghost in the Garden, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1984.

The Christmas Orphan, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1984.

Friendship Blues, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1985.

Erica for President, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1986.

Wendy's Choice, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1986.

Wanted: One New Dad, Weekly Reader (Middletown, CT), 1988.

Roberto Clemente, Quercus (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1990.

Hooked on Writing: Writing Process Activities Grades 4-8, Center for Applied Research in Education (West Nyack, NY), 1990.

Fiddler to the World: The Inspiring Life of Itzhak Perlman, Shoe Tree Press (White Hall, VA), 1992.

The Lancaster Witch, Willowisp (St. Petersburg, FL), 1993.

The Ghost in the Computer, Willowisp (St. Petersburg, FL), 1994.

Programmed for Terror, Willowisp (St. Petersburg, FL), 1994.

Write! Write! Write! Ready-to-Use Writing Process Activities for Grades 4-8, Center for Applied Research in Education (West Nyack, NY), 1995.

Writing Activities for Every Month of the School Year: Ready-to-Use Writing Process Activities for Grades 4-8, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 1997.

The Ding Dong Clock, illustrated by Hideko Takahashi, Holt (New York, NY), 1999.

Writing Skills Problem Solver: 101 Ready-to-Use Writing Process Activities for Correcting the Most Common Errors, Center for Applied Research in Education (West Nyack, NY), 2000.

Ready-to-Use Writing Proficiency Lessons and Activities: Fourth Grade Level, Center for Applied Research in Education (Paramus, NJ), 2002.

Ready-to-Use Writing Proficiency Lessons and Activities: Eighth-Grade Level, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2003.

The Indian Wars, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.


Andrew Jackson, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

John Adams, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Thomas Jefferson, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Herbert C. Hoover, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

James Madison, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

John F. Kennedy, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Ulysses S. Grant, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Contributor to professional, poetry, and children's magazines.

SIDELIGHTS: Children's author Carol H. Behrman has created a wide variety of books, from rhyming picture books to biographies and resource books for elementary-school writing teachers. Her nonfiction works include The Remarkable Writing Machine, a history of the typewriter from its invention in the early eighteenth century to its introduction into wide usage in business settings by the early twentieth century. Behrman describes the varieties of the modern machine, its increased sophistication, and the role it played in introducing many women into the business world. For its "terse" writing and "fascinating" topic, Connie Tyrrell recommended the book "for history buffs as well as budding inventors," in her review in School Library Journal.

Behrman has written several biographies for young adults, including Fiddler to the World: The Inspiring Life of Itzhak Perlman. Perlman's family were early settlers to the newly formed Israel after World War II, and at the age of four, young Itzhak fell ill with polio, which left him permanently paralyzed below the waist. The young boy, who first asked for a violin at the age of three, was playing on the Ed Sullivan Show by the age of twelve, and has been considered a world-class classical violinist throughout his adult life. Behrman's biography stresses the obstacles Perlman overcame in order to achieve the level of success he has, but the narrative is also "peppered with quotes that reveal Perlman's wit and good humor," according to Ellen Mandel who reviewed Fiddler to the World in Booklist. The author places Perlman's life in historical context by providing background information on the settling of Israel after World War II and the 1949 polio epidemic there, the history of violin-making, and the role of the Ed Sullivan Show in early television.

Behrman is also the author of a rhyming picture book that teaches young children how to tell time. In The Ding Dong Clock, a grandfather clock tolls the hours between twelve in the morning and twelve noon, revealing the activity in the house during each hour. With the family asleep for much of these hours, the author focuses on the moonrise, a cat waking and stretching, a couple of mice cavorting, then finally the milkman delivering milk at five in the morning, followed shortly by the family waking up and beginning their day. A clock on the cover may be used by young listeners for practicing the skill of telling time.

In 2003, Behrman began contributing to the "Presidential Leaders" series. Written by Behrman and other biographers for young readers, the series will eventually include biographies on all forty-three presidents, giving readers a context for understanding the life of the president by also explaining what was going on in the world when that president was alive.

Behrman once told CA: "I seem to be able, when writing, to reach into my subconscious, make contact with the eleven- or twelve-year-old me and look out at the world through her mind and her soul. It's a mysterious process that I don't understand, but it works."



Booklist, May 15, 1992, Ellen Mandel, review of Fiddler to the World: The Inspiring Life of Itzhak Perlman, p. 1674.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1981, review of The Remarkable Writing Machine, p. 22.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 1999, review of The Ding Dong Clock, p. 143.

Kliatt, September, 1992, Elaine R. Goldberg, review of Fiddler to the World, p. 27.

School Library Journal, December, 1981, Connie Tyrrell, review of The Remarkable Writing Machine, p. 60; June, 1999, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of The Ding Dong Clock, p. 91; January, 2003, Kristen Oravec, review of Andrew Jackson, p. 147.*

About this article

Behrman, Carol H(elen) 1925-

Updated About content Print Article