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Karen Petit

The Shandon Ivy League Mystery Series; A Paw on my Heart

PRESENTING:Kids are the Best Critics: The Shandon Ivy League Mystery Series and More: Saturday, 2/28, 3:20 p.m. - 4:10 p.m., Lexington B


Karen Petit is the creator of the “Shandon’s Ivy League” Mystery Series, which follows the adventures of a group of pets who solve crimes and mysteries. The pets are led by Ivy, America’s No. 1 canine sleuth.

Petit is the author of The Mystery of the Screecher Creature, The Mystery at Foggy Bottom Lake, and The Mystery of the Stolen Stallion, which is a finalist for the 2008 Children’s Book Award by the Dog Writers Association of America.

Book 4, The Mystery of the Circus Curse, will be published in February 2009.

Petit’s story of love, loss, resilience and the healing power of pets is the subject of the 2008 book, A Paw on My Heart … A Tail of Divine and Canine Inspiration, for adults.

The mysteries and A Paw on My Heart are published by Red Letter Press.

A native of Durham, N.C., Petit grew up in Greenwood, S.C., and earned a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of South Carolina. She was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for 10 years before returning to her alma mater where she is a public relations coordinator in USC’s Office of Media Relations.

In 2003, Petit adopted Ivy, a vivacious Lab-Chow mix, who inspired the “Shandon’s Ivy League” series, which takes its name from Ivy herself and the popular city neighborhood Shandon, where the author lives in Columbia.

In 2004, Petit began a collaboration at Hand Middle School, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, to test her books with a creative writing class. More than 200 middle school students have participated in the program since its inception.

Petit has been a guest author at EdVenture Children’s Museum, the Aiken Children’s Book Festival, the Savannah Children’s Book Festival, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., Furman University, the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina. She has traveled throughout the United States to speak to elementary and middle schools to discuss writing and her life as an author.

Petit has been the subject of newspaper, television and radio interviews, including the popular “Speaking of Schools” on S.C. Educational Radio. Her partnership at Hand was the subject of an article in the Winter 2007/2008 Issue of Sandlapper magazine, and she has been interviewed by SCETV for the S.C. Literary Tour series.

Petit is a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and Sisters in Crime. She recently was selected for membership in the Dog Writers Association of America.

After Ivy’s death in May 2008, Petit adopted Louise, a sweet, but mischievous Standard Poodle.

GENRE(S): Fiction Nonfiction Children's Memoir