Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Donna Jo Napoli

Donna Jo Napoli has written books for readers of all ages, including 14 picture books, 34 chapter books and 20 young adult novels. Her writing ranges from contemporary fiction to fantasy to historical novels. She also writes mathematical tales and science tales as well as books geared toward helping Deaf people learn to read. Ms. Napoli’s Stones in Water won the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Breath was named as an honor book. Stones in Water also won the Sydney Taylor Award. Ms. Napoli’s Alligator Bayou was honored as a Parent’s Choice Gold Award book and North and King of Mulberry Street were Silver Award books. In addition to writing for young readers, Ms. Napoli is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at Swarthmore College.

Donna Jo Napoli is happy to make school visits for K-12. Her preference is to give a talk to the entire school at a morning assembly of 45 to 60 minutes. Then she will go from group to group, either talking or doing writing exercises. The groups can be classes (and she puts no limits on the size of the class) or can be groups chosen by the teachers or groups of children who volunteer. The writing exercises vary according to the age of the child. With K-1, for example, she might talk about how to critique a story and tell it cleanly. For 2-3, she might do an exercise on emotions in story-telling that involves using magazines (any magazines you have on hand). For 4-5, she might do an exercise on how to start a story. For 6-7, she could deal with the elements of character, setting, and plot. And for 8-12, she might work on rhythm in dialogue. She also has a workshop on poetry and using the senses that can be done with almost any age.

For more information on Donna Jo’s books and school programs, please visit her website at

Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle School , Upper School
Genres: Fiction