Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!

 

Nonfiction

Phil Bildner

Phil Bildner is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. He is the author of many children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, the Texas Bluebonnet Award winning Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Night at the Stadium and The Unforgettable Season. He is also the author of A Whole New Ballgame, Rookie of the Year, and Tournament of Champions, the first three books in the critically acclaimed middle grade Rip & Red series, and along with Loren Long, the co-creator of the middle grade serial, Sluggers.

Phil grew up in Jericho, New York, a Long Island suburb of New York City. He studied political science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and then attended law school at New York University School of Law. After passing the bar in New York and New Jersey, Phil landed a job as an associate at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, but he quickly realized the legal profession wasn’t his true passion. He always loved teaching and working with kids, so he went back to school and earned a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Long Island University.

For eleven years, Phil taught in the New York City Public Schools. Teaching fifth and sixth grade in the Tremont section of the Bronx, his classroom often lacked basic supplies. As a result, he built an innovative ELA curriculum around song lyrics and music. Dave Matthews, Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Lauryn Hill, and Wyclef Jean all visited his classroom. Teaching middle school English and American History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Phil continued to integrate music and the arts into his curriculum, working with the Lincoln Center Institute, Broadway shows (Wicked, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Off-Broadway shows (Def Poetry Jam, De la Guarda).

After leaving the classroom to write full time, Phil began chaperoning student-volunteer trips to New Orleans to help in the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. He founded The NOLA Tree, a non-profit youth service organization and served as the Executive Director.

These days, Phil lives in Newburgh, New York with his husband in a two hundred year old farmhouse. Most of the time, you’ll find him out in the yard playing with his dog named Kat or writing on the back porch (aka, his office) overlooking the Hudson River.

 

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction , Nonfiction
 

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

Natalie’s books are based on her childhood growing up on a Vermont dairy farm, and her true family stories, and Natalie’s school presentations are all about family stories and encouraging students to explore the stories in their own families. Natalie shows how she writes about her own family (/The Canada Geese Quilt/, /The Bear That Heard Crying/, /Wilderness Cat/, /From Dawn Til Dusk /), and discusses various ways of uncovering family stories and how students can use those stories in their own writing. Natalie also conducts writing workshops, and since 2012 has been involved with her Storykeepers residency program and she is eager to bring it to your school. Storykeepers teaches students how to do historical research based on their family stories. Units include genealogy and family trees; photography; primary/secondary sources; records at the Town Clerk’s; artifacts; census records; and other online research. Students choose an ancestor, or local historical person, to research, using at least three tools of research, and create a culminating activity. Natalie offers 3-8 day Residency programs with Storykeepers.

You can read more about Natalie at www.Kinsey-Warnock.com

More information on Storykeepers can be found at www.storykeepersinourschools.com

Praise for Storykeepers:

The second graders at PQ received the gift of Natalie’s Storykeepers Workshop this past March. Natalie did an amazing job of presenting the information in a way that not only held the children’s attention, but truly sparked their interest. After the first day working with Natalie, the children came in with artifacts, family stories and an unquenchable desire to research their family history. We saw reluctant readers and writers eager to explore and share their stories through writing about the information they had found online. It was truly inspiring! We, as teachers, even began researching our own families and sharing our stories. In my twenty years of teaching, I have never seen one unit capture the interest and motivate children as much as Natalie’s Storykeepers Workshop. It is truly an authentic and valuable workshop that helps inspire all involved to learn about and share their families’ history and stories through research and writing. It was also a wonderful way for families to reconnect with one another by telling their family stories and sharing their history. Beth Savarese, PQ School Teacher

I have been a member of the PARP(Parents as Reading Partners) Committee for the past 8 years. The StoryKeepers Program with Natalie Kinsey-Warnock was the best writing workshop program that I have seen offered through our PARP program. This 3 day program(modified from her 10 day Vermont based program) was piloted for 2nd and 4th grade students, and actively engaged all students on an age appropriate level. Natalie’s passion for genealogy and her depth of knowledge inspired students, staff and ultimately parents. Students were empowered to engage in conversations with family members, research primary and secondary documents and explore their family history to tell their unique story. Students felt confident to tackle the topic of genealogy because of Natalie’s teaching skills. Students left each session motivated and were provided with appropriate resources to aid their research. This program is a wonderful resource to expose children to aspects of research, historical and cultural history, and writing in a systematic yet exciting way. Many families provided feedback on the joy of discovering and/or rediscovering their family history with their children. This program was so well received we’re considering offering this earlier in the school year to set the stage for research and writing and also include expansion to other grades. This program was a gift to all! Veronica Smith—PQ school, Co-Chair of the PARP Committee, K-5 Elementary School, Westchester County, NY

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

Peter Lourie

Peter takes students on adventures around the world and shows them the passion that lies at the heart of travel and writing.  In this lively multimedia adventure presentation he will take children into cloud-forested jungles to look for Inca treasure, up Mayan and Aztec temple walls, into the Arctic world of Eskimos and polar bears, out to prehistoric early human excavations in East Africa, down historic rivers and waterways, and deep into the history and foreign cultures studied in elementary and middle school.  His Adventure Assembly helps children understand the process of a writer – researching topics, collecting journals, and perfecting the writer’s craft.  Optional follow-up writing workshops and peer critique residencies help teachers and students bring adventure to the page as they perfect their writing skills.

Learn more about Peter and view photographs from his travels at www.peterlourie.com.

To read an article in Edutopia about Peter’s school programs, visit

http://www.edutopia.org/storytelling-adventure-peter-lourie

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

Meghan McCarthy

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Publishers Weekly said “McCarthy’s humor is right on target for mischievous younger readers.” Her work has also been called “bold,” “whimsical,” “wacky,” and “terribly amusing.” Her nonfiction has been called “light hearted but well researched” and “action
packed.”

For more information than you’d ever want to know about Meghan and her books, go to www.meghan-mccarthy.com & www.aliensarecoming.com. Once you enter you’ll have a hard time leaving! Lots of free stuff! Fun for the parents! Fun for the kids! Fun for everyone!

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction , non-fiction , Nonfiction
 

Marc Tyler Nobleman

 

“In 30 years of hosting best-selling authors, Marc’s presentation was the best I have ever witnessed. Judging from the student response, he transformed what it means to be a writer.”
—Karen Palko, middle school teacher, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman (which changed history, inspiring both the critically acclaimed documentary Batman & Bill and a TED talk), Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (which made the front page of USA Today), Brave Like My Brother, and The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra; upcoming titles include Fairy Spell and Thirty Minutes Over Oregon. Marc has been invited to speak to audiences of all kinds/sizes/ages at schools, libraries, companies (including Google), and conferences from Thailand to Tanzania. He blogs about adventures in publishing at Noblemania. Twitter: @MarcTNobleman.

“I’ve never seen an author have such an impact as did Marc. And it’s all the more surprising because he concentrated on research and the practice of writing. My students were enthralled. In a grocery store, a colleague overheard a 4th grader heatedly discussing the presentation with his father.”
—Lisa Casey, library media specialist, Jamestown School District, RI

“Wow—incredible! An inspiration—absolutely gripping story everyone should hear.”
—attendee, Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival, Redlands, CA

 

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

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Andrea’s books include the novel Bird In a Box, hailed by Kirkus in a starred review as “artfully orchestrated. . . with grace, restraint, and a wealth of historical detail.” She is also the author of the forthcoming novel With the Might of Angels, a book in Scholastic’s Dear America series. Her picture book include: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, a Parenting Publication Gold Medal winner and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award, Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, a 2010 Jane Addams Honor Book and School Library Journal
“Best Book of the Year”; the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, which also won the Carter G. Woodson Award for historical works for young people; Duke Ellington, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation, a featured selection on Oprah and Friends radio.
Andrea was named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, a publication for Black professionals. And, she was among “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” featured in Children’s Health Magazine.
Andrea lives in New York City with her husband, award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two children.  The Pinkneys can present together or separately. They are well-versed in serving children of many ages and developmental stages, including those who have learning disabilities.

Andrea’s presentation is very interactive and fun for students and teachers, children and adults. It involves a power point, audience participation, show-and-tell, and lots of feedback from participants. She also reads from her books. Presentations are tailored for each audience. She also delivers keynote addresses at universities and colleges, publishing workshops, and curriculum training.

 

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

Doreen Rappaport

WRITE IT! READ IT! REVISE IT!  I DO IT, AND YOU CAN DO IT, TOO!

Doreen specializes in multicultural history and stories. Librarians have praised her fifty non-fiction and historical fiction books for their meticulous research and varied literary styles. Younger readers have told her she helped “hook them” into reading history.  Doreen’s books have their share of awards, and she received a lifetime achievement award for the writing of non-fiction from the Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild.

How do authors get ideas?  Translate them into fiction or nonfiction? Plow through stumbling blocks? Deal with criticism? Using examples from among my fifty books, Doreen opens the exciting process of writing, research, thinking and revision to children.  She empowers their writing by showing them how she discovers her voice. By sharing her writing process, Ms. Rappaport encourages theirs.

Well versed in the rhythms of children and the curriculum from seven years of teaching, Doreen hand tailors programs to the needs of individual schools. Her programs include writing workshops, women’s history, African-American history, and the classic author appearance. Her teacher guides on her website help prepare students prepare for her visit.

For more on Ms. Rappaport and her books, visit www.doreenrappaport.com

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

Melissa Sweet

As author and illustrator, Melissa Sweet’s presentations begin with the question:  Which comes first, words or images? Melissa shows materials used in making a picture book, from sketches to the art and the unbound pages of the final book. She talks about where ideas come from and the process of drawing, revising and editing. For each presentation, Melissa has a slide show with images of her studio, and using one title appropriate for the age group, Melissa shows slides of the making of that title. Some of the titles include: the Sleepy Little Alphabet, Carmine: a Little More Red, and the Caldecott Honor book, A River of Words. Next, she provides a small drawing booklet for each student and draws with the class showing simple cartooning techniques. The presentation concludes with questions and answers and a chance talk about upcoming books and projects.

To find out more about Melissa’s work, go to www.melissasweet.net

 
Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
 
Genres: Fiction , Nonfiction