Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!

 

Upper School

Natalie Bober

Natalie Bober is an award-winning author with a strong background in the humanities and eighteenth century British and American history. She believes that biography is the human heart of history. Her biographies describe the milieu from which her subjects sprang, and show how their accomplishments were an outgrowth of the lives they lived. Her books have appeal across a wide spectrum of ages, and have garnered starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. They have been acclaimed in the New York Times Book Review as among the best of their genre being written today. Bober served as a consultant for the PBS television documentary Thomas Jefferson and appeared as a “talking head” throughout the program. She has lectured at conferences and universities across the country and at Oxford University, as well as at the annual lecture series on the Adams Family, the 250th birthday celebration of Thomas Jefferson, and at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, MA. Among her titles are: Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation (ALA Award “Best of the Best”); Countdown to Independence; Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution (Boston Globe/Horn Book Award) and A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost (Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and “Vermont Reads” Book of the Year 2008). She was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame, is a Fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and a member of the board of the Jefferson Legacy Foundation. Over the years Natalie Bober has spoken at countless schools, and continues to enjoy this. She is now looking forward to the publication of a new picture book biography next year.

To learn more about Ms. Bober’s work, visit www.nataliebober.com

 
Grade Levels: Middle School , Upper School
 
Genres: Nonfiction
 

Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman is the author of more than seventy books for kids and teens, most recently Framed and two novels in the multi-author series The 39 Clues. He will talk about his writing process, including brainstorming, character development, dialogue, and his signature styles of humor and adventure, and relate his experiences growing up writing for kids after his seventh grade English assignment became his first published novel.

To read more about Mr. Korman’s books, visit www.GordonKorman.com

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

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 www.donnajonapoli.com

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

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
 

Jan Reynolds

Get ready for a rockin’ adventure with Jan Reynolds. You’ll climb and ski your way around the globe setting world records, live with an indigenous tribe on each continent, and even fly a hot air balloon over Everest. Yup, she did all this, and was even on the U.S. Biathlon Team (combination of cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship). Jan uses her multi-media show/lecture to connect with her audience, then let the discussions begin! Aside from the adventure and exploration in Jan’s show, her main topics are ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, and CULTURAL TOLERANCE (Jan prefers “cultural appreciation” to this currently used term).  Jan’s books are set all around the world, environments are explored: rain forest, arctic, desert, mountains and plains. We also explore cultures, like the Tibetans, Tuareg, Yanamama, Samiis, Aboriginals, Inuit and Mongolians who live in these environments. Jan loves to show that humans and their environments have worked in harmony throughout time, and that we CAN and should continue. She also loves to show, through celebration around the world, that we are all one human family, celebrating life. Jan’s books have won numerous awards, national and international, such as PARENT’S CHOICE, PICK OF THE LIST, NCSS NOTABLE BOOKS FOR SOCIAL STUDIES, and much, much more. Her program can be used to teach how to do research, work with all the geography standards, writing for testing prompts, email, journals, eventually even school and job applications. Jan’s goal is to create students who write without fear!

Learn more www.janreynolds.com

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

Janet Tashjian

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Janet Tashjian has been visiting schools since 1990, giving group presentations for grades 2-12. Most often, Janet comes to schools where the students have read at least one of her novels. She usually does a PowerPoint presentation that covers how she became a writer, the different novels she’s written, how she come up with stories and characters, her writing process, and how she came to love research and revising – really!

Each session is followed by a lively question and answer session where students can ask not only about her books but about how she can help them become better writers. Most schools require two presentations, usually in the morning.

For more on Janet and to download a brochure, visit her website.

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