Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Middle School

Elise Broach

Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children, ranging from board books and picture books to young adult novels. Her middle-grade mystery, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award of the Association of Booksellers for Children, and her picture book When Dinosaurs Came with Everything was named Time Magazine’s #1 Children’s Book of the Year. Elise lives in the woods of Connecticut with her family and one much-loved, badly behaved dog. Her books have appeared on more than a dozen state reading lists, and she loves talking to school children about the writing process, story structure, and how to write mysteries.

Elise’s school visits consist of 50-minute presentations tailored to the age and reading interests of the audience. For grades K-2, she gives a presentation called “From Idea to Story,” which focuses on the path from initial inspiration to finished book, using one or two of her picture books as examples. This presentation covers where we get our ideas, creating memorable characters, the key parts of a story, the illustration process, and the importance of revision. For grades 3-5 and 6-8, Elise gives a presentation on mystery-writing that focuses on the elements of a good mystery, building suspense, the value of research, and the revision process. This presentation can be tailored to a particular book – Masterpiece, Shakespeare’s Secret, the Superstition Mountain trilogy, or The Wolf Keepers – if large numbers of students have read a single title.

Elise also offers writing workshops focusing on mystery and suspense, and special presentations designed for schools participating in a One School, One Book program using Masterpiece (and its companion series for younger grades, The Masterpiece Adventures). For more information on Elise’s school programs, please see:

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

Ying Compestine

Award-winning author of over twenty books, Ying Compestine is a sought-after inspirational speaker who has visited schools all over the world. Her keen interest in cuisine has led her to weave food into her writing — from cookbooks, novels, to picture books for young readers. Schools often invite her to present from primary, upper elementary students, to teachers and parents. Besides assemblies, Ying also offers a week-long Writer-in-Residence program, writing workshops, as well as hands-on cooking demonstrations on healthy eating and cooking.

Her highly acclaimed novel about her life growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, has received over 33 national awards and has been selected as required reading in schools around the world. Several of her works are currently being optioned for film adaptations, television series, and video games.


For Younger Grades will highlight:

  • Her life as a writer growing up in China, emphasizing the rich culture and delicious food that are main themes in her books
  • The inspiration of behind writing her picture books
  • One of the short cooking videos of her preparing the recipes from The Runaway Rice Cake or Boy Dumplings

For Older Grades will highlight:

  • Her journey writing her novel Revolution is Not a Dinner Party, based on her life growing up in China
  • The process of writing a story: developing ideas, researching, writing, and revising
  • The importance of rewriting, with examples of her revision process from A Banquet for Hungry Ghost
  • The bittersweet experience of co-authoring Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier with her high-school son, as well as their research and writing process.

Here are some photos of her recent school visits.

Here are some photos and a video of her cooking the recipes from her books with students after reading their favorite stories.

Here are some of Ying’s cooking videos

Watch how to make dumplings Recipe from her picture book Boy Dumplings.

Watch how to make Rice cakes Recipe from her picture book Runaway Rice cake



New picture book The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes, January 9th 2018

Ying’s bilingual picture book, Boy Dumplings is being developed into a TV series

Ying’s award winning novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, is being adapted into a feature film

Ying’s MG Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier is also optioned by a studio to be adapted into an animated film

What people say about Ying’s visits

“Students from kindergarten to fifth grade enjoyed presentations that enriched their writing skills and understanding of other cultures. Chopsticks-using contests and videos made Ms. Compestine’s words even more memorable!”

– Joanne Endo, Teacher, Baker Elementary School

“Ms. Compestine was a wonderful speaker and enthralled everyone from kindergarten through 8th grade.  Her personal stories are woven with her books in an entertaining and thoughtful way. The kids continue to talk about her visit.”

— David Giff, Middle School Librarian, HPA, Hawaii

“Ying took German Swiss International School (Primary) by storm.  Everything was well prepared and she left us wanting more. We definitely want her back and wait for her next book.”

– Megan Lindsay, Teacher-Librarian, German Swiss International School

“Ying Compestine just completed a highly successful visit to our Middle School Division at Singapore American School. She had engaging conversations with students and teachers throughout her stay and made separate presentations to our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. We would love to have Ying back to SAS in the future for a longer stay. ”

Ron Starker, SAS Librarian, Singapore American School

“The students were inspired by your life story and how it influenced your writing.  Teachers were pleased with your many writing tips for the students, especially the photos of the pages of rewrites!  You artfully modified your presentation to fit the audience grade level.  We hope that you will come to our school again.”

— Linda Reser, Librarian, ‘Iolani School, Hawaii

For information on Ms. Compestine’s books and presentations, visit

Why I Wrote Revolution– an interview with the Children’s Book Council



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

Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville has published nearly 100 books, and won children’s choice awards in over a dozen states. He is also an acclaimed speaker who has presented in schools on five continents and been commissioned four times by the Syracuse Symphony to create original stories to perform with the orchestra. Bruce’s basic presentation opens with Bruce storytelling the first two chapters of his book The Monster’s Ring. He then tells the story-behind-the-story of how the book was written and revised, using an engaging mix of comedy, motivation, and serious writing instruction. The hour long session includes the famous “puddle story,” which has inspired writers from third grade through working professionals. For audiences below third grade Bruce offers a shorter presentation about the creation of his first picture book, The Foolish Giant. He can also provide writing workshops and small group instruction. You can find him on the web at

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

Jack Gantos

author-portrait-1JACK GANTOS has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, the 2012 Newbery Award Winner, and the Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Best Historic Fiction.

2017 brings Mr. Gantos’s highly anticipated newest work, Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories.

Learn more at

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

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

More information on Storykeepers can be found at

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

Kate Klise

Kate Klise wrote her first book when she was ten years old so she speaks with a certain authority when she encourages children to begin their writing careers now. With thirty books to her credit (picture books, early readers, middle grade novels, and one YA title), Kate relates well to students of all ages. When working with early readers (grades K-2, 30 minutes), Kate offers gentle advice about writing stories and invites students to create an original story on the spot. When presenting to older students (grades 3–6, 50 minutes), Kate focuses on the writing process: where she gets her ideas, how she writes her rough drafts, why the art of rewriting is so critical, and—yes!—how she comes up with all those punny names in the Regarding and 43 Old Cemetery Road series. In addition, Kate explains the classic elements of storytelling, including the importance of sending characters on journeys. In addition to large-group presentations, Kate also offers fiction and non-fiction writing workshops for smaller groups (30 students or less, 50 minutes). As a 15-year veteran for People magazine, Kate enjoys sharing her tips and tricks for writing on deadline. Over the years she’s taught countless students how to write colorful, compelling, and often hilarious People magazine-style stories about themselves and others.

Kate can be found on the web at  and

To watch an interview of Kate:, go to

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

Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman is the author of more than ninetyty books for kids and teens, most recently RESTART, SLACKER, and the MASTERMINDS trilogy”. 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

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

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

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

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