Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Upper School

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

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

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

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


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

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

Janet Tashjian

Janet Tashjian is the author of many best-selling middle grade series, including My Life as a Book, Einstein The Class Hamster, and Sticker Girl. She has also written YA novels including The Gospel According to Larry series and Fault Line, which are taught in several schools. Janet has been doing author visits for two decades, giving exciting and memorable group presentations on writing and creativity in elementary, middle, and high schools. She has the unique ability to meet children on their level and get them engaged with stories. Key points of her presentations include: how she became a writer, how she comes up with stories and characters, the writing process, how she came to love research and revising – and lots of laughs in between!

Janet often collaborates with her son Jake, who illustrated each book in the My Life As… and Einstein The Class Hamster series. Please specify if you’d like to invite Jake to present as well. Each session is followed by a lively question and answer session where students can ask not only about Janet’s books but about how she can help them become better writers.

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