R.L. Stine at Columbine Elementary, May 2019. Photo credit: Boulder Book Store
Luke Flowers at Superior Elementary, May 2019. Photo credit: Tracy Huffman, Teacher Librarian, at Superior Elementary.
Authors Visiting Boulder - Winter 2020
Alice B. McGinty The Girl Who Named Pluto or Pancakes to Parathas FULLY BOOKED
Grades: K - 5
About Girl Who Named Pluto: When Venetia Burney's grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery--a "ninth major planet" that has yet to be named--her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and loves Roman mythology. "It might be called Pluto," she says, thinking of the dark underworld. Grandfather loves the idea and contacts his friend at London's Royal Astronomical Society, who writes to scientists at the Lowell Observatory in Massachusetts, where Pluto was discovered. After a vote, the scientists agree unanimously: Pluto is the perfect name for the dark, cold planet.
About Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast varies from country to country, but it's how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee--with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.
About the Presentations: Alice's presentations are incredibly engaging and often include music! She is comfortable with crowds of all sizes, for both presentations and workshops. Her presentations run about 45 minutes. She will need the ability to run a PowerPoint.
About the Author: An award-winning children's book writer of almost 50 books, Alice grew up reading and writing. In addition to writing children's books, she loves teaching a writing camp for teens called Words on Fire. She is an explorer, dancer (on the ballroom floor, sometimes even on tables!), a biker, a swimmer, a guitar player, and a singer! She lives in Illinois. These presentations will include a $200 speaking fee for the first presentation and $150 for subsequent presentations.
Dashka Slater A Book for Escargot FULLY BOOKED
Grades: K - 2
About the Book: In A Book for Escargot, the standalone sequel to Escargot--written by award-winning author Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson--we follow a funny and charming French snail through a library to find the book of his dreams. But sadly, none of these books is about a daring snail hero who saves the day. What is that you say? Perhaps this is the book about the snail hero? Ooh-la-la!
About the Author: Dashka Slater is the New York Times-bestselling author of The 57 Bus, which also won the Stonewall Book Award and was a YALSA finalist. She has also written many other books, including Escargot, Baby Shoes, and The Antlered Ship. She is also an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, the New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. She lives in California.
Local Authors! Available Year-Round!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about local author visits!
Beth Anderson An Inconvenient Alphabet or Lizzie Demands a Seat! AVAILABLE
About the Author: Beth Anderson, a former English as a Second Language teacher, has always marveled at the power of books. With linguistics and reading degrees, her fascination with language, and a penchant for untold tales, she strives for accidental learning in the midst of a great story. Beth is drawn to stories that open minds, touch hearts, and inspire questions. Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives in Loveland, Colorado.
About the Presentation: Beth prefers smaller groups (~120 or less) rather than whole school assemblies. She uses a Power Point presentation to provide visuals. Presentations can be customized to fit the needs of your students! Here are some of the different formats:
- An interactive reading (15 min) + a short “from idea to book” overview (15 min) + Q&A.
- The Writing Process from Idea to Book: Students come away with an organizer that includes prewriting (author's purpose, point of view, audience, and brainstorming), drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. (3rd grade and up)
- Beth will consider requests on topics related to writing or one of her books, plus Q&A for any age. (a less formal option)
These presentations will include a speaking fee ($200 for first presentation, $100 for each subsequent).
Nina Chapman Micah McKinney and the Boys of Summer AVAILABLE
About the Author: Nina Chapman spends her days teaching middle school, where she has discovered a talent for thriving in the awkward. When she’s not gathering feedback from her student test audience, she’s reading books or playing outside. Her favorite activities include hot-air balloon gazing, barefoot bike riding , and getting lost in the woods. Nina took the scenic route to teaching, first obtaining a bachelor’s degree in creative writing at University of Colorado Denver. A member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she currently resides in the Denver, Colorado, area with her husband, two daughters and pitbull pound puppy.
About the Presentation: A teacher herself, Nina is comfortable in front of groups both large and small. She is even willing to take over a Language Arts teacher's classes for the day and present throughout the day in all of their classes! She will need a computer/laptop with internet access, input/audio/connections, projector, projector screen, and a microphone if more than 30 students are in the audience. Nina has two different presentation options:
- Option #1: The journey of going from a kid who hated school and didn't read to becoming a middle school teacher who became an author.
- Option #2: Connection to class content. Depending on what you are currently working on in your class I can touch on the following topics: Social Emotional Learning, mental health, themes, characterization, plot, connections between a variety of texts, allusion and more.
These presentations may include a speaking fee ($150 for an all-day class take over; a one hour assembly is free).
Melanie Crowder **Multiple Series and Titles** AVAILABLE
Ages: Middle Reader - Teen
About the Author: Melanie Crowder is the acclaimed author of several books for young readers, including Audacity, Three Pennies, An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, A Nearer Moon, and Parched, as well as the new middle grade duology The Lighthouse Between Worlds. Melanie lives under the big blue Colorado sky with her wife, two kids, and one good dog.
Julie Danneberg **multiple fiction and non-fiction titles** AVAILABLE
About her Presentations: Julie's standard presentation is a fun powerpoint that takes listeners through the writing process of getting ideas, prewriting, drafting and revision. She also shares how a story becomes a published book. These presentations last about 45 -50 minutes each and can be done for larger groups of students. Julie can also adjust her presentation to add topics they're learning in class. She is also available for writing workshops with smaller groups of students and can adjust lessons to fit your school's needs.
About the Author: Julie lives in Boulder, Colorado with her incredibly intelligent and handsome husband! (He made her say that). She also has two kids who are all grown up and don’t live at home anymore. She is a third generation Colorado native. Her grandmother was the daughter of a miner and grew up in some of our state’s most famous mining towns. She has lots of hobbies and loves to read, garden, bike, travel, listen to music, and sew. Sometimes, if she's really lucky, she can do more than one hobby at a time, like working on a quilt while flying on an airplane or listening to music while she gardens. She still hasn't figured out how to read while riding her bike, though.
These presentations will include a speaking fee ($600 for a full day of 4 sessions, $400 for a half day).
Lija Fisher The Cryptid Catcher AVAILABLE
About the Book: After Clivo Wren’s archaeologist father dies mysteriously, the newly orphaned thirteen-year-old finds out the truth: his dad was no archaeologist. He was actually a cryptid catcher, known for finding elusive beasts like the bloodsucking chupacabra. His goal: discover the one extraordinary cryptid whose blood grants immortality—before the knowledge falls into the wrong hands.
The mission remains unfinished, and now there’s only one person who can take the renowned cryptid catcher’s place: Clivo. He may not know the first thing about monster hunting, but he’s willing to give it a try—because anything beats staying home with his salsa-crazy aunt and her neurotic cats.
About the Author: Lija Fisher was born in Istanbul, Turkey and raised at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a BFA in Performance Studies and has performed in regional theatres across New York, Florida, Alaska and Colorado. In 2017 she was a Writer in Residence with Aspen Words. Lija has lived in London, LA and NYC but now calls Colorado home. The Cryptid Catcher is her first novel.
Martha Freeman **Multiple Series and Titles** AVAILABLE
About the Author: Martha Freeman was born in Southern California in the days when dinosaurs were still a threat. At least that's what her three grown children will tell you.
After graduating from Stanford University, Martha worked as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, substitute teacher, college lecturer, advertising copywriter and magazine writer before finding her true calling as a writer of children's books. She has since written 23 books for children.
In 1995, Martha's family moved from Sonora, California, to State College, Pennsylvania. Martha's book, The Year My Parents Ruined My Life, is loosely based on this move. In fact, Martha’s books are often inspired by her family.
You can see how hosting many many Thanksgiving dinners for large groups affected her writing if you read her Thanksgivig mystery, Who Stole Grandma's Million-Dollar Pumpkin Pie?, which is part of the Chickadee Court series, featuring Alex, Yasmeen and Luau, the ace detective cat. Pets – especially cats – have always been important to Martha. That's why almost every single one of her books has a cat as a character, and her First Kids mysteries feature a first dog with too much energy, Hooligan.
Martha recently moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she enjoys writing, running, making pies, entertaining her baby granddaughter and hiking.
About the Presentation: Martha likes to talk to kids of all ages, shapes and sizes. Usually, she makes them laugh. Sometimes, this is on purpose. So far, however, she has not burped into a microphone. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
I give a high-energy, low-tech, occasionally uproarious talk that emphasizes the joys of reading, writing and imagination. If the group size permits, we play a game that reinforces classroom lessons on the elements of story. It's especially fun to talk to students who have read my books. Their questions and comments are always interesting and sometimes pointed.
Most of my books are for students in second through sixth grades, but Mrs. Wow Never Wanted a Cow is for younger children, and A Thousand Reasons Never to Kiss a Boy is for middle school and high school. The Year My Parents Ruined My Life seems to work well for many age groups. I am also available to speak to parents, librarians, teachers, and writers.
Group size is flexible. Smaller groups give us more opportunity for interaction, but I have faced down auditoriums filled with eighth graders and lived to tell. Workshops are for 20 or fewer students. These visits will include a speaking fee ($1200 for four sessions; shorter days are negotiable).
Kimberlee Gard The Language is Fun! Series AVAILABLE
Grades pre-K - 2nd
About the book: There’s a new family in town: the Punctuations! When Exclamation Point, Question Mark, Period, and Comma join the letters at school, they form words like Wow! and Why? and Yes. But Comma isn’t sure where he belongs. He just seems to get in the way. Is he really important? Kids, parents, and teachers will enjoy this latest installment in the Language Is Fun series. With colorful illustration and clever wordplay, The Day Punctuation Came to Town is a wonderful introduction to punctuation and the important role it plays in language.
About the author: Kimberlee Gard spent most of her childhood running from books instead of reading them. A learning disorder held her back until one loving teacher taught her the tools to overcome the disorder and showed her the magical world of books. From this came Kimberlee’s aspiration to write books for children that would bring about the same love of reading she once found. Kimberlee was further inspired after watching her own son battle dyslexia and committed herself to work and create stories that would encourage and engage even the most struggling and reluctant reader. Kimberlee lives on a small farm in Colorado with her husband and four sons and a gaggling group of barnyard friends which offer constant inspiration for the stories she writes.
About the presentation: Kimberlee's presentations are fun, engaging, and informative. They are about 40 minutes long and require running a PowerPoint or Google Slides. These visits will include a speaking fee ($400 per visit, plus a travel fee of $.55 per mile for schools outside of Denver. Additional travel costs may incur depending on distance of visit).
Jessica Lanan The Fisherman & the Whale and Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet AVAILABLE
Grades: K-4thAbout the author: Jessica Lanan is an author, illustrator and painter who aims to create visual stories that inspire a love and understanding of the natural world. She believes in the power of illustration to make even the most complex subjects inspiring, accessible and memorable for young readers. Jessica grew up in Longmont, Colorado and spent much of her childhood hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. She graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California with a degree in Fine art before traveling through Asia on a Thomas J. Watson fellowship to study and illustrate folk tales. Today Jessica lives in Boulder, Colorado with her family and three-legged cat.
About the presentation: Jessica's 40 minute long presentation is great for groups of all sizes! She will need a way to play her presentation, either as a PowerPoint file on a flash drive or online using Google Slides. She will need a computer, projector, screen, and a microphone for large spaces. Speakers for sound are helpful but not essential. Jessica has two different presentation options:
- The Fisherman and the Whale - This presentation focuses more on the caring for our environment and how a news story inspired Jessica to help bring awareness to a real environmental problem. No one is too small to make a difference!
- Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet - This presentation covers a bit more about astronomy and explains how illustrations make a complicated STEM topic easier to understand. This book comes with free STEM curriculum activities. Just click here!
These visits will include a speaking fee ( $350 for first presentation, $100 for subsequent presentations. Jessica offers a $50 discount for schools within 20 miles of Boulder. All visits include one bonus 30-minute book signing, lunch with students or other similar event).
Beth McGuinness Where Does Money Grow? AVAILABLE
Grades pre-K - 3rd
About the book: In Where Does Money Grow?, Morgan embarks on a quest to find out about the meaning of money and its value. If money doesn't grow on trees, then where does it grow? The book's young characters try to fish for money in the sea, grow it in the garden, dig for it in a sandbox, and even pan for it in a Colorado river, until they realize that they can't grow or find money--they must earn it!
About the author: Beth is a mother and author passionate about teaching financial literacy to children. She believes that financial literacy should be practical and fun, and developing a solid understanding of money early on can prevent financial stress and future challenges. She grew up in Chicago and now lives in Denver with her husband and daughter, who inspired Where Does Money Grow?.
About the presentation: Beth guides the students through her book and a Q&A session. She has found that a group of up to 25 kids is ideal for an engaging conversation and learning experience. She has a flash drive with her presentation, and prefers to have an overhead projector as well, for reading the book to students. While not required, a $50 speaking fee is appreciated to cover gas, materials, and the like.
Claudia Mills **Multiple Series and Titles** AVAILABLE
About the Author: Claudia Mills was born in New York City. Her mother was an elementary school teacher who loved to write. When Claudia was six years old her mother gave her a blank notebook and told her that this was to be her poetry book. So she began to write poetry. This was the beginning of Claudia's life as a writer. She received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College, her M.A. degree from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University. She also received an M.L.S. degree from the University of Maryland, with a concentration in children's literature. Since 1991 she has taught philosophy, first as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, then as an assistant professor and now as an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has two children, Christopher and Gregory, and one cat named Snickers.
Laura Perdew **Multiple Titles** AVAILABLE
Grades: 1st - 8th
About the Author: Laura is an author, writing consultant at CU Boulder, and former middle school language arts and social studies teacher. She has written over 30 books for the education market on a variety of topics including the wetlands conservation, biodiversity, and animal adaptations. One of those, Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth, earned a starred review from Booklist and is a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is also the author of The Fort, a picture book that celebrates the power of imagination and compromise, and the magic of a fort. She lives in Boulder with her husband and twin boys.
About the Presentation: Laura has written many nonfiction books. This is ironic because she didn’t much like writing OR reading nonfiction when she was a kid. But now she does! And she wants to get students excited about nonfiction too. Her presentations are geared toward helping kids find the hook and the fun in researching and writing. Laura offers other presentations as well, including one that teaches about force, motion, work, and simple machines through the wacky machines designed by Rube Goldberg (based on her book, Crazy Contraptions, Nomad Press, October 2019). She’s also happy to tailor presentations to suit the needs, abilities, and interests of teachers and students. These visits will include a speaking fee ($250 for the first presentation; $125 for each additional presentation).
Jean Reidy **Multiple Titles** AVAILABLE
Grades: 1st - 8th
About the Author: Jean Reidy’s fun, lively and award-winning picture books have earned their spots as favorites among readers and listeners of all ages and from all over the world. Jean is represented by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She writes from her home in Colorado where she lives right across the street from her neighborhood library … which she visits nearly every day.
About the Presentation: Jean has several presentation options, which are as follows:
- Short and Sweet School Visit My "Short and Sweet" School Visit includes a 30-40 minute visit program, plus 30 minutes for Q&A, autographing or chatting. This is perfect for grades K-2 or individual grade levels. speaking fee $300
- Happy Half-Day Visit My "Happy Half-Day Visit" includes two 30-40 minute programs or 3-4 classroom visits or some combination of the two. And I'll stick around for autographing of course. Tip: For schools with half-day kindergarten, we might be able to schedule a middle of the day half-day session to accommodate morning and afternoon classes. speaking fee $500
- Fabulous Full-Day Visit My "Fabulous Full-Day Visit can be structured to meet your needs. It can include up to three 30-40 minute programs and lunch with your young authors club. Or how about two programs and a couple of classroom visits. So much time. So many options. Let's chat. speaking fee $1000
Laura Roettiger - Aliana Reaches for the Moon AVAILABLE
About the Author: Laura Roettiger is the author of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON and has enjoyed working with children ever since she was no longer considered a child herself. She was a reading specialist and elementary teacher in Chicago, IL before moving to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked in Environmental Education and as a new teacher mentor for two years at a STEM school. Her love of nature and her dog Charlie have sparked a passion for photography. Currently, she is a judge for Rate Your Story, works with third grade classrooms through #KidsNeedMentors, tutors adults in the Boulder Reads Literacy program at the Boulder Public Library, and enjoys connecting with her readers at school and bookstore events. Her superpower is encouraging curiosity in children and her students, letting them know she believes in them. She has three children of her own whose curiosity and creativity led all of them into STEM related professions.
About the Presentation:
- A slideshow presentation that includes the inspiration for ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, my background as a child who loved reading and writing, my own photography of the moon and the Rocky Mountains, and the book which is set in Colorado.
- I sign and personalize books for anyone who orders and include a bookmark.
- My website has links for science activities that teachers are encouraged to check out to inspire curiosity.
- I have a “curiosity workshop” for children using materials that reflect light which focuses on the creativity and science in ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON.
- I have extensive experience teaching writing as a reading specialist and elementary classroom teacher. I have also done workshops on the writing process from brainstorm through revision to published work. Many 2nd – 4th grade classes have requested a presentation on revision because that seems to be a sticking point, but I am happy to tailor my visit to your needs.
- I also offer astronomy night presentations which can include the slide show if indoors or a reading, Q&A, and a craft project.
These visits will include a speaking fee ($150.00 for the first presentation and $100.00 for additional same day presentations).
Stan Yan There's A Zombie in the Basement AVAILABLE
About the Book: Stan’s own son’s fear of his zombie caricature artwork inspired this tale of Milo, a boy with an overactive imagination who won’t let his parents sleep because he thinks monsters in the basement are going to come up and get him. See how he overcomes his fears!
About the Author: Stan Yan is a Denver-based writer/illustrator, caricature artist and instructor. Yan grew up on Denver and went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he got his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Yan’s life took the tragic turn into sales for the securities industry, where he wallowed in ethical poverty on-and-off for thirteen years. Yan took his frustrations out by penning graphic novels such as THE WANG. In 2005, Yan gave up on financial security and became a full-time freelance cartoonist, illustrating SUBCULTURE for Ape Entertaiment and Action Lab Danger Zone, creating comic strips for the financial and sales industry, drawing zombie caricatures, and picking up odd illustration and teaching jobs when folks felt agonizing pity for him. He helped to co-found the Squid Works comic creator cooperative, was a board member of the Colorado Alliance of Illustrators and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
His work has been seen in VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS (BlueWater Productions / Storm Comics / Tidal Wave), THERE’S A ZOMBIE IN THE BASEMENT (Squid Works Kids), DENVER COMIX, KITE TALES, the RMC-SCBWI annual calendar, THE QUEUING DEAD (British zombie anthology), POP CULTURE CLASSROOM, and THE WESTWORD, among many others.
About the Presentation: Includes fun, interactive monster drawing workshop. Presentations are generally 40 minutes long, and can be divided into K-2nd and 3rd-5th grade groups depending on number of students. Groups 100 or fewer is suggested. These visits will include a speaking fee ($100 for the first hour, $75 for any subsequent hours) OR a minimum of 25 pre-ordered books.
Previous School Visits
Peter Reynolds Be You!
February 7, 2020 - Luke Flowers Unicorn Day
February 6, 2020 - Amy McCulloch Jinxed
February 6, 2020 - MarcyKate Connolly Hollow Dolls
January 15, 2020 - Lily Williams Go With the Flow
November 8, 2019 - Kim Tomsic The 12th Candle
October 18, 2019 - Steve Greig The One and Only Wolfgang
October 10, 2019 - Lora Koehler Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow
October 9th and 10th, 2019 - Sharon Robinson Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963
September 27, 2019 - Tom Watson Stick Cat: Two Cats to the Rescue
May 20, 2019 - Luke Flowers Unicorn Day
April 10, 2019 - Elisa Kleven *multiple picture books*
March 21st, 2019 - Luke Flowers A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers
October 29th 2018 - John August Arlo Finch Series
October 23rd 2018 - Molly Brooks Sanity & Tallulah
October 17th 2018 – Alison McGhee Dear Sister
October 5th 2018 - Kevin Henkes A Parade of Elephants
October 2nd 2018 - Melissa Savage The Truth About Martians
September 24Th 2018 - Emily Whitman The Turning
September 5th 2018 - Ellen Hopkins People Kill People
August 24th 2018 - Kelly deVos Fat Girl on a Plane