School & library visits

I love to visit schools and libraries to talk about books and writing and to spend quality time with the people I write for: kids! I’m open to in-person and virtual visits.

Take a look at the presentation options I offer. If you’re interested in booking me for your school or library, please contact Ellen Shay at School Visit Dot Connector.

My Author’s Journey

I tell the story of how I went from a fifth-grader who wanted nothing more to be a published book author to actually becoming one (a few decades later). It’s a tale of passion and persistence, of occasional success and frequent rejection. More practically, it’s a story of how I’ve honed my writing chops and how I finally realized not just what I wanted to write but who I wanted to write for. (Spoiler alert: it’s kids.)

STEM Stories

“Science is a human endeavor.” This is, by far, my favorite of the Next Generation Science Standards’ Crosscutting Concepts. Science is full of fascinating human stories! In this presentation I focus primarily on my book Mysterious Glowing Mammals: An Unexpected Discovery Sparks a Scientific Investigation. It’s a great example of how scientists follow their curiosity, ask questions, plan and carry out investigations, and collaborate with others.

Research, Research, Research

For this presentation, I draw on the expertise I’ve gained in both writing and editing nonfiction for young people. As a writer, I’ve published a book and many magazine articles focusing on STEM subjects. As an editor, I focus on books about history. During this talk I’ll discuss how I search for sources, the importance of using both primary and secondary sources, and how I take what I learn through research and shape it into something that will fascinate, entertain, and engage young readers.

Custom Presentation

I’d be happy to work with you to create a custom program that meets your needs . You can mix and match from the subjects above, or I can work with a theme of your choice. For example, I visited a group of middle schoolers who were part of their school’s student leadership team. Each month the team explored a new theme, and when I visited the theme was “Healthy Habits.” I concentrated my presentation on the three healthy habits that have sustained me throughout my life: reading, writing, and learning.

Nonfiction Writer’s Workshop

Are you interested in adding a writer’s workshop onto one of the presentation options? I’ll introduce your students to a variety of approaches for nonfiction writing, with a focus on how to hook a reader’s interest. Let’s practice writing compelling introductions together!