Students like author visits!

When an author visits a classroom, it’s fun for the student, the teacher and the author. The author might talk about her book and how she wrote it. Students may want to ask questions. Here are some questions students have asked me:

  • Where did you get the idea for this book?
  • Did you make everything up or is some of it true?
  • Do you use real people in your book?
  • I know someone with the same name as your character. Were you writing about him?
  • How do you develop your characters?

I like to start a visit by reading a few pages of my book to students. Students seem to get the most out of author visits when they’ve had a chance to read the book. The teachers at this elementary school read the book to their fourth and fifth grade students before the author visit.


Teachers like author visits:

During author visits, I discuss how I use the information they’re learning in class when I’m writing a book.

  • I reinforce the need for careful research and revision!
  • I like to start by reading some pages from the book, pointing out examples of setting, character development and other elements of the novel.
  • We often talk about theme. For Curse of the Komodo, the theme is “brotherly love.” While they are in the bodies of animals, the boys help each other survive. They return home with new appreciation for each other. They are also aware of how good their lives are; they have clean beds, good food and safe surroundings. Most important, they have each other and families who love them.

For information about school visits, please click on the Contact link above and send me your contact information. I’d love to come to your school and talk to your students about the wonderful world of books! I also enjoy meeting with teachers and parents to talk about my process and prepare for school visits.

Lesson Plans Available

Using the National Core Standards for Reading & Literature, I’ve developed lesson plans for each grade, using examples from each book. Several teachers, including a reading specialist, reviewed the lesson plans for content and ease of use, i.e. by a group of students. If you’d like copies of the lesson plans, contact me by clicking on the Contact link above and submitting the contact form. Be sure to specify grade(s). See sample below.

Element Discussion Question Answers
CONFLICT(Internal) Find an example of Luke’s thinking that shows internal conflict. Pg 4 Austin was so upset he didn’t eat breakfast. Now he wouldn’t have any lunch, either. I might not like him, but I didn’t want him to go hungry.
CHARACTER What words or sentences tell us about Luke and Austin? Pg 3 “Just because you have red hair

Pg 4 I rammed into Magee and knocked him sideways.
SETTING How does the setting affect what happens to the characters? Pg 12 Austin was in front of the bear cage. Had he blown into a place with dangerous animals?
POINT OF VIEW Who is “talking” in the story? Whose voice do you hear as you read the story? Pg 8 I called Austin’s name again, but he didn’t answer. My mouth went dry, and something clenched in my stomach.