I am a New York Times bestselling author based in New York City. My novels cover a range of ages/reading levels, from middle grade to teen. They have been named Best Children’s Books of the Year by the New York Public Library, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. They have also been included on numerous state reading lists and selected for NPR’s Backseat Book Club. I have extensive experience with school visits, both as an author and in my former life as baseball editor of Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. I’m also a former standup comedian and am comfortable and reasonably entertaining in front of large groups. I think this picture of me in elementary school also speaks to my qualifications:
Presentation: Take Me to Your Reader
I begin by discussing a realistic and personal approach to reading, sharing my story of being diagnosed as dyslexic as a kid. I repeated second grade and was a classic “reluctant reader” for years after that. I talk to students about finding the sort of reading that works for them. I then transitions to the topic of writing. I discuss my early years as a sportswriter, covering such events as the Super Bowl, and how that informed my approach to fiction. I share stories about how I came up with the ideas for my novels, and then I discuss the research, writing, and editing processes to show how those ideas became finished books. I ends the presentation with a lively Q&A.
My presentation can be customized to focus on different novels, including Plunked (middle grade sports), TombQuest (middle grade with an emphasis on ancient Egypt), Surrounded by Sharks (a middle grade/teen survival tale) and Trapped (teen survival).
Workshop (optional): Would, Could, Will!
This is a writing workshop in which I talk with students about my writing process and help them write their own stories. My approach to writing, which I call the would/could method, is fun and easy for students to learn and use. In this energetic exercise, kids either write their own stories or work together to write one as a class.
Conferences or Festivals
An experienced public speaker and former comedian, I am happy to put together a customized presentation that fits your particular conference or festival.
I am just the type to drop in by Skype. I am available for a 30-minute virtual visit and Q&A with classes, reading groups, and book clubs that have read at least one of my books. I discuss the book(s)—my inspiration for certain scenes, challenges I faced along the way, amusing anecdotes—and answers questions.
If you’re interested or want to learn more . . .
For author appearances—including school visits, festivals, conferences, and virtual visits via Skype—please contact Michelle Campbell at Scholastic Inc.:
AuthorVisit (at) scholastic (dot) com
Or check out my official Author Visit Kit on the Scholastic website.