Janet Lee Carey was born in New York and grew up under the towering redwoods in the Bay Area. She now lives in the Seattle area. As a child she discovered the door into a vast, magical country each time she opened the cover of a book. She quickly fell in love with reading and dreamed of becoming a writer. Janet learned courage through the power of story, and believes story transforms lives. Her novels for children and young adults have earned her the Mark Twain Award, Finalist Washington State Book Award, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and NYPL Best Books for the Teen Age. Her newest medieval fantasy, Dragonswood (Dial Books 2012) received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.
Statistics have shown that children who read are more compassionate. The "giving back" page on her website links each new book to a charitable organization, challenging teens to read and reach out. Concerned over the changes happening in our libraries, Janet created a blog two years ago. Library Lions gives school and public librarians a place to roar for libraries and showcase their outstanding youth programs.
Teaching Experience: Janet taught special education before leaving to raise her family and invest in her writing career. For ten years she taught novel writing at Lake Washington Vocational College and Bellevue College. She now focuses on presenting workshops for writing conferences, and enjoys meeting readers, teachers and librarians on her school visits. Janet's assemblies are designed for upper middle grades, middle schools, and high schools. In "Words on the Wing," lively discussion invites students to see how stories expand cultural awareness, increase respect for others and for the earth. "Dream Catcher" gives students seven tools to set goals and begin the step-by-step journey to reach their dreams.
Susan Casey is the author of Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors and Women Invent! and Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World. Susan is also a journalist. Her articles and photographs have appeared in Fast Company, Women’s Sports, Soap Opera Digest, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Inventors Digest, American Profile, Electrical Contractor and many other publications.
When she was a girl, she loved reading and writing and through the efforts of a teacher, her first magazine article was published when she was in the seventh grade. After graduating with a degree in history from Santa Clara University, she became a teacher. Her career as a writer and photographer was prompted by writing letters to her family about her travel experiences in Mexico, Europe, and Africa. She went on to write the same sorts of tales for magazines. She has since written about a wide range of topics including inventors, oddball events, moviemaking, and construction. She splits her time between writing and teaching and lives in Los Angeles.
SCHOOL VISITS: Susan presents at schools (K-8, 9-12) and libraries about Non-Fiction writing and about her books: Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors (Wiley) and Women Invent! Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World (Chicago Review Press). She varies her presentations depending on the age of the students. In interactive programs she includes power point presentations, videos and student participation as she relays stories and demonstrates inventions created by kids and tells of the impact women inventors have had on history—especially during Women’s History Month. She discusses the techniques she uses in writing non-fiction including how to interview, do book and on-the-spot research, fact check and rewrite. She interacts with students to show ways of using non-fiction to create a fictional story.
TEACHER WORKSHOPS: She involves teachers in activities they can use to teach invention in their classrooms. They leave with classroom ready activity sheets.
LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS: Inventor’s Workshops for Kids, Tweens, Teens or Families. Fun, interactive hour presentations involve everyone in the process of inventing--from brainstorming to boasting about invention ideas!
Teresa Funke is the author of the Home-Front Heroes series for middle-grade readers. This multi-cultural series includes Doing My Part, The No-No Boys, V for Victory, and Wave Me Good-bye. Each novel is based on a real person who actually lived the experiences depicted in her novels. In the back matter, young readers learn about the real person on whom the story is based and also fun facts about children's contributions to our country during World War II. The books are popular with both readers and educators because they are fast-paced, action-filled stories with strong characters and dramatic settings. Each book also touches on the key areas of World War II that lead to a broader understanding of our world and create great topics for classroom discussion: areas like the Holocaust, the Japanese interment, how children can "do their part," etc.
Teresa has been visiting schools since 2005 for elementary and middle school children and high school writing and history courses. She's fascinated by the challenges facing educators today and dedicated to assuring history education remains a focus for our children. It was the students themselves who asked Teresa to write about World War II for their age group. It's a time period that captures their imaginations and enfolds so many valuable lessons. Teresa combines elements of history, reading, writing, theater, art, and character development into her school visits and assembly. Her workshops are current with many standards, but also introduce new learning styles. She encourage students to realize that every child has a voice, a story, and the power to change the world.
Teresa has also published two books for adults, Remember Wake and Dancing in Combat Boots. Her short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Two of her essays were listed as Notable Essays by the prestigious Best American Essays series. Teresa is also a sought-after speaker, presenter, and writer's coach. She performs a one-woman show based on Dancing in Combat Boots and works with several non-profits to promote the arts, literacy, and history education.
Deborah Hopkinson has written more than 40 books for young readers. She is the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906 and the 2013 Sibert Honor book Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. Her picture books include Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; and the ALA Notable Book Apples to Oregon. A frequent presenter at conferences and schools, Hopkinson serves as Vice President for College Advancement for the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Growing up, Kirby Larson's best friends were books but she never imagined an ordinary person like her could become a writer. What she loves best about the creative life is that she is always learning something new. That may be why Kirby has tackled a variety of genres from picture books to chapter books to novels. Kirby's historical fiction portfolio includes the 2007 Newbery Honor Award book, Hattie Big Sky and its recent sequel, Hattie Ever After (nominated for the ALSC Notables List), as well as The Friendship Doll, The Fences Between Us and, in fall of 2013, Duke. She and her friend Mary Nethery have collaborated on two award-winning nonfiction picture books: Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Between them, these two books have garnered over 20 State Young Readers Choice Awards. Kirby is delighted to be involved in a brand-new picture book series for American Girl, with titles including Bitty Baby and Me, and Princess Bitty Baby, among others. A lifelong resident of Washington state, Kirby lives in Kenmore with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she is not reading, writing or speaking about writing, she is traveling, beach combing or spoiling her new granddaughter rotten.
Writers are like crows. They collect shiny objects that capture their attention and hide them away. Maureen has been collecting interesting bits since she was six and decided she wanted to be a writer. Like all interesting journeys, the road to her goal took many twists and turns along the way: teaching middle grade through college, coordinating a program for gifted students, marrying and raising her own two children, traveling the world, and all the while writing in the spaces in between.
Maureen's published works include The Peculiars,(Abrams/Amulet) a YASLA, Bank Street, Horn Book and Westchester YA best book; Nuclear Legacy, (Battelle Press) an Independent Publisher's Award winner and numerous poems in literary journals. Her next books, Beyond the Door and The Telling Stone (Abrams/Amulet), are due out in spring and fall 2014. She's currently finishing a YA SciFi manuscript that asks what people are willing to risk for a deep connection with another human being.
Whenever she has the opportunity, Maureen loves to present to students in the schools, share her love of language and books, and encourage them to follow their passions. Maureen works with teachers to tailor workshops to specific writing goals. She is also a frequent presenter at writing conferences.
Maureen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before it became Silicon Valley and now lives in WA State near the banks of the Columbia River with her husband. Eagles, wood ducks, a friendly owl and raccoons visit her yard. When she's not writing or teaching, Maureen's always hoping for a real life mystery to solve.
Ever since the 1993 publication of his multi-award-winning, best-selling picture book, Baseball Saved Us (over half a million sold to date), Ken Mochizuki has made over 100 presentations around the country at schools, libraries, community centers and educators' conferences to ages K-Adult. Using Baseball Saved Us and his second picture book, Heroes, he makes stereotypes, prejudice and racism understandable in an age-appropriate presentation for students K-3. Including those same topics for older grades, he also addresses fighting, bullying, the moral dilemma and the conscientious choice through his picture book about the Holocaust, Passage to Freedom: the Sugihara Story, and his recent picture book, Be Water, My Friend: the Early Years of Bruce Lee. For middle grades and above, Ken also conducts presentations on the history of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. military, and around his young adult novel, Beacon Hill Boys. Among the awards his books have earned include the Washington State Governor's Writers Award and the national Parents' Choice Award, American Bookseller 'Pick of the Lists,' American Library Association Notable Book, International Reading Association Teachers' Choices, Smithsonian Notable Books for Children and the Jane Addams Children?s Book Awards Honor Book.
Mary Nethery is the New York Times, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of many picture books for children, as well as books for readers of all ages. She has collaborated with her dear friend, Newbery Honor recipient Kirby Larson, to write Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Two Bobbies received the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, the SIBA Book Award, and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and is a Junior Library Guild selection; an IRA Teachers' Choice; IRA/CBC Children's Choice; Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People; and is included in The Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College. Two Bobbies has received thirteen state Children's Choice Awards. Nubs is a New York Times Best Seller and recipient of the Christopher Medal; the National Parenting Publication Gold Award; is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has received ten state Children's Choice Awards. Mary's newest picture book, illustrated by John Manders, is The Famous Nini: A Mostly True Story of How a Plain White Cat Became a Star. Set in 1890's Venice, it tells the story of the meteoric rise of a plain white cat to the world stage. His scrapbook includes a line of music from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata and is signed by such luminaries as the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Pope Leo XIII and the Queen and King of Italy. Mary travels extensively and possesses a passion for animals, adventure, fashion, laughter, kindness and spunky characters -- all of which weave their way into her books. She lives in Eureka, California with her husband Han, and their super brilliant cat, Dashiell, AKA the Baby Muse.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, author, Stacy A. Nyikos, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer and musician. Her books includeRope 'Em, the Read Across Oklahoma Book for 2011, and Squirt, Shelby and Dizzy. Stacy's first novel, Dragon Wishes, released in Spring 2008. Her new book, Waggers, comes out with Sky Pony Press in fall 2014. Stacy also offers presentations and workshops to students in grades K-8. She has presented at more than 50 schools. In addition, she has presented events at the World Aquarium in St. Louis, the Shedd, the Houston Zoo, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Oklahoma Aquarium.
Natasha Wing has published 21 children's books, with more in the works. She is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids' lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001 and is also a sticker book, part of a kindergarten gift set, and an ebook. Wing's multicultural book, Jalapeno Bagels, is a favorite among elementary school teachers and students. The story is based on a real bakery in Arcata, California and includes recipes from the bakery. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut. The artist of the "Homage to the Square" paintings studied color for 27 years and changed how teachers taught color. Several of her poems appear in anthologies, and she has also written articles for children's magazines such as Highlights and Babybug.