Melissa Hart is the author of a middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016) two memoirs--Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons, 2014) and Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009), and numerous K-8 books for Teacher Created Resources including the best-selling 101 Ways to Love a Book. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Women's Day, Hemispheres, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Brain Child, Mothering, Writer's Digest, and The Writer Magazine. She teaches nonfiction writing for Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program and creative writing for Laurel Springs, a distance-learning high school based in Ojai, California. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter, four cats and an adventurous terrier.
Award-winning author Christopher Kurtz began his writing career by collaborating with his big sister, Jane Kurtz, to craft two picture books, Only a Pigeon (Simon & Schuster) and Water Hole Waiting (Greenwillow), a book School Library Journal called one of the best books of the year and a "gem for writing teachers." In 2010, Chris published a young middle grade novel, The Pup Who Cried Wolf (Bloomsbury) and is now finishing revision on a middle grade novel, The Adventures of a South Pole Pig (Harcourt). Chris lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family and his dog, Penny, who reminds Chris every day that he is the very best human ever! (Dogs always tell the truth, right?) When he has to go to work, (and Penny is not happy about this) Chris job shares teaching third grade, speaks in schools to children about how to turn their life experiences into stories, and volunteers for Ethiopia Reads, a nonprofit planting children's libraries in Ethiopia.
Award-winning author Jane Kurtz spent most of her childhood in Ethiopia and most of her adult life trying to capture bits of that childhood in picture books and novels for young readers. She has also written about her own children's lives in such books as Do Kangaroos Wear Seatbelts? (Penguin) and about people who change the world in such books as Martin's Dream (Simon & Schuster) and the middle grade novels that accompany the 2010 American Girl Doll of the Year, Lanie, an outside-loving girl who discovers she can help the earth from her own back yard. Check out the NY Times review of her new book Anna Was Here! Jane lives in Portland, Oregon, and travels nationally and internationally to speak and to volunteer for Ethiopia Reads, a nonprofit planting the first children's libraries in Ethiopia.