I love speaking to students. My presentations run anywhere from 30 minutes on up, depending on the age, size of group and purpose of my visit. I’m very flexible on tailoring something to fit your needs and budget.
For assembly and classroom visits, I introduce students to the reality of foster care and adoption. Without glossing over the difficulties, I show the strengths and inner-resources of children who do not live with their families of origin. Some topics:
• Why some children can’t live with their families
• The historical perspective, including the orphan train movement
• Life in a contemporary foster or group home.
My goal is for students to understand that foster children are everywhere, and while they have unique experiences, they are, at heart, kids with a full range of hopes, dreams, humor and emotions.
I also showcase other themes in my novels, such as
* The fun and power of knitting (What I Call Life).
* The ecology of the redwood forest (Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies).
I come to the school armed with my own knitting for students to model and perhaps even some banana slugs.
I enjoy sharing my own process of writing – where stories come from, the role of imagination, how I draw on my own childhood and my long career as a journalist. My hope is to inspire young authors to believe in themselves, to find their own voice and to see the wealth of stories in their own seemingly ordinary experiences.
In addition to reading from my books, I leave plenty of time for a lively and always surprising question and answer period.
In classroom visits, I can conduct writing workshops geared for 4th grade and up. The encounters are very interactive as I lead students through the literary process, from idea to research to writing and the need for rewriting.
Through a lively series of guided exercises, the students and I create characters and then put those characters into plots drawn from their imaginations. Because we work in a group setting, students also get to understand and respect how their fellow students tackle the creative process.
· For many years, I have taught in writing workshops for at-risk students at juvenile hall.
· At each school visit, I donate one of my own books to your school library.
· I provide a discount for my visit if book sales are arranged and promoted in advance, and time is set aside for signing on the day of my appearance. \
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org