School Visits 2021-22 School Year
I’m currently scheduling virtual school visits for the 2021-22 school year. My visits will focus on the nonfiction picture book Equality’s Call. The book has curriculum connections at all elementary grade levels (see my Curriculum Connections page for more info).
I’m going to be rolling out a new approach to virtual school visits this year. Last year, my virtual visits started off with a webinar-style screen sharing presentation about my writing process and my books, followed by a meeting-style interactive Q&A with students. This year, I’d like to increase the interactive time, so I’ll be pre-recording the presentation portion; teachers can share that part with their students at their convenience prior to my virtual visit. The new approach will allow me to use most of the virtual visit time for direct interaction with your class or school.
The pre-recorded portion isn’t quite ready yet (should be ready by mid-September), but you’re welcome to contact me now to schedule a time for me to meet online with your class or school.
General Contact Info
Thank you for your interest in contacting me! This page includes event scheduling information (scroll down a bit), my book donation request policy (scroll a bit further), and information about bookmarks (at the end of the page).
My event and donation policies are a reflection of my values and are periodically updated to more clearly embody and express those values.
Also on this page are my email address, my newsletter sign-up, and my mailing address.
Though I try to be prompt, there is sometimes a lag in my response time. If your message is time-sensitive, please indicate that in the subject line. For read-aloud permissions during COVID-19, click here. If you’re contacting me about bookmarks, please see my note at the end of this page, as that information has changed recently. If you’re contacting me about a school visit, event, or book donation, please be sure to read the policies on this page (scroll down for details). Thanks!
My email address is .
To subscribe to my occasional email newsletter (sent periodically, and never more than monthly), sign up here:
Events and Event Scheduling Policies
I enjoy school visits and author events, but I have limited schedule availability, so I may need to decline your invitation on that basis. But please don’t hesitate to ask. If I’m unavailable, I can keep you posted about future availability.
Note: I am not currently scheduling any in-person events, but I am scheduling a limited number of Zoom visits to public school classrooms, to libraries, and to bookstores.
For all events (in-person and online), the following apply:
I decline invitations to non-inclusive institutions. Children require positive learning environments that celebrate our differences, support inclusion, and prevent bullying. I am unable to accept invitations to locations that exclude, marginalize, or intimidate their students, teachers, families, or school guests based on racial or cultural identity, religious belief system, immigration status, ancestry, gender identity, sexual preference, appearance, health status, disability, learning style, or other aspect of human diversity. Before I accept a school invitation, I require (by email) a copy of or link to the school’s anti-bullying, anti-racism, and anti-bias policies.
In addition: I am white, and white authors are currently overrepresented in the field of children’s literature and in author visits to schools. If your school or classroom has not had a non-white author visit for at least one of your last two author visits, I am unable to accept your invitation, as that would overrepresent whiteness. There are many voices in the field of children’s literature, and schools can and should reach out to a diverse range of authors. It’s also important that kids see and hear from authors that reflect the world we live in. Our nation’s young people are diverse (less than 50% of young people are non-Hispanic white), and they deserve and need to hear from a diverse range of authors. Some articles that explore the demographics of students 18-and-under can be found here, here, here, and here.
I decline invitations to non-diverse book festivals and author panels: White voices continue to be overrepresented at most book festivals and on most author panels. If you would like to invite me to participate in a book festival, author panel, or other event with multiple authors, I am unable to consider the invitation until the inviting organization has confirmed participation from at least 40% non-white authors.
I decline invitations for events at which guns may be present. My contract includes the following section: “In order to ensure a safe environment for all attendees, the Author requests a weapon-free setting for all of her appearances. If any firearms (open or concealed) are kept on premises or are allowed by law or by special exemption to be present at the event, the Sponsor shall inform the Author prior to the signing of this agreement.”
I receive a lot of donation requests for silent auctions and raffle items. Though I can’t respond to them all, I donate a limited number of books each year to public schools and nonreligious nonprofits.
Please note that if firearms or other weapons are included in your auction or raffle items, I am unable to consider donating to your group. If you email me about a book donation request, please inform me in your email about whether or not your organization accepts firearms or weapons as auction/raffle items.
A note about donation requests from churches and church-affiliated educational institutions: I am not a religious person, and I am a strong supporter of public education, so I do not typically donate books to church-affiliated schools or church groups. But if your religious organization is one that respects all faith traditions, is inclusive and welcoming (including LGBTQ), and actively works for social justice (helping to end racism, sexism, poverty, mass incarceration, and other forms of injustice), you are welcome to contact me about a donation. Please include in your email a note letting me know that your church is tolerant, open-minded, and actively working toward social justice, and provide examples.
To send small, letter-size mail, my mailing address is:
P.O. Box 80372
Lansing, MI 48908
My P.O. box is very small, so for anything bigger than a business-size envelope, please contact me by email for an alternate mailing address.
I usually only visit my box a few times a month, so if what you’re mailing is time sensitive, let me know by email that you’ve sent something so that I’ll be sure to stop by my box.
While supplies last, I’m temporarily offering free Equality’s Call bookmarks to classroom teachers (to use with their students in the fall when discussing elections and voting) and to libraries and bookstores (for a voting-themed story time or for general patron/customer use). If you are interested in receiving some Equality’s Call bookmarks for your students or patrons, email me at the address listed above. I don’t know how long supplies will last, but I’ll send them until I run out.
Beyond that, I’m not currently sending bookmarks. I used to have information on this page about offering an assortment of free bookmarks to schools, libraries, families, and individuals. I typically received a few requests each month. Then my web page got picked up by some sort of aggregator that posted it to several freebie web sites, resulting in hundreds of requests in a single day, and hundreds more the following week! While it was great to see so much interest in books and reading, it was a lot to respond to. Because of the time involved I am no longer actively offering the bookmarks (other than temporarily offering Equality’s Call bookmarks for teachers and libraries). Thank you for your understanding! Happy Reading to you, always.