The Author Village is a community of forward-thinking and award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators and educators available for in-person and virtual school visits, library visits, festivals, conferences, panels, workshops, professional development, and special events.

The Author Village understands the immeasurable value of author visits and believes that everyone should have access to these powerful and inspirational experiences. The Author Village is committed to creating meaningful and fun educational events that will open hearts and minds and help foster a lifelong love for reading, writing, and the arts.

The Author Village understands the immeasurable value of in-person author visits and believes that all children should have access to these powerful and inspirational experiences. The Author Village is committed to creating meaningful and fun educational events that will open young hearts and minds and help foster a lifelong love for reading, writing, and the arts.

Explore The Village – Meet Our Authors and Illustrators

Laurie Halse Anderson

“Working with students and educators is one of my favorite parts of being a writer!”

Kevin Lewis

“I want kids to see words as something they can play with just like they play with their toys. Words are like sand on the beach – effortless and eternal and there for anyone. Build a castle out of it, dig a hole in it, or just scrunch it with your toes. But you can’t hurt sand, and sand can’t really hurt you. Same goes for words. So have fun!”

LeUyen Pham

“Why do I make books? That’s easy. A book sits with you in your secret corner or in your favorite chair on a rainy day, and whispers in your ear, “You’re okay, I’m here. Let me tell you a story…” It’s like a hug made solid. That’s what I do. I make hugs for a living.”

Loren Long

“I love telling kids I’m from a little city in the Midwest and that the folks in the big cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles need us. Growing up, my parents didn’t know anyone. I didn’t have any connections. Just because you’re from a big city doesn’t mean you’re more talented and gifted. We all have talents and gifts.”

Matthew Cordell

“One of the great pleasures of my career is being able to meet the many children and adults all over who might have encountered my books. It means so much to be invited into a school, a book festival, or a conference to share my love of reading, writing, and drawing with children, educators, and parents who in turn provide endless inspiration to me.”

Meg Medina

“We worry that children can’t see futures for themselves, that they can’t imagine a change in their circumstances. But I say that aspiration is born the moment a child can imagine something to be true for him or herself. Having the chance to meet authors in the flesh helps kids see how the power of words and story – including their own – works in this world. It opens the imagination. What if? What if that could be me?”

Phil Bildner

“When I get up in front of a library or auditorium full of kids, I’m of the mind this could be the first and only time they ever get to meet and interact with a real life author. I feel it’s my duty – my moral responsibility – to rock their world. It’s my duty to motivate and inspire.”

Lauren Castillo

“When I was young, it was the art in picture books that inspired me to read and to create my own stories. I love to share with children how I went from being a little girl who struggled with reading, to an adult who now writes and illustrates her own books. I’m so thankful I get to wake up every day and make books for kids, and my hope is these books inspire them to create, just as picture books did for me.”

Mike Curato

“I love drawing and writing more than cake and cookies (and that’s a lot). I love sharing the joy of reading and my dessert. You have to try it!!”

Alexander London

“I believe there is a book out of there for every child, and that every child deserves a book that feels like it was written just for them. In speaking to students, whatever their age, I try to ignite their imaginations, expand their sense of what is possible, and connect them to the amazing community of readers in which each and every one of them has a place if they choose to find it.”

Laurel Snyder

“Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a book only they can write. It’s critical to me that kids value their thoughts, feelings and experiences–the fun ones and the tough ones too–and learn to tell their own stories. I want them to know how powerful they can be.”

Brendan Kiely

“There’s nothing I love more than sharing my passion and enthusiasm for social justice and literature with young people and educators. In all my stories, both as a writer and as a presenter, I try to offer road maps to help us become better listeners, to cultivate empathy, and to find the courage it takes to stand up when we need to. Young folks inspire me to do this work, and I try to give all my energy right back to them in return..”

Jeff Zentner

“I became a writer of youth literature after working with young adults at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp, and coming to know how incredible they are, combining the curiosity and wonder of childhood with the intellect of adulthood. I consider it the greatest honor to write stories for and about these amazing people and to talk to them and hear their stories.”

Aisha Saeed

“As a child I never saw myself in the stories I read so I know how important it is for children to feel seen. I write stories that underscore the common threads of humanity that bind us together and hope to help all students realize just how important their stories are and how much their voice matters.”

Susan Campbell Bartoletti

“I’m often asked if I write the books I do to teach readers or to show them how good they have it today. I don’t. I hope that my work gives readers courage — courage to question, courage to think critically, courage to stand up, and most of all, courage to make a difference.”

Tracey Baptiste

“Books are a unique magic that casts a different spell on every reader each time they read it. In every story I write, and in every presentation I give, I’m thinking about all the many ways words can come back again and again, creating new meaning in readers as they grow.”

John Parra

“I have loved creating art all my life, but I did not always know I would grow up to be a professional illustrator. Everything changed the day a famous artist visited my art class. After that, I knew what I wanted to be. Today when I visit schools, it is this inspiration I want to share with students. I want students to find a voice and to see a path and a passion for what is possible.”

Samira Ahmed

“As a former teacher, and now a writer and presenter, I hope to share my love of story with students and educators, and show them the magic of words. Every child deserves to see themselves as a hero on the page–I hope to help create a world where that is possible.”

Ellen Oh

“I believe in the power of books. The power of reading. And the power of representation. I write the books that I wished I’d had when I was young. And I hope to encourage and inspire new generations of writers and creators to find their voices and tell their stories.”

Raùl the Third

“I travel the country to teach students everywhere that you don’t need a big budget to realize your dreams. I show them that inspiration for their stories and drawings lies within them, their families, and the people living in their communities.”

Molly Idle

“When I was little, I found that the pictures in stories spoke to me. And now that I’m grown, I make pictures and stories that speak for me.”

Samantha Berger

“Rock what ya got and rock it A LOT.
Don’t let anyone say what you’re NOT
Find your own YOU and carve out your spot!
Take it, and love it and rock IT — A LOT.”

Erin Entrada Kelly

“My message to young readers is simple: Be yourself. Be resilient. Be kind.”

Audrey Vernick

“Students frequently ask what inspired me to be a writer. There are many answers, but I think this is the truest: the books I loved as a young reader are ones I read often and loved deeply. I still think of the characters from those pages as cherished childhood friends.”

Cristin Terrill

“I love working with students because it gives me the chance to let them in on the secrets I never knew when I was their age: you don’t have to be perfect at something the first time you try it, we’re all just making it up as we go along and trying to do our best, and you have something worth saying that can only come from you.”

Brandy Colbert

“I grew up surrounded by books, and I’m committed to writing stories that reflect the beautiful diversity of our world in all its forms. It’s a privilege to write for young people, and I love helping them take pride in developing and sharing their own stories.”

Dashka Slater

“My life as a writer and journalist is fueled by curiosity and that is the sensibility I bring with me into schools, whether I’m talking with kindergarteners or high school seniors. Curiosity is the engine that powers both creativity and empathy, and I want kids to leave my presentation burning with the desire to find out more about the world.”

Leah Henderson

When I write and when I speak to young people and adults, I want them to understand that each and every one of us can find a world of possibilities within the pages of a book and beyond. I want them to see how being open to experience can hold a special kind of magic.”

Linda Sue Park

“When I visit a school, my aim is two-fold: to get kids excited about reading, and to inspire teachers and administrators – because they’ll be there, on the front lines every day, long after I leave. I believe that kids who say they don’t like to read just haven’t met the right books yet – and one of the greatest things school communities can do for their students is to turn them ALL into readers. It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime.”

Lisa Yee

“Connecting with readers is everything. I love sharing stories about my awkward youth, the reason I was terrified to pursue my dream to become an author, and why books mean the world to me. Plus, I reveal the writing revelation that hit me when broccoli came out my nose.”

Ronald L. Smith

“When I was in middle school, I dreamed of being a writer, but never realized that one day that dream would come true.”

Elana K. Arnold

“As a kid for whom the world felt out of control and uncertain, books were a place where things made sense. My work is to continue to make sense of the world through telling stories, and I hope that young people can feel seen, understood, and empowered through engaging with my books and presentations.”

Vera Brosgol

“As a lonely kid who moved a lot, books were a treasured constant in my life. Now as an author (and mercifully, an adult) I try to help kids have the feeling of being seen that reading gave me. And nothing beats pouring your guts out in a story and hearing someone say “hey, me too.””

Pablo Cartaya

“I speak to young people around the country not so much to promote my books, but to connect with them. I want them to know that their voices matter. I use my books, my acting experience, and my multilingualism to make them laugh, dance, and think. Es mi gran honor I get to do this for a living.”

Alex Gino

“Representation in books is vital, but the power of meeting a real, live adult living their truth is irreplaceable for kids working to make sense of themselves and the world they live in. Every school is different, and I love going in and learning where folks are and building from there.”

Tiffany D. Jackson

“I aim to be a living breathing example for kids that yes, you too can be a writer. Yes, you should tell your story. Yes, you can change the world with your art. Yes, you should, without a doubt, follow your dreams.”

Angela Dominguez

“The most rewarding part about being an author is when I get to meet my audience. Nothing beats seeing a reader, ecstatic knowing that we share the same experiences and that their story is worth telling.”

Beth Revis

“As a former teacher in a rural, economically disadvantaged school, I know firsthand how much an author visit can mean to a student. I hope my stories inspire students to find their own–and to never allow the fear of failure to stifle their dreams.”

Dan Santat

“Each human being in this world is unique and I find it essential that in order to prepare our kids for the future we should engage with children in ways that make them understand that achieving their dreams is less about teaching everyone with the same common skill set and explore the idea of finding the thing that lights the fire in their hearts so that they can motivate themselves.”

Hena Khan

“If you had told me when I was a child that I could not only publish books one day, but also include characters who resemble me, I would have smiled and nodded but not believed you. I want kids of all backgrounds today to know it is possible for them, and that their voices and their stories matter just as much as anyone else’s.”

Jasmine Warga

“I love getting the chance to visit with students, and to remind them that we are all storytellers, and that the stories we tell about ourselves and others matter. There’s nothing more energizing to me than watching a room full of young people feel inspired to take control of their own narrative.”

Kate Messner

“Curiosity is the beginning of everything. When I visit schools to spend time with young readers and writers, I always hope to leave them more curious than they were before, wondering about the world and people around them, and excited to do research, explore the world through reading, discover their voices, and share their own stories.”

Padma Venkatraman

“Books transform us because they let us travel without a ticket – not just to other places and times, but also, into other hearts and minds. When we open the pages of a good book, we enter a character’s soul and experience; when we close it, we’re a bit more empathetic. I love speaking, listening, sharing, and inspiring others because when we meet, the compassionate and creative magic of story comes alive in a special way.”

Rafael López

“In Mexico, I used to travel over an hour to get to the library. I immersed myself in books and grew up with a fascination for images from different cultures. That early exposure to diversity and storytelling shaped my thinking. Words and images have the power to make convincing change. The chance to connect with kids through books is creative jet fuel, and I’m compelled to help children unlock their own voice and potential.”

David Bowles

“Every child’s identity, family, community is worthy of being celebrated in books. My goal when presenting to young people is to spark their desire to write those stories themselves.”

Dhonielle Clayton

“As a former teacher and librarian, interacting with students is a vital part of my creative process. They are the spark from which my books grow, and without them I wouldn’t be a writer. I hope to show students that they can turn their wildest imaginations into something that changes the world, and help educators inspire the next generation into becoming empathetic truth-keepers.”

Elizabeth Eulberg

“My favorite moment of interacting with young readers is when I share my struggles with reading as a kid and that I was diagnosed with a couple learning disabilities, including dyslexia. There’s always a few kids in the audience who sit up a little straighter. I’m proof that no matter what label you’re given as a kid, you can rise above it.”

Isabel Quintero

“Visiting schools is one of my favorite ways to engage with the curiosity of others! I want students to know that their questions, their experiences, and their imagination is fuel for storytelling, and that no matter how weird or how marginalized they may feel their voice and stories matter.”

Juana Martinez-Neal

“My work is all about playing. Playing with materials, playing with ideas. And in the midst of playing, I found a life making books. It is my hope to pass that curiosity and playfulness to everyone I meet.”

Minh Le

“I believe that a book isn’t finished until it’s being read. So it’s an honor (and so much fun) for me to share books with students and watch stories come alive through the eyes of young readers.”

Shannon Hale

“My work requires me to sequester myself to type and think and type and think. Getting out to talk to readers is what makes it all real. What makes the work matter.”

Stacy McAnulty

“I love science. I love math. And I LOVE stories! I don’t believe these things must orbit in different solar systems. In my books and in my presentations, I aim to entertain, spark curiosity, and nurture a love of reading.”

Torrey Maldonado

“I’ve taught middle school for twenty years where kids will eat you alive if you don’t present how readers describe my books–fast-paced, dynamic, riveting, relatable, and relevant. Maya Angelou says “People will remember how you made them feel” and audiences will happily remember our time together for a long time or for a lifetime.”

Anna Chan Rekate

“I tell my students that my job is to make you the best reader or writer that you can be. I’m not here to grade you but to help you find your own voice. I’m not here to tell you what to read but to help you find a character or story that you can never forget.”

Cornelius Minor

“My job as a teacher is not to merely teach the curriculum or even to just teach the students; it is to seek to understand my kids as completely as possible so that I can purposefully bend and remix curriculum to meet them.”

Donalyn Miller

I believe that every child should have the opportunity to fall in love with reading and develop reading proficiency. Adults must do whatever we can to support young readers with the resources and conditions they need.”

Julia E. Torres

“As a current ELA teacher and librarian, my goal is to support students, authors, and educators in seeing and actively participating in the intersections. I believe we are most empowered and free when we are of service to one another. I also believe we are most able to actively disrupt systems of oppression when we step into the creator, learner, and teacher within each of us, encouraging others to do the same.”

Kass Minor

“There are pedagogies of joy and love that live deep within the heartbeat of a community. Sometimes they show up in school, and sometimes they do not. I see my role as a former teacher, present parent, and forever learner to surface and center that joy and love with educators, families, and most of all-kids! With books, with art, with inquiry, communities get to redefine and remake school that is radically pro-kid, joyous and loveful.”

Pernille Ripp

“We hold the future of the world in our hands when we teach children and our teaching should reflect that weight. That is why I teach, so that every child will have the opportunity to live fully realized, to be safe, and to be valued. It starts with us, every day, and how we see ourselves reflected in the eyes of the children in our care and how we change to live up to the expectations kids have should have of us.”

Sara K. Ahmed

“I am convinced that every classroom of kids is filled with change agents who will make this world the one we teach toward. Young people, with their acute sense of justice and inherent compassion, will lead us to the just side of history.”

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

“Whether in person or during a virtual visit, my main goals are to get young readers as excited about reading, writing and drawing as I am, and to encourage every student to create with self-confidence and joy.”

Kyle Lukoff

“There’s such a specific, magical energy when a room full of children are engaged with the same book–hypnotically calm yet also as full of energy as a coiled spring. Working with that dynamic feels like being a symphony conductor, knowing when to let silence fall and when to answer questions rapid-fire, when to tell a joke and when to be heartfelt. We all leave feeling transformed.”

Nidhi Chanani

“Books were my safe place growing up and now they’re my home. It’s a beautiful, limitless place to live and I’m grateful to share it with so many readers. When I draw for kids (and adults), it’s like magic. And I love showing that magic is within and around us.”

Sona Charaipotra

“I’m a big believer in ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’ I rarely saw myself on the page growing up, so I had no idea all the opportunities that existed in the big wide world. That’s why I write, to show kids and teens that they can be the hero of any story. And that’s why I love talking to readers, too, so they know they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”

Christina Soontornvat

“When I was a child I was taught that only “certain types” of people could become authors. I thought that writing was a talent, and you either had it or you didn’t. When I speak to students, I try to break down this myth. I want them to leave my presentation knowing that writing is a craft and with practice, they can become anything they want, including a writer. I want them to know their stories are worthy of being told.”

Max Brallier

“Every book I’ve written has been inspired by my childhood – by some embarrassing moment, by some daydreamed adventure, by memories of discovering stories that acted as an escape from everyday life. When I present to students, I want them to understand that the dreams and ideas they have right now, as a kid, have real value – and if they embrace that, those dreams and ideas can grow into so much more.”

Sharee Miller

“I love sharing my stories and art process with kids. Meeting my readers is the best part of the job!”

Nawal Qarooni

“My approach as a mother, educator and writer is to find beauty and joy in our learning journeys, everywhere we can. It is my honor to support schools in using holistic methodology to grow readers, writers and thinkers to build on their authentic curiosities and experiences — ultimately fostering a deep belief in themselves and their important, individual stories.”

Judd Winick

“I make things up and then I draw them. That’s my actual job! The best part of what I do is sharing with the kids the joy I get out of what I do. And when I’m not sharing that joy on the page, the greatest thrill I know is to talk to them about.”

Gary R. Gray, Jr.

“Seeing ourselves in stories can give us a sense of belonging and inspire us to pursue our dreams. When we read about characters like us achieving their goals, we’re encouraged to believe in our potential and strive for success in our own lives with renewed confidence.”

Tiffany Jewell

“I teach and write because I felt powerless when I was young. I was able to identify injustice. I knew what it looked like and felt like, but I didn’t have the language to talk about it. And I definitely did not know how to stand-up against oppressive systems.

I want readers to trust themselves, to be empowered to learn and grow, to take positive action in their communities, and to know that they are whole people who matter.”

Get in Touch

If you’re interested in having one of the authors or illustrators from The Author Village visit your school or attend your event, either in-person or virtually, or if you have a general question, please fill out the following form: