Banned Books Week: An Update, a Note of Thanks, and Some Book Love


This is Banned Books Week, an annual event from the American Library Association celebrating the freedom to read. It’s a week I’ve always marked by sharing my favorite challenged books, honoring authors who write about those tough topics that matter to kids (but sometimes scare adults), and thanking librarians, teachers, and booksellers who make sure kids have access to the books they want and need to read.

This past summer, I had my first real experience with one of my books generating controversy, so I’m celebrating this week with a more personal understanding of the importance of groups like the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.  When an author is disinvited from a school visit or finds their book being pulled from school shelves or kept out of libraries, these groups offer much-needed services – not only in terms of support for the writer but also in the education and outreach they provide to schools and libraries as they work for better outcomes.

This week, I have some positive outcomes to share from the summer. As some of you know, last June, there were several incidents regarding THE SEVENTH WISH, my middle grade novel about Irish dancing, ice fishing, magic, entomophagy, flour babies, and friendship. It’s also about the effects of opioid addiction can have on families, especially younger siblings. Because of this theme, a school librarian I’d never met emailed me to tell me that while she loved my other books, she’d removed THE SEVENTH WISH from her order list when she found out that the main character’s older sister was struggling with addition. I blogged about this here.

After that post, the librarian and I engaged in a long email conversation about censorship vs. book selection, which we agreed to share here. It’s long but shines a light on how people are able to see this issue so differently.  We invited readers to share ideas, too, and the conversation continued with this post, which may also be of interest.

The same week this happened, just as my book was released, one of the Vermont schools I was scheduled to visit on my book tour cancelled the visit with less than twenty-four hours notice. The reason, they said, was that even though they’d sent home a letter to families, they felt they hadn’t prepared their students well enough for the visit, given the sensitive subject matter. The school also returned all the copies of the book they’d purchased to the local bookstore. Later on, the school did decide that it would carry a copy of THE SEVENTH WISH in the school library. The principal also sent home a note letting families of 4th and 5th graders to let them know about my event at the South Burlington Community Library.

While all this was happening, the children’s book community responded with amazing support for the book, for the freedom to read, and for Vermont kids. The South Burlington Community Library offered to host an event. People in Vermont and beyond donated hundreds of copies so that everyone who attended went home with a free copy.

The Seventh Wishsblibrary

South Burlington Community Library Children’s Librarian Meg Paquette sends along this note of thanks:

We appreciate the generosity of:  Bloomsbury Children, Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore, The Bookmark, The Bookstore Plus, Chronicle Books, Erica Perl, Oblong Books & Music, Phoenix Books, Heidi Schulz and all the other anonymous donors who kindly gave copies of THE SEVENTH WISH to the children in our community. The response was overwhelming and as a result we were able to place books into the hands of over 100 young readers as well as create a discussion set for classrooms and book groups.

That discussion set – 35 copies of THE SEVENTH WISH – is currently available at the South Burlington Community Library for any teacher or librarian who would like to sign out books for a classroom read or book club. Thank you so much, Meg!

Phoenix Books, the local independent bookseller handing books for the Burlington tour visits, also offered amazing support. The great folks at Phoenix took orders from readers all over the country and delivered the books for the library event. Phoenix Books also donated one hundred copies of THE SEVENTH WISH themselves. Those additional copies were recently delivered to the Vermont Department of Libraries, which just finished distributing them to school and public libraries throughout the state – providing access to readers in Vergennes, Swanton, Chester, Derby Line, Colchester, Shoreham, Marshfield, St. Johnsbury, South Burlington, Jericho, Randolph, Ludlow, Cabot, Essex Junction, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Westford, Grand Isle, Plainfield, Morrisville, Bristol, Strafford, Quechee, Craftsbury Common, Danville, Greensboro, Franklin, Springfield, East Corinth, North Ferrisburgh, Weybridge, Wilmington, Milton, Bradford, Orwell, Albany, Montpelier, West Rutland, Wolcott, Readsboro, Northfield, Killington, Vernon, St. Albans, Tunbridge, Sharon, Northfield, Thetford, Wardboro, Jeffersonville, Westminster, Williamstown, Windsor, Richford, Alburgh, Rochester, Fairfax, Bethel, Bennington, Montgomery Center, Woodstock, Richford, Jamaica, Townsend, Johnson, Charlotte, Enosburg Falls, Bondville, Middletown Springs, Hartford, Pittsford, North Troy, Waterbury, Marlboro, Fairlee, Bakersfield, Orleans, West Hartford, Moretown, and Island Pond.

That’s a lot of towns and a whole lot of readers, and I am so very grateful.  Thank you, Phoenix Books and Vermont Department of Libraries!

As book challenges go, this one has a pretty positive ending. But that’s not always the case.

This year’s Banned Books Week theme is Celebrating Diversity, noting that books by diverse authors are especially likely to face challenges. From the Banned Books Week website:

“The majority of banned books are disproportionally from diverse authors. The 2016 celebration of Banned Books Week (taking place Sept 25 – Oct. 1) will examine this dichotomy. The American Library Association (ALA) defines diversity as being “those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment, and housing”. Diverse authors represent the marginalized factions of our society and the voices of those who are not often represented in mainstream outlets.

This discrepancy, in regard to the banning of diverse books, is significant. The University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) and publisher Lee & Low have provided statistics from 1994 to 2012 that illustrate that while 37% of the U.S. population are people of color, only 10% of books published focus on multicultural content. In addition, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, has determined that 52% of the books challenged, or banned, over the past decade are from titles that are considered diverse content. These statistics are troubling and create more questions than answers.”

Troubling is an understatement. So what can we do to change that? One small step is making a point to recommend diverse titles by authors from marginalized groups, pointing out why they’re valuable and important. Here are a few of my favorites – not all have been challenged, but I think they’re all important books that should be available for readers:

Sherman Alexie’s THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is not only a thoughtful story about identity and discrimination but a truly hilarious YA novel as well.

Hena Khan’s GOLDEN DOMES AND SILVER LANTERNS is a beautiful book exploring colors through the eyes of a Muslim child celebrating her family’s cultural and religious traditions.

STELLA BRINGS THE FAMILY by Miriam Schiffer is a charming picture book about a girl with two dads, struggling over what to do about a Mother’s Day event at school.

FALLEN ANGELS, Walter Dean Myers’ YA novel about the Vietnam War, is raw and brilliant, and frequently shows up on challenged book lists.

HOW IT WENT DOWN by Kekla Magoon is a complex and heartbreaking story about the shooting of a black teen, told in multiple voices.

Whether or not they’re frequently challenged, what are some of your favorite books by authors from marginalized groups? Let’s build our reading lists this week and shine a light on some of these titles.

Skype with an Author on World Read Aloud Day 2017!

Hi there – and welcome to the World Read Aloud Day author Skype volunteer list for 2017!

If you’re new to this blog, I’m Kate Messner, and I write books like these:

Ranger in Time -- Race to the South PoleHow to Read a StoryLink to Up in the Garden and Down in the DIrt The Seventh Wish

I also read lots of books, and reading aloud is one of my favorite things in the world. When I was a kid, I was the one forever waving my hand to volunteer to read to the class, and still, I’ll pretty much read to anyone who will listen.

For the past few years, I’ve helped out with LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day by pulling together a list of author volunteers who would like to spend part of the day Skyping with classrooms around the world to share the joy of reading aloud.

World Read Aloud Day 2017 is Thursday, February 16, 2017

The authors listed below have  volunteered their time to read aloud to classrooms and libraries all over the world. These aren’t long, fancy presentations; a typical one might go like this:

  • 1-2 minutes: Author introduces himself or herself and talks a little about his or her books.
  • 3-5 minutes: Author reads aloud a short picture book, or a short excerpt from a chapter book/novel
  • 5-10 minutes: Author answers some questions from students about reading/writing
  • 1-2 minutes: Author book-talks a couple books he or she loves (but didn’t write!) as recommendations for the kids

If you’re a teacher or librarian and you’d like to have an author Skype with your classroom or library on World Read Aloud Day, here’s how to do it:

  • Check out the list of volunteering authors below and visit their websites to see which ones might be a good fit for your students.
  • Contact the author directly by using the email provided or clicking on the link to his or her website and finding the contact form.  Please be sure to provide the following information in your request:
    • Your name and what grade(s) you work with
    • Your city and time zone (this is important for scheduling!)
    • Possible times to Skype on February 16th. Please note authors’ availability and time zones. Adjust accordingly if yours is different!
    • Your Skype username
    • A phone number where you can be reached on that day in case of technical issues
  • Please understand that authors are people, too, and have schedules and families just like you, so not all authors will be available at all times. It may take a few tries before you find someone whose books and schedule fit with yours. If I learn that someone’s schedule for the day is full, I’ll put a line through their name – that means the author’s schedule is full, and no more visits are available.  (Authors, please send an email to me know when you’re all booked up!)

World Read Aloud Day – Skyping Author Volunteers for February 16, 2017.

Authors are listed here (kind of randomly, actually…in the order they emailed me) along with publishers, available times, and the age groups for which they write.  (PB=picture books, MG=middle grades, YA=young adult, etc.)

Kate Messner
Elementary & Middle School
9:30-12 (Eastern Time)

Phil Bildner
FSG and Chronicle
Older Elementary
9-12 (Eastern Time)

Jennifer Maschari
Older Elementary & Middle School
8 am- 2pm EST

Loree Griffin Burns
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Henry Holt/Millbrook Press
Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School
8 am- 2pm EST

Laurel Snyder
Chronicle/Walden Pond Press

Barb Rosenstock
Knopf/Random House, Calkins Creek, Dial, Dutton
8am-3pm, CST

Jen Swann Downey
Middle School
I am flexible and in the Eastern Standard Zone.

Stacy McAnulty
Random House, Running Kids Press
8:30 am- 3pm EST

Sarah Albee
Crown/Bloomsbury/Harper Collins/National Geographic

Older Elementary, Middle School
10-2 Eastern Time

Josh Funk
Younger Elementary
3pm – 9pm EST

Jennifer Swanson
National Geographic Kids, Charlesbridge 
Older Elementary, Middle School
10am to 4pm EST

Christine Pakkala
Boyds Mill Press
Younger Elementary
10 am-2 pm EST

Molly B. Burnham
9-4 EST

Lori Richmond
Bloomsbury; Simon & Schuster
Younger Elementary
9:30 am – 3:00 pm EST

Nanci Turner Steveson
HarperCollins Children’s
Upper Elementary/Middle School
7:30-10 Mountain Time

Deborah Freedman
Viking Children’s Books
9 am — 4 pm EST

Sarah Darer Littman
Scholastic Press/S & S Aladdin
Upper Elementary/Middle School/High School
8 am- 6pm EST

Lauren Magaziner
Penguin Books for Young Readers
9 am – 6 pm EST

Lindsey Leavitt
Random House, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury
Elementary & Middle School
All day, Mountain time

Dana Alison Levy
Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House
8:30-3 EST

Karen Romano Young
Chronicle Books
Upper elementary or middle school
9-5 EST

Melanie Conklin
Penguin (Putnam)

Elementary and Middle School
10am-2:30pm EST

Laurie Wallmark
Creston Books

9-5 (Eastern time)


Annette Simon
Younger Elementary
8 am – 2 pm EST

Jennifer Brown
Little, Brown Books; Katherine Tegen; Bloomsbury
Older Elementary, Middle School, High School
8:30am – 2pm CST

Leslie Bulion
7:30 am – 6pm EST

Mike Grosso
Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Older Elementary, Middle School
9:30am-10:15am and 3:15pm-6:00pm CST

Carmella Van Vleet
Holiday House/Charlesbridge/Nomad Press
9:00 am – 3:00 pm EST

Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children’s Books
Older Elementary
Hours: Flexible (EST)

Sara Nickerson
Dutton Children’s Books
Older Elementary
9am-2pm PST

Jane Kelley
Random House Children’s Books; Feiwel & Friends
Older Elementary
10 am – 2 pm CST

Rita Antoinette Borg
Younger Elementary
3 hours/ Gmt +1 with Rome Italy

Kara LaReau
Candlewick & Abrams/Amulet
10-11am and 2:30-3:30pm EST

Anne Broyles
Charlesbridge, Tilbury House, Pelican Elementary

Cynthia Levinson
Peachtree/HarperCollins/Simon & Schuster
Older Elementary, Middle School
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST

Ellen Wittlinger
Merit Press/F&W Media
High School
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Jenny Lundquist
Aladdin M!X/ Simon & Schuster
Older Elementary
9:15am – 2:30pm PST

Robin Newman
Creston Books
Kindergarten – Third Grade
10:00 am – 2:00 pm EST

Karen Leggett Abouraya
Dial/Fable Learning

Upper Elementary
 7:00 am – 8:00 pm   Eastern Standard Time

Anica Mrose Rissi
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Younger Elementary: Grades 1-4
10am to 5pm EST

Monica Tesler
Simon & Schuster
Older Elementary
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Sue Fliess
Albert Whitman & Co/Sky Pony Press
Younger Elementary
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST or

Robin Yardi
Arbordale & Carolrhoda
Elementary (K-6)
7:00 am – 2pm PST

Ronni Arno
Simon & Schuster/Aladdin
Older Elementary / Middle School
9 am – 2 pm EST

Sarah Sullivan
Candlewick Press and Macmillan
All Elementary and Middle Grades 5-7
8 am – 5 pm EST

Alan Katz
9 am – 2 pm EST

Abby Cooper
Older elementary/middle school
9 AM – 3 PM Central

Madelyn Rosenberg
Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)/Holiday House/Scholastic
All Elementary, Middle School
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., EST

Laura Murray
GP Putnam’s Sons
Younger Elementary
9 am -2 pm EST

Mary Crockett
Middle and High School
8 am – 2 pm EST

Paula Chase
Kensington Books/Dafina Imprint
Middle School
9 am- 1:30pm EST

Lisa Schroeder
Scholastic and Simon and Schuster
Older Elementary, Middle School, High School
8 am – 12 pm PST

Julie Segal Walters
Simon & Schuster
Younger Elementary
Available 12:00 – 3:00 EST

Dee Romito
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Older Elementary, Middle School
9:30 AM-2 PM EST

Katy Kelly
Random House
Older Elementary
9:30-6:30 EST

Jenn Bishop
Alfred A. Knopf / Random House
Older Elementary, Middle School
10 am – 5 pm EST

Gail Nall
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Older Elementary and Middle School
10am-2pm EST

Holly Thompson

Henry Holt, Delacorte/Random House, Shen’s/Lee&Low
Elementary, Middle School, High School
8am-5pm Japan time; 8am-11am EST

Erin Teagan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Older Elementary
8am-1pm EST

Brooks Benjamin
Delacorte/Random House
Older elementary/middle school
11:30am–12:45pm & 2:00pm–7:00pm EST

Jennifer Wolf Kam
Charlesbridge Publishing
Middle School/High School
8 am- 2:30 pm, EST

Hannah Barnaby
HMG/Knopf/Putnam/Simon & Schuster
All Elementary; Middle School; High School
9am – 2pm EST

Sarah Aronson
Older Elementary
All day- Central Time Zone

Janet Sumner Johnson
Capstone Young Readers
Older Elementary
9 am- 2pm PST

Ammi-Joan Paquette
Philomel/Penguin, Candlewick, Bloomsbury
11 am- 2pm EST

Corey Ann Haydu
Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins
Older Elementary and Middle School
9-4 EST

Erin Petti
Mighty Media Press
Upper Elementary/ Middle School
erin.m.petti@gmail.comJ. C. Phillipps
Viking/Houghton Mifflin
Younger Elementary
10 am – 2pm EST

Tamara Ellis Smith
Schwartz & Wade (Random House)
Middle School
8:30-11 and 12:30-2 (EST)

Bridget Hodder
Macmillan/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Grades 4-8
all day – EST

Ellen Booraem
Penguin Books for Young Readers
Middle School
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins; Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic
Elementary & Middle School
8 am- 2pm EST

Jodi Kendall
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Upper elementary/Middle School
9:30am-12noon EST

Julie Falatko
Viking Children’s Books
All Elementary
9:30-2:30 ET

Miriam Spitzer Franklin
Skypony Press
Older  Elementary
9-2 EST

Virginia Zimmerman
Clarion Books/HMH
Grade 5-8 / Older Elementary / Middle School
830 am – 230 pm EST

Shari Green
Pajama Press 
Older Elementary
9:00 a.m. – noon PST

Jody Feldman
All Elementary, Middle School
7:30am – 4:30pm Central

Monica Carnesi
Penguin Random House
9 am to 4 pm EST

Lee Gjertsen Malone
Aladdin/ Simon & Schuster
older elementary and middle school
9am to 4pm, EST

Megan Maynor
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Younger Elementary
9:30am-2:00pm CST

Trisha Speed Shaskan
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Younger Elementary
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST

David Huyck
Kids Can Press; Tundra Books
All Elementary
9am-noon Central time

Kirby Larson
Scholastic/Random House/Walker Books for Young Readers/Little Brown
All Elementary and Middle School (depending on the title)
10 am – 2 pm, PST

Augusta Scattergood
Scholastic Press
Upper Elementary, Middle School
10 AM- 12 Noon, 2- 4 PM, EST


Shannon Hitchcock


Older Elementary

10:00 am – 2:00 pm EST


Constance Lombardo


older Elementary

10 – 2  EST


Annemarie O’Brien
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Books for Young Readers
Older Elementary
7am – 8am PST or 6:30pm – 9:30pm PST (on Feb 15th, if international)


Denis Markell

Delacorte Press
Older Elementary/Middle School
9am – 4pm EST


Miriam Spitzer Franklin

Skypony Press

Older Elementary

9-2 EST


Jill Diamond
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)
Grades 3-5 (Older Elementary)
9:30-4 PST


Anna Raff

Candlewick, G.P. Putnam and Sons, Viking

Younger Elementary

9am – 3pm EST


Annette Bay Pimentel

Older Elementary
8 am- 2pm Pacific Time


Kathleen Burkinshaw
Sky Pony Press
Middle School
9-2 EST
Jody Jensen Shaffer
10-2 CST
Mara Rockliff
9-5 EST


Sue Lowell Gallion
Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster
Younger Elementary
9 – 3 CST

Tricia Clasen

Sky Pony Press
Grades: 3-6
9-3 CST
Erin Soderberg Downing
Random House Books for Young Readers
9 am – 4 pm CST

Julie Fortenberry

Viking Books for Young Readers
Younger Elementary
8 am- 5pm EST

Ann Ingalls
Scholastic and Penguin Books for Young Readers
Early Elementary (K-1)
8AM to 12AM CST 

David A. Kelly
Random House Children’s Books
11 am- 5pm EST

Dianne White
Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster
Younger Elementary7 a.m. to 2 p.m. MST


Laura Sassi
Preschool – 2nd grade
10am – 3pm EST
Contact via website:


Ann Jacobus
St. Martin’s Press
High School 
Available 8:30am-1:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), Feb. 16
Maria Gianferrari
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Roaring Brook & more
10AM to 3PM (EST)

Jodi Wheeler-Toppen
National Geographic Kids/Capstone/NSTA Press
Older Elementary
9 am – 1 pm EST
Contact me at

Rebecca J. Gomez
Atheneum, Putnam
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST
Andrea Wang
Albert Whitman & Co.
Younger Elementary
8 am – 3 pm MST
Penny Parker Klostermann
Random House Children’s Books
All Elementary
9am – 3pm CST

Terry Pierce
Tilbury House
8:30-2:30 PST

Hachette/Macmillan + others
All ages
8.00am-6.30pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) UTC/GMT +10 hours

Cynthia Reeg
Jolly Fish Press (Flux)
Upper Elementary
9am-12pm EST
Jackie Azúa Kramer
North South Books
Younger Elementary 
8 am- 2pm EST

Kim Norman
Sterling, Scholastic & Penguin
Lower Elementary
10 am- 2pm EST

Debbi Michiko Florence
Picture Window Books (Capstone)
Elementary (K-2)
9am – 2 pm EST

Elly Swartz
Farrar Straus & Giroux
Older Elementary, Middle School


Sarah Prineas
HarperCollins, Scholastic
Older Elementary
9-12 central time
Rosanne Parry
Random House Children’s Books
older elementary and middle school
5:30am to 10pm, PST

S.A. Larsen (Sheri)
Leap Books
Older Elementary & Middle School
8 am- 2pm EST 

Stephanie Bearce
Source Books/Prufrock Press
Upper Elementary and Middle School
I am available 9am – 2pm central standard time
email me at:

Ann Whitford Paul


Younger elementary

11-2 pacific coast time


Margaret Dilloway


Middle Grade (Older elementary-middle school)

7-10:30 am PST

Michelle Edwards
Random House/Schwartz and Wade
Younger Elementary

9:30-4:00 CT

Anne Ylvisaker
Candlewick Press
Grades 3-6
9am-12pm PST

Nora Gaydos

Random House Kids
Younger Elementary
12:20 pm – 1:10 pm   EST
Miranda Paul
Knopf Books/Lerner/Millbrook & more
Elementary (K-4)

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST

Stephanie Robinson

Delacorte Press

Middle Grade (Grades 4-7)

Older Elementary/Middle School 

9:30-12:30  or 1:45-2:45 Easter Standard Time

I’ll be updating this list every few days until WRAD, so if you check back, you’ll find that the options will change. Schedules will fill, so some folks will no longer be available, but there will also be new people added.

Authors & Illustrators: If your schedule is full & you need to be crossed off the list, please email to let me know. If you’d like to be added to the list, directions are here. Please note that this particular list is limited to traditionally published authors/illustrators, only to limit its size and scope. I’m one person with limited time. However, if someone else would like to compile and share a list of self-published, magazine, and ebook author/illustrator volunteers, I think that would be absolutely great, and I’ll happily link to it here. Just let me know!

Happy reading, everyone!

“World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.”              ~from the LitWorld website

Getting Ready for World Read Aloud Day: A Call for Author/Illustrator Skype Volunteers!

LitWorld’s magical World Read Aloud Day is February 16, 2017 – and one of the fun traditions of this day of sharing stories is for authors around the world to Skype into classrooms & libraries for short read-alouds. For the past few years, I’ve helped out by compiling a list of author volunteers so that teachers & librarians can connect with them to schedule Skype sessions on that day.


Teachers & librarians: Please hold tight for right now… the list will be coming soon!

Authors & Illustrators: Are you a traditionally published* author or illustrator who would like to be listed as a WRAD Skype volunteer? Please read the information & follow the directions below…

WRAD Skype visits aren’t long or fancy presentations. Usually, they last 10-15 minutes and go something like this:

  • 1-2 minutes: Author introduces himself or herself and talks a little about his or her books.
  • 3-5 minutes: Author reads aloud a short picture book, or a short excerpt from a chapter book/novel
  • 5-10 minutes: Author answers some questions from students about reading/writing
  • 1-2 minutes: Author book-talks a couple books he or she loves (but didn’t write!) as recommendations for the kids

Interested in volunteering? If you’re a traditionally published* author or illustrator, here’s how to sign up:

  1. Send an email to
  2. In the subject line, write WRAD Skype volunteer.
  3. In the body of the email, please put these SIX pieces of information, in this exact format, so that it can be copied & pasted into the list:

-Your name

-Your publisher

-Grade level for which your books are most appropriate

(Younger Elementary, Older Elementary, All Elementary, Middle School, or High School)

-Hours you’ll be available and your time zone

-Your website

-Email where you’d like to be contacted with Skype inquiries OR a link to the contact page on your website

Here’s a sample, showing what the body of your email should look like:

Laurel Snyder
Random House Books for Young Readers
8 am- 2pm EST


Thanks for using this exact format. It saves so much time. Once I have all of your information in this format, I’ll add you to the list, which will be shared in early October.

IMPORTANT: Whenever your schedule for WRAD is full, please send another email to to let me know that. As soon as I can, I’ll cross your name off the list so you don’t keep getting requests.

*This list is limited to traditionally published authors/illustrators to limit its size and scope because I’m one person with limited time. However, if someone else would like to compile and share a list of self-published and ebook author/illustrator volunteers, I think that would be absolutely great, and I’ll happily link to it here. Just let me know!