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)
laurie@lauriewallmark.comWendy BooydeGraaff
Ripple Grove Press
Younger Elementary
10 am – 3pm EST

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
9-3PM PST 

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
gailnallwrites@gmail.comHolly 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

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

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  1. Posted September 21, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Hi, Kate. Can you add me to the list? Thanks!

    Tony Abbott
    Scholastic / HarperCollins / Little Brown / FSG
    Elementary/Older Elementary/Middle School
    9:00 am – 2:00pm EST

  2. Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Hey Kate,
    Can you add an M to my email address?
    Thanks! You’re my favorite.

  3. Posted September 22, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Kate,
    I’d love to be a part of this!

    Annabelle Fisher
    Older Elementary
    11:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.

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