THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. Book Club Contest!

Since THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. was released, I’ve heard from a handful of parents, teachers, & librarians who have already tagged it as a choice for their book clubs.  This thrills me to no end.  Why?  Because I love the sense of community and the conversations that book clubs create.  So today, I’m announcing…

THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. Book Club Contest!

Would you like to read THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. with your book club?  It can be a mother-daughter group, a class literature circle, an after-school book club…any situation where a group of kids (and maybe grownups, too!) get together to talk about books.  In cooperation with my publisher, Walker Books for Young Readers, one book club will win all this:

  • Hardcover copies of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. for your book club (up to 12 copies!)
  • Six copies of TREE FINDER: A MANUAL FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF TREES BY THEIR LEAVES by May T. Watts, a great resource for creating your own leaf collections!
  • GIANNA Z. silicone bracelets and bookmarks for everyone in your book club
  • GIANNA Z. discussion guide, a recipe for Nonna’s famous funeral cookies, and the "What Kind of Tree Are You?" quiz.
  • Me…at your book club meeting!  If you live nearby, I’ll try to come in person,and if you’re far away, I’ll be there via Skype videoconferencing software to tell you all the juicy stories behind the writing of GIANNA Z. and answer questions.

Here’s how to enter.

Email me
at this address:  kmessner at kate messner dot com (with no spaces).

In the subject line, write BOOK CLUB CONTEST

In the body of your email, please include:

1. Your name
2. How many kids/adults in your book club?
3. Why would GIANNA Z. be a good choice for your book club?  Just a sentence or two is fine.  You can learn more about the book, view the trailer, and read reviews here.
4. City and state where you live
5. Your email address, where you’d like to be notified if you win

You must be over 13 to enter. If you’re younger, please have a parent, teacher, or librarian enter for you. 

All entries must be received via email by the end of the day on Thursday, October 15th. A winner will be drawn at random from all eligible entries and notified via email after the drawing.

best tracker


Champlain Quadricentennial Book Club at LCMM

I had a fantastic experience at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum this weekend.  Museum Educator Sarah Lyman emailed me a few months ago with an invitation.  Would I like to participate in a book club for Champlain and the Silent One hosted at the museum?  Kids would read the book along with their parents, then come to the museum on the weekend of the Native American Encampment to talk about it and learn more about what Silent One’s life might have been like.  Would I be interested in participating?  You bet! 

The reenactors who took part in the weekend were fabulous educators and spent lots of time showing hands-on displays of everything from cooking utensils to weapons they’d set up on the museum grounds. The kids who attended had great comments and questions during my presentation, and the group was small enough that we actually got to have a discussion — something you can’t really do when you’re talking in front of an assembly of 300 kids.  We were still chatting away when the next group started filing into the auditorium for a screening of Dr. Fred Wiseman’s Quadricentennial film 1609: The Other Side of History, so we moved our party outside and talked some more during book signing time.

I was especially impressed with some of the younger readers, or listeners as the case may be, who enjoyed the book as a read-aloud with their parents and older siblings.  They had great observations, too, and reminded me that when we write a book and send it out into the world, we can put whatever age range we want on the cover, but that book will find readers of many ages — younger and older than perhaps we’d intended — and some of those unintended readers bring wonderful new perspectives on a story we thought we knew inside and out.

This was the first in a series of summer Quadricentennial events on my calendar.  I’ll be reading & signing books at the South Burlington  Barnes & Noble from 4-6pm on Friday, July 24th.  It’s a "Lake Champlain Weekend" there;  right after my event, Mike Winslow of the Lake Champlain Committee will be signing his new book, Lake Champlain: A Natural History

On July 25th, I’ll be speaking at the League of Vermont Writers summer picnic, along with poet Daniel Lusk, whose new collection of poems explores what’s under Lake Champlain’s surface.  I’m intrigued by this idea and can’t wait to hear his talk.

On July 29th, I’ll be giving a presentation for kids & families at the Alburg Public Library.  And in August…I’ll be home, enjoying my family and summer and the lake, and gearing up for a busy autumn when The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z is released September 1st. 

Authors Who Skype with Classes & Book Clubs (for free!)

Welcome to the Authors Who Skype with Classes & Book Clubs List!  I’m Kate Messner, the children’s author and educator who maintains this site.  I started it because I’ve found that virtual author visits are a great way to connect authors and readers, and I realize that many schools facing budget troubles don’t have the option of paid author visits. With that in mind, this is a list of authors who offer free 15-20-minute Q and A sessions with classes and book clubs that have finished reading one of their books. As an author, I offer Skype chats for all of my titles – check out the “Books” tab above for a list!

 

If you’re interested in booking a “virtual visit” with me, please visit my author-Skype page for current availability and directions for requesting a visit!

How does a Skype virtual visit work?  Click here to read a blog entry about my students’ virtual visit with the fantastic Laurie Halse Anderson. It includes an overview of how a Skype chat with an author might work, as well as tips for teachers, librarians, & book club organizers to help your virtual visit run smoothly.  You can click here to read my first School Library Journal technology feature on Skype author visits, called “Met Any Good Authors Lately? Classroom Visits Can  Happen Via Skype” and this follow-up SLJ feature, “An Author in Every Classroom: Kids Connecting with Authors via Skype. It’s the next best thing to being there.”  There’s also an ever-growing list of authors who offer both free and paid Skype visits at the Skype An Author Network.

Important note for teachers & librarians: Please check with the author via email to be sure he or she still offers free Skype chats before you purchase books or make plans. (Some authors offer only a limited number of free Skype visits, and some who start out offering free visits begin to charge later on.  I don’t always get those updates right away.)  And authors…if you’re on this list but no longer offer free Skype visits, please let me know.

Authors Who Skype With Classes & Book Clubs (for free!)

The following authors offer free 15-20-minute Skype chats with book clubs and classes that have read one of their books! (Many also offer more in-depth virtual visits for a fee.) To arrange a virtual visit, check out the authors’ websites for book choices and contact information.  Then ask for their books at your favorite bookstore or visit IndieBound to find a store near you!

For Picture Book & Young Chapter Book Readers 

Marsha Diane Arnold
Sarah Aronson
Mike Artell
Deborah Blumenthal
Louise Borden
Donna Janell Bowman
Larry Dane Brimner
Susan Taylor Brown
Leslie Bulion
Rachelle Burk
Nancy Castaldo
Tracey M. Cox
Katie Davis
Keila Dawson
Erin Dealey
Lori Degman
Elizabeth Dulemba
Kathy Duval
Carol Gordon Ekster
Jonathan Emmett
Jill Esbaum
Carol Gordon Esker
Julie Falatko
Debbi Michiko Florence
Alison Ashley Formento
Julie Fortenberry
Sonia Clark Foster
Josh Funk
Laura Gehl
Kristin L. Gray
Jenna Grodzicki
Susan Hood
Laurie Jacobs
Lisa Jahn-Clough
Shelli R. Johannes
Rebecca C. Jones
Jacqueline Jules
Jess Keating
Jane Kohuth
Jane Kurtz
Kevin Kurtz
Lindsey Lane
Heather Lang
Kara Lareau
Tara Lazar
Gail Carson Levine
Deb Lund
JoAnn Early Macken
Wendy Martin
Sarah Jane Marsh
Kate Messner
Jamie Michalak
Kate Narita
Christopher Silas Neal
Judy Carey Nevin
Kim Norman
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Wendy Orr
Ammi-Joan Paquette
Erica Perl
Gina Perry
Annette Pimentel
Sally J. Pla
J.L. Powers
Candice Ransom
Elizabeth Raum
Jean Reidy
Mara Rockliff
Madelyn Rosenberg
Barb Rosenstock
Michelle Schaub
Jody Jensen Shaffer
Michael Shoulders
Amy Sklansky
Margo Sorenson
Ruth Spiro
Sarah Sullivan
Jane Sutcliffe
Jennifer Swanson
Debbie A. Taylor
Holly Thompson
Laurie Ann Thompson
Carmella Van Vleet
Nancy Viau
Stef Wade
Laurie Wallmark
Jennifer Ward
Lee Wardlaw
Dianne White
Robin Yardi

For Middle Grade Readers (Ages 8-12)

Sarah Albee
John David Anderson
R.J. Anderson
Aubre Andrus
Kathi Appelt
Sarah Aronson
Hannah Barnaby
Tracy Barrett
Nora Raleigh Baskin
Dale Basye
W.H. Beck
Brooks Benjamin
Eric Berlin
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Julie Berry
Jenn Bishop
Megan Frazer Blakemore
Karen Blumethal
Ellen Booraem
F.T. Bradley
Larry Dane Brimner
Christine Brodien-Jones
Susan Taylor Brown
Leslie Bulion
Tamara Bundy
Lisa Bunker
Stephanie Burgis
Rachelle Burk
Kathleen Burkinshaw
Dori Hillestad Butler
Rebecca Caprara
Caroline Carson
Nancy Castaldo
Jennifer Cervantes
Paula Chase
Samantha M. Clark
Melanie Conklin
Lindsay Currie
Debbie Dadey
Elisabeth Dahl
Tara Dairman
Danielle Davis
Katie Davis
Kenneth C. Davis
Karen Day
Julia DeVillers
Jill Diamond
Erin Dionne
Bonnie Doerr
Rebecca Donnelly
Gail Donovan
Jen Swann Downey
Kathleen Duble
Kathleen Duey
Brianna DuMont
Sarah Beth Durst
Peggy Eddleman
Mary Cronk Farrell
Jody Feldman
Greg Fishbone
Jo Franklin
D. Dina Friedman
Kimberly Newton Fusco
Dee Garretson
Dan Gemeinhart
Karina Yan Glaser
Chris Grabenstein
Mike Graf
Kristin L. Gray
Amy Butler Greenfield
Danette Haworth
Mary Winn Heider
Bridget Heos
Tess Hilmo
Shannon Hitchcock
Bridget Hodder
Sara Lewis Holmes
Amanda Hosch
Jacqueline Houtman
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Michele Weber Hurwitz
Mark Jeffrey
Janet Johnson
Rebecca C. Jones
Jess Keating
Lynne Kelly
Derek Taylor Kent
Rose Kent
Morgan Keyes
Kristen Kittscher
Jo Knowles
Jane Kurtz
R.L. LaFevers
Irene Latham
Jessica Leader
Lindsey Leavitt
Claire Legrand
Jarrett Lerner
Gail Carson Levine
Debbie Levy
Joanne Levy
Cynthea Liu
Nikki Loftin
C. Alexander London
Dayna Lorentz
Eric Luper
JoAnn Early Macken
Wendy McLeod MacKnight
Diane Magras
Andrew Maraniss
Leslie Margolis
Nan Marino
Sarah Jane Marsh
Laura Williams McCaffrey
Stephen McCranie
Robin Mellom
Kate Messner
Laurie Morrison
Rita Murphy
Mahtab Narsimhan
Richard Newsome
Wendy Orr
Alexandra Ott
Ammi-Joan Paquette
Mitali Perkins
Erica Perl
Jen Petro-Roy
Sally J. Pla
J.L. Powers
Sarah Prineas
Katie Quirk
Candice Ransom
Elizabeth Raum
Laura Resau
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Yolanda Ridge
Anica Mrose Rissi
Mara Rockliff
Dee Romito
Madelyn Rosenberg
Susan Ross
Dianne Salerni
Augusta Scattergood
Laura Schaefer
Lisa Schroeder
Heidi Schulz
Rachel Searles
Adam Selzer
Liesl Shurtliff
Laurel Snyder
Margo Sorenson
Tricia Springtubb
Anna Staniszewski
Nanci Turner Steveson
Amy Stewart
Catherine Stine
Sarah Sullivan
Jane Sutcliffe
Jennifer Swanson
Elly Swartz
Erin Teagan
Holly Thompson
Laurie Ann Thompson
Melissa Thomson
Jennifer Trafton
Anne Ursu
Greg van Eekhout
Carmella Van Vleet
Nancy Viau
Rob Vlock
J and P Voelkel
Beth Vrabel
Lee Wardlaw
Cynthia Willis
Dianna Winget
Barry Wolverton
Barbara Wright
Robin Yardi
Karen Romano Young
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

For Teen Readers
(Also check out the list of adult authors below; many also work with teens.)

Karen Akins
E. Kristin Anderson
R.J. Anderson
Ann Angel
Kathi Appelt
Heidi Ayarbe
Kim Baccellia
Pam Bachorz
Cyn Balog
Tracey Baptiste
Tracy Barrett
Janice Gable Bashman
Lauren Bjorkman
Deborah Blumenthal
Karen Blumethal
Sarah Rees Brennan
Larry Dane Brimner
Jessica Burkhart
Kay Cassidy
Angela Cerrito
Crissa-Jean Chappell
Paula Chase
Bethany Crandell
Mary Crockett
Ellen Dee Davidson
Kenneth C. Davis
Christa Desir
Stephanie Diaz
Jaclyn Dolamore
Kathleen Duble
Kathleen Duey
Sarah Beth Durst
Debby Dahl Edwardson
Christina Farley
Beth Fehlbaum
Alison Ashley Formento
Megan Frazer Blakemore
D. Dina Friedman
Margie Gelbwasser
David Macinnis Gill
Lori Goldstein
Carla Gunn
Teri Hall
Brendan Halpin
S.A. Harazin
Sue Harrison
Cheryl Renee Herbsman
Jim C. Hines
Jennifer Hubbard
Jennifer Jabaley
Denise Jaden
Lisa Jahn-Clough
Christine Johnson
Jennifer Kam
Tara Kelly
James Kennedy
Jo Knowles
Daniel Kraus
Nina LaCour
Marie Lamba
Kristen Landon
Lindsey Lane
Mackenzi Lee
Claire Legrand
Anita Liberty
Catherine Linka
Sarah Darer Littman
Cynthea Liu
Dayna Lorentz
Amber Lough
Elisa Ludwig
Eric Luper
Sarah Maclean
Torrey Maldonado
Andrew Maraniss
Leslie Margolis
Peter Marino
Laura Williams McCaffrey
Kate McGovern
Neesha Meminger
Dawn Metcalf
Marissa Meyer
Lynn Miller-Lachman
Megan Miranda
Saundra Mitchell
Mike Mullin
Elisa Nader
Greg Neri
Patricia Newman
Caragh O’Brien
Sarah Ockler
Micol Ostow
Maria Padian
Ammi-Joan Paquette
Mark H. Parsons
Jackson Pearce
Ashley Perez
Mitali Perkins
Erica Perl
Amy Plum
Gae Polisner
J.L. Powers
Laura Resau
Beth Revis
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Emily Ross
Lena Roy
Amy Kathleen Ryan
Carrie Ryan
Dianne Salerni
Peter Salomon
Sydney Salter
Karen Sandler
Eliot Schrefer
Lisa Schroeder
Inara Scott
Adam Selzer
Kristina Springer
Alison Stine
Catherine Stine
Laurie Stolarz
Holly Thompson
Laurie Ann Thompson
Tiffany Trent
Melissa Walker
Lee Wardlaw
Carly Anne West
Amy Brecount White
Elaine Wolf
Mary Rose Wood


For Adult Readers
(Also check out the authors listed above; middle grade & teen novels can be great book club selections!)

Michele Albion
Alma Alexander
Amy Alkon
Christa Allan
Charlene Ann Baumbich
Sandra Gulland
Carla Gunn
Sue Harrison
Gail Carson Levine
M.M. Holaday
Sarah Maclean
Andrew Maraniss
Louise Mathewson
Maryann McFadden
Kitty Morse
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Kelly Simmons
Garth Stein
Amy Stewart
Holly Thompson
Gwendolyn Zepeda
 

For Authors & Illustrators:  If you’re an author or illustrator of a traditionally published book who would like to be added, please email me (katemessner books at gmail dot com) with your name, website, and publisher, and whether you write picture books, MG, YA, or adult.  For the sake of being clear, traditionally published means published in print by a widely recognized children’s book publisher. I recognize that e-books and self-published titles are also part of the publishing world, but a list that encompasses all of those would simply be too overwhelming for me to maintain. If someone would like to start a list of ebook and self-published authors who Skype, I think that would be great, and I’ll happily link to it here. So again…this is a list of traditionally published authors who offer FREE 15-20 minute Skype chats with classrooms & book clubs that have read one of their books.

If you’re a bookseller or book club member, teacher, or librarian, thanks for stopping by – and feel free to comment with any questions!

Lake Champlain Book Club!

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is an amazing resource for lake history, so when their educators asked if I’d be part of a book club for families, I jumped at the chance.  I love the way they’ve scheduled the book club event to coincide with the museum’s Native American Encampment so kids will get to see and touch so many of the things they read about in Champlain in the Silent One — right down to a replica of a birch bark canoe.  Here’s the flyer… Feel free to share the link if you know families that might be interested!