Meet our iNK THINKers

Here’s what every iNK-Thinker is:

  • an award-winning writer of nonfiction and an expert in Language Arts
  • a professional speaker who can present any audience with an engaging program.
  • an experienced presenter who can offer workshops and provide personal insights into the processes of writing and research.


A rock star in your classroom!

Janus Adams

BackPax: Empowering ‘adventurous young minds™’

Engaging children in history and culture through travel and adventure.

Janus Adams

Home Base:  Accord, NY



Emmy Award-winning journalist, historian, entrepreneur and best-selling author ,Dr. Janus Adams is the host of public radio’s “The Janus Adams Show” and podcast.

As an entrepreneur, she founded Back Pax (a children’s publishing company)  of multi-media books, games, and audio-books for the engagement of children in other cultures and other parts of the world through travel and adventure.

Dr. Adams has been engaged by history and culture since childhood.   A northern school desegregation pioneer at 8, she was one of the four children selected to break New York’s de facto segregation in the public schools in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education.  Her M.a. was the nation’s first graduate degree in Black Studies.  She was awarded a Doctor of Human Letters from Shaw University.

“I decided I would have to be brave. When I can’t be brave or forget how, I ‘whistle a happy tune’ and put on something outrageously red.”

Jan Adkins

The Explainer General

History, Technology, and Biography

Jan Adkins

Jan Adkins is an odd bird, excited by things tiny and by enormous concepts. He’s published about forty-five books but they seem to be only excuses to find new stories and learn new facts. He’s been called “The Explainer General” because most of his work unsnarls complicated knots of confusion and re-builds them as simple paths to understanding. He explains bright bits of the world in pictures and words, often to young people. He’s written about sandcastles, bridges, pirates, knights, cowboys, maps, sailing, knots, coal, oil and gold. He’s got a long list of things he still wants to figure out and explain. Adkins (this is what his grandsons call him) believes real history and real science are ten or twelve times cooler than fairy tales and magic.


“All the good stories are real. How could we make up Vlad Dracula? Or Stephen Hawking?”


Jan Adkins Book List

The Craft of Sail (Walker & Company)

Moving Heavy Things (WoodenBoat Books reprint)

Solstice (WoodenBoat Books reprint)

What If You Met a Pirate? (Roaring Brook Press)

What If You Met a Knight? (Roaring Brook Press)

What If you Met a Cowboy? (Roaring Brook Press)

Bridges: From My Side to Yours (Roaring Brook Press)

Bertha Takes a Drive (2015) (Charlesbridge Press)

John Adams: Young Revolutionary (Aladdin)

Thomas Edison: a Photographic Biography (Dorling Kindersly)

UP Close: Frank Lloyd Wright, An American Life (Viking Press)

Sarah Albee

Celebrating the History of Science and the Science behind History

Social Studies (US History, World History, Biography)

Science (History of Science, Biology, Biography, Environmental)

Sarah Albee

Home base: Watertown, CT



Sarah’s mission is to get kids to see how awesome history can be. She does this by choosing a topic that interests them (toilets, sanitation, insects, fashion, disease) and tracing that topic through the entire course of human history. She also likes to make them laugh. As a visiting author she keeps kids engaged through active participation, funny props, and amazing visuals, and helps them make connections between their own lives and what happened in history. She also loves to help them with crafting their own writing.


“My books are a mash-up of history and science. I believe high-interest topics presented with humor and passion can go a long way toward coaxing reluctant readers into appreciating history, science, and, yes, reading books.”

Sarah Albee's Book List

Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up

Bugged: How Insects Changed History

Why’d They Wear That? (pubs Feb 15)

Mary Kay Carson

Storyteller of True Adventures and Real Discoveries

– Topics: wildlife, nature, animals, outer space, weather, inventors, underground railroad, biography, nonfiction writing-

Mary Kay Carson

Home base: Cincinnati, OH

Mary Kay is a nature nut, space geek, weather watcher, animal addict, and lover of good stories. Her books tap into a young person’s sense of wonder about the world and her or his place in it. She employs the power of story to engage readers with fascinating true tales of invention, discovery, survival, and understanding. During visits to schools she shares the stories featured in her books, from hunting for Gila monsters in the desert to how two bicycle-making brothers invented the first flying machine.

“I’m a writer because I like to share fascinating facts, inspiring stories, and exciting ideas with other people—especially kids!”

Mary Kay Carson's Recent Books

Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard

Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

Magic School Bus: Ocean Adventure

Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More

Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass

Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote?

The Wright Brothers for Kids: How They Invented the Airplane (with 21 Activities Exploring the Science and History of Flight)

The Bat Scientists

Far-Out Guide to the Icy Dwarf Planets

Which Way to Freedom?: And Other Questions About the Underground Railroad

Nancy F. Castaldo
Nancy F. Castaldo

Home Base: Hudson Valley, NY


Website: http;

Twitter: @NCastaldoAuthor

Nancy Castaldo spent her childhood climbing trees, exploring swamps, and searching under rocks. Today Nancy writes about all sorts of science subjects, from polar bears, to Russian seed banks. Along the way Nancy has met detection dogs, researched endangered species, chatted with a bonobo, and met lots and lots of scientists.

“I write my books to inspire curiosity, empower my readers, and encourage them to think about something new.”

Nancy F. Castaldo's Book List

  • Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World
  • Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel
  • Keeping Our Earth Green
  • The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate
  • How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World-Green Earth Book (Award title)
  • Back from the Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction (2018)
  • The Race Around the World – How Nellie’s Bly Chased An Impossible Dream 
  • Mission Polar Bear Rescue  
Vicki Cobb

The “Julia Child” of kids’ hands-on science.

Science (Physical, Life Science, History of Science, Technology, Biography)

Vicki Cobb

Home base: White Plains, NY


She’s gone gorilla trekking in Uganda, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, and hiked a Hawaiian volcano. She’s combined science and show-business on her website with her entertaining 1 min. videos of kids doing hands-on science, Vicki’s main focus. Vicki received a Lifetime Achievement Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012.  She is the President and Founder of iNK Think Tank, Inc. –a nonprofit organization with the mission of getting high quality children’s nonfiction and their authors into classrooms everywhere.

“All of my work is dedicated to giving the joy of discovery to children, which creates the foundation for a lifetime of ongoing inquiry and learning.”

Vicki Cobb's Book List

  • Science Experiments You Can Eat (revised 2016)
  • We Dare You! Hundreds of Fun Science Bets, Challenges and Experiments You Can Do at Home
  • What’s the BIG Idea? Amazing Science Questions for the Curious Kids
  • I See Myself (Science Play Series)
  • I Get Wet (Science Play Series)
  • I Face the Wind (Science Play Series)
  • I Fall Down (Science Play Series) (Sibert Honor)
  • Your Body Battles series (6 titles)
  • Science Surprises (science fair projects)
  • How Could We Harness a Hurricane? (2017)
Sneed B. Collard III
  • Science & Environment (Life Sciences, Technology, Nature)
  • Adventure (Memoir, Travel, Fiction)
  • Professional Development (Writing Texts for Teachers)

Passionate About Planet Earth

Sneed B. Collard III

Home base: Missoula, MT

Equipped with his biologist background, Sneed has explored six of the seven continents to research and photograph his eighty-plus award-winning children’s books. These range from picture books to investigative science for older grades. Sneed’s books are known for their originality and high literary content.

“Teachers can ‘double-dip; when using them, teaching literacy while working in important – and fascinating – concepts of science.”

Sneed B. Collard III’s Book List

  • Woodpeckers—Drilling Holes and Bagging Bugs
  • Hopping Ahead of Climate Change—Snowshoe Hares, Science, and Survival
  • Fire Birds—Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests
  • Catching Air–Taking the Leap with Gliding Animals
  • Sneed B. Collard III’s Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards
  • Animal Dads
  • Shep–Our Most Loyal Dog
  • Teeth
Sally Cook

Word Nerd and Real Life Storyteller

Nonfiction, biography, cultural diversity, sports, humor

Sally Cook

Home base: New York City



 When Sally presents her HOW TO SPEAK SPORTS series to students (K-12) she emphasizes the rich lingo or jargon behind many topics beyond sports—show biz, music, aviation—to name a few subjects. Sally motivates students to research and investigate the words and amusing historical stories behind a subject. Often before Sally visits she asks students to research a topic and make his/her very own HOW TO SPEAK books. Students have created books on various subjects including Vikings, Shakespeare, ice skating and animals. In addition, Sally’s two biographies show how hard work, perseverance and passion can help overcome adversity. Sally’s books have won many awards and honors. One of her books has been on the New York Times bestseller list and another was lauded by author James Patterson as being one of his top five picks for best picture books.

I love helping students to see how enjoyable it is to become a language detective, while loving great stories. 

Sally Cook's Book List

How to Speak Baseball (Chronicle)

How to Speak Golf (Flatiron)

How to Speak Football (Flatiron)

Another Season: A Coach’s Story of Raising an Exceptional Son (Little Brown)

Good Night Pillow Fight (HarperCollins)

Jan Greenberg

K-8 Fine Arts
 (Art and Architecture, Dance);
Social Studies (Biography, History)
Jan Greenberg

Home base: St. Louis, MO

Jan has traveled all over the world visiting artists’ studios and museums to write groundbreaking books that open children’s eyes to contemporary art. “What do you say,” Jan asks them, “after you say ‘I like it or I don’t like it?’” From Vincent Van Gogh to Christo and Jeanne-Claude, her biographies of artists and architects tell stories of risk-takers and innovators, who challenged old ideas and created new forms. Her anthologies of poetry inspired by art offer teachers and students a fresh approach to both writing about and looking at artworks. She loves finding connections between art forms and her next book will be about dance, sculpture and music.

“My goal has been to help young readers come to new art with a fresh and open mind and to begin a conversation that will continue throughout their lives.”

Jan Greenberg's Book List

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond
Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop
Runaway Girl: The Artist Louise Bourgeois
Action Jackson
Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist
Frank Gehry, Outside In
Chuck Close, Up Close
The American Eye: Eleven Artists of the Twentieth Century
The Sculptor’s Eye: Looking for American Art
Cheryl Harness
She’s historical!
Social Studies
 (US Hist.; Geography, Biography, Transportation); Science (Hist. & Nature)
Cheryl Harness

Home base: Independence, MO

Cheryl’s lively biographies and social histories are noted for their detailed illustrations, researched in her travels round the nation. She and her books help educators teach about the vast panoply of life going on in America, from the 1600s to the 1900s.

“I see my job as countering the notion that history consists of boring factoids about dead people and wars. No, it’s a big, fat ongoing drama!

Cheryl Harness' Book List

The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal
Remember the Ladies
Ghosts of the White House
Ghosts of the Civil War
Three Young Pilgrims
The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin
George Washington
The Revolutionary John Adams
The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone
The Groundbreaking,  Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver 
Kerrie Logan Hollihan

Teaching the Power of Wonder

Kerrie Logan Hollihan

Home base: Cincinnati, OH

When I meet with middle graders, I ask them to sit quietly for a minute to think. I encourage them to unplug and take time to wonder, just as Isaac Newton did. And I finish my presentations with “What if?..” Hands-on learning helps kids make connections with the past, so I create activities to draw my readers into the lives of people in my books. What’s more, narrative nonfiction is an art form! I work to make my words sing, and I love to share my joy in writing with students of all ages.

I “tell it like it was.” Kids don’t get credit for being able to understand history as it plays out. I put the past in context, and I tackle tough topics: segregated America, religious persecution, women’s rights, the bleakness of war. I explain the ‘whys’ as well as the ‘whats’ For teens, I deal with young people at turning points in their lives, which helps my readers build links to the past and to young people who felt every bit as modern as today’s teens see themselves.

Kerrie Logan Hollihan's Book List

Reporting Under Fire: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photo Journalists

Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote (21 Activities)

Elizabeth I: The People’s Queen *Her Life and Times (21 Activities)

Theodore Roosevelt for Kids *His Life and Times (21 Activities)

Isaac Newton & Physics for Kids *His Life and Ideas (with 21 Activities)


Latin American Celebrations and Festivals series:

Carnival in Latin America / Carnaval en Latinoamérica

            Christmas Traditions in Latin America / Tradiciones Navidenas de Latinoamérica

            Day of the Dead / Dìa De Los Muertos

            Hispanic Heritage Month / Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Steve Jenkins
Making Sense of the Natural World

Science (Animals, Earth Science, Outer Space)

Steve Jenkins

Home Base: Colorado

For the past 15 years Steve has lived and worked in a house built in the 1880’s in Boulder, Colorado.  Before moving to Colorado, Steve lived in North Carolina, Panama, Virginia, Kansas, and New York City. The son of a physics professor and astronomer, Steve imagined, growing up, that he’d also be a scientist. He became a graphic designer and illustrator instead, eventually opening a design office with Robin Page (now his wife and frequent co-author). He began writing and illustrating children’s books about the natural world in 1994, and, having finally found a way to combine his love of art and science, has never looked back.

Steve Jenkin's Book List

Eye to Eye
The Animal Book
The Beetle Book
Time to Eat (with Robin Page)
Time for a Bath (with Robin Page)
Time to Sleep (with Robin Page)
Just a Second
Never Smile at a Monkey
How to Clean a Hippopotamus (with Robin Page)
Down, Down, Down


Cynthia Levinson

A Scribe for Social Justice

Content Areas: Social Studies (History, Biography, Civics, Multiculturalism, Diversity)


Cynthia Levinson

Home base: Austin, TX



By writing about kids who have made history by changing their world, Cynthia shows readers how they can make the history of the future. Her award-winning books drop readers into the past, the foreign, and the barely believable-but-true. To accomplish these feats, she immerses herself in the places, times, food, music, smells, weather—you name it. She’s even juggled (two balls!) and walked a tightrope to get the story. Her interactive school Workshops and Playshops, which meld content learning with writing and research skills, are equally immersive as kids act, sing, and do whatever it takes to get absorbed into the old and the different.

“My goals are to write truth that reads like fiction and to share those skills and truths with kids.”


Cynthia Levinson's Book List

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March  (Peachtree, 2012; available in audio from Listening Library/Random House). Multiple awards, including 2013 IRA Young Adult Nonfiction Award, Jane Addams Book Award for Older Children, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction (Finalist), American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, NCTE Orbis Pictus Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Honor Book), SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction (Honor Book), Parents’ Choice: Gold Medal, TLA Spirit of Texas Award, Massachusetts Must-Read Book, Julia Ward Howe Book Award (Finalist), California Reading Association: Eureka! Gold Medal for Nonfiction.

Watch Out for Flying Kids! How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community (Peachtree, 2015). Kirkus Reviews: “…a thoroughly enjoyable volume. Enchanting indeed—and inspiring as well.” ILA Social Justice Literature Award for Nonfiction, Sydney Taylor Notable Book, Booklist’s 10 Best Multicultural Books of 2016.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2016). Kirkus Reviews: “A respectful, insightful, and inspiring portrait…”

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2017)

Trish Marx
The Earth Whisperer
Social Studies
 (Biography, U.S. and World History, Current Events, Cultural Diversity); Environmental Science
Trish Marx

Home base: New York City, NY

Trish writes nonfiction from an emotional core. Her books reflect her interests in the world – social justice, the environment, biographies of really stubborn people, great stories about exotic places and the characters who lived in them, war and refugees, young musicians and a hippo named Hanna who become a favorite with home schooling programs. She still works with students she first had while teaching writing at Marymount Manhattan College.

“In writing nonfiction for middle graders, I look for what wordlessly touches me. For a book about the mummies of southern Peru, the arrow connecting me to the rest of the story was the balls of yarn, still vibrantly red and yellow, found in the tomb of a thousand-year-old mummy. My grandmother’s balls of yarn, in her knitting basket, looked just the same.”

Trish Marx's Book List

Sharing Our Homeland, Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp
Kindergarten Day, China and USA
Elephants and Golden Thrones: Inside China’s Forbidden City
Steel Drumming at the Apollo: The Road to Super Top Dog
Everglades Forever: Restoring America’s Great Wetland
Touching the Sky: The Flying Adventures of Wilbur and Orville Wright (With Louise Borden)
Jeannette Rankin: First Lady of Congress
One Boy from Kosovo
Hanna’s Cold Winter
Echoes of World War II
Carla Killough McClafferty
Illuminating lives from the past, impacting lives in the present.

Biography (Ordinary People who do Extraordinary Things, Men and Women who Changed our World)Social Studies (U.S. History, World History, Women’s History, Cultural Diversity, Holocaust Rescuer, Government, Unlikely Heroes, Democracy) Science (Forensic Science, Science in Everyday Life, Great Discoveries, History of Science, Progression of Science, Human Body, Modern Science and Technology, Progression of Modern Technology, Computer Entrepreneurs)

Carla Killough McClafferty

Carla Killough McClafferty writes literary nonfiction books that make her topics come to life. She loves research and compares it to a treasure hunt.  For each subject, she mines primary source documents to find just the right details to make her text exciting, understandable and accurate. Carla coined the phrase “Biography Plus” to describe her books because she writes about the lives of her subjects–then adds more information. In each book, she finds a way to combine the worlds of history, art, science, and technology-all within the pages of a fascinating true story…

“I want readers to connect with the people I write about on an emotional level. To see historical figures in a way they’ve never seen them before-as real people not just a name in a textbook. My books reveal how my subjects were just like everyone else-they were sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but through it all they persevered to achieve their goals.

Carla Killough McClafferty's Book List


Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make or Break Moment

Tech Titans

The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon

In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium

The Head Bone’s Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky and Wonderful X-ray

Heather L. Montgomery

Life-long Learner

Home Base: Ardmore, AL

Heather L. Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery uses yuck appeal to engage young minds. She is passionate about hooking resistant readers, inspiring reticent writers, and empowering research bliss. Heather’s printed works focus on science with topics ranging from snakes to snail tongues. Presentations often  include bugs that burp and slurp, tree guts, and petrified body parts. Heather has a B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Environmental Education, and awards for her educational programs.

Ask, explore,discover. Repeat. Inquiry is my life!

Heather's Book List

How Rude! Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners

Unsolved Mysteries of Nature 

The Case of the Missing Arctic Fox: And Other True Animal Mysteries For You to Solve

Kingsnakes (Wild About Snakes)

Rattlesnakes (Wild About Snakes)

Garter Snakes (Wild About Snakes)

Mummies: Truths and Rumors

How is Soil Made? (Everybody Digs Soil)

Why Do My Teeth Fall Out?: And Other Questions Kids Have About the Human Body

How to Survive an Earthquake

Marissa Moss

Illuminating Hidden Histories


Marissa Moss

Home base: Berkeley, CA



Marissa Moss looks for the stories that are missing from how history is taught, the intriguing gems that can inspire young minds. She’s written about women who dressed as men and fought in the Civil War, about the other tea parties (there were four, not just the one in Boston), and picture book biographies about people who have been forgotten, despite their pivotal historical importance, from Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly across the English Channel to Kenichi Zenimura, who introduced baseball as a morale booster into the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II. All her books have curriculum guides (see her website, and all have programs teachers can use to teach history and writing about history. Moss’ books have won many awards, including the California Book Award, ALA Notable, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, IRA Teachers’ Choices, and Amelia Bloomer Selections. She’s an experienced speaker and has given writing workshops all over the world.

“I love to find the unknown and forgotten heroes, the people who’ve made big differences, but haven’t gotten the attention they deserve.”

Marissa Moss' Book List

America’s Tea Party: Not One But Four (Abrams)Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming (Creston)

Mira’s Diary: Bombs Over London (Creston

Barbed Wire Baseball (Abrams)

Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome (Sourcebooks)

A Soldier’s Secret (Abrams)

Nurse, Soldier, Spy (Abrams)

The Bravest Woman in America  (Tricycle

Mighty Jackie, the Strike-Out Queen,  (Simon & Schuster)

Roxie Munro

Visual thinker

Science (Biology, Ecosystems, Aviation)
Social Studies & History (Biographies [fliers, explorers, builders], Travel, Cities)
Fine Art (Architecture, Visual games)


Roxie Munro
Home base: New York, NY
 Roxie has written and illustrated more than 40 nonfiction books. To engage children and impart information, she often uses “gamification” (inside-outside concepts, ABCs/numbers, lift-the-flap, hidden images, mazes, guessing games, search-n-find, puzzles). For her ecosystem books, she traveled to the arctic (Spitzbergen), rainforest (Hawaii, Marquesas Islands), alpine (Switzerland, USA), deserts (Sahara, USA, Mexico), coral reefs (Hawaii, Tahiti), tundra (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland), wetlands (Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi Delta). For Blimps she took a private USA ride, and visited a blimp factory in Britain; for her Inside-Outside books she traveled to London, Paris, and all over the USA. Roxie has published three interactive apps, and nine more for the KIWi (Kids Interactive Walk-in) Storybooks. Out in 2017: Masterpiece Mix  (a book about art). Out in 2018: Rodent Rascals.

“Nonfiction is more exciting and stimulating than most fiction – we live in an amazing world.”

Roxie Munro's Book List

Busy Builders

Christmastime in New York City

Desert Days, Desert Nights

Go! Go! Go!


Inside-Outside Dinosaurs


Slithery Snakes

Wild West Trail Ride Maze

Amy Nathan

Stories that surprise and inspire

Fine Arts (Dance, Music);

Soc. Studies (US. Hist., Women’s Hist., Cultural Diversity, Social Issues,Racism, Human Rights/Women’s Rights, Social Issues/Gender Discrimination, Women’s Studies)

Amy Nathan

Home base: Larchmont, NY

Amy’s books cover a range of topics: women’s history, civil rights history, music, and dance. A key feature are her personal interviews with fascinating people, combined with careful research that fits their experiences into a wider framework, something she is well prepared to do as a history major and from many years writing for children’s magazines. “The people I’ve interviewed have inspired me, particularly their determination to follow their dreams, no matter what obstacles may seem to block the way. I hope their stories will inspire the books’ readers.”

Amy Nathan's Book List

Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II

Count On Us: American Women In The Military

The Young Musician’s Survival Guide

Round And Round Together: Taking a Merry-Go-Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement

Meet The Dancers: From Ballet, Broadway and Beyond

Meet The Musicians: From Prodigy (or Not) to Pro

Take A Seat–Make A Stand: A Hero in the Family

The Kids’ Allowance Book

The Music Parents’ Survival Guide: A Parent-to-Parent Conversation

Aline Alexander Newman

Wildlife Storyteller 

Language Arts: reading, writing, research techniques  Science: animal behavior, nature, conservation

Aline Alexander Newman

Home Base: Turin, NY



Exciting stories. Fun facts. Gorgeous photos. Kids get all three in Aline’s engaging chapter books published by National Geographic Kids. Through in-depth interviews with everyone from third-graders to Dr. Jane Goodall, Aline uncovers incredible, 100% true stories about animals and the people who love them. Then she writes these heartwarming tales so that they read much like fiction, complete with compelling characters, real-life scenes, plot, dialogue, and narrative tension.

How does she do it? This becomes the focus of her author talks in schools. As a certified teacher, Aline knows the importance of getting students involved. Besides intriguing visuals, her programs include interactive, hands-on activities like role-playing, skits, and dressing up—complete with props.

“It’s a great way to get kids inside an animal’s head, which helps them see our world from a different perspective and encourages them to preserve it.”


Aline Alexander Newman"s Book List

Ape Escapes! And More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly
Animal Superstars And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Talents
Lucky Leopards! And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues
Rascally Rabbits! And More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly 
How To Speak Dog
How To Speak Cat
Cat Tales
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Nature’s Animal Ambassador
 (Life & Physical Sci., Botany, Ecology, Environmental, Zoology); Social Studies (Regions, Geography, US Hist., Plains Indian history)
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Home base: Missoula, MT

twitter handle #dogwriterdorothy


To the many books she has written about nature and history, Dorothy came well-equipped: with her own adventures in Asia, Europe, and the Americas; a Ph. D. in Zoology; and a childhood spent (mostly) out of doors, “collecting butterflies, snakes, frogs, etc.” She and her insightful books can bring the natural world into your classroom and show how the study of science “can help children think logically…and enhance their enjoyment of life.

Dorothy has received many awards and honors for her writing, but she’s most proud of receiving the “Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award For Exemplary Advocation of Biodiversity Through the Authorship of Children’s Science Literature” Receiving this award from the hands of her longtime role model in 2014 was a high point for her.

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Book List

Saving Audie
When the Wolves Returned
The Buffalo and the Indians
The Horse and the Plains IndiansDogs on DutySuper SniffersDecorated HorsesThe Call of the Osprey
The Right Dog for the Job
The Bald Eagle Returns
Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes
Laurence Pringle
For kids: celebrating nature, inspiring good writing
Science (Animals, Life Science, Nature, Ecosystems, Environment, Evolution, Lives of Scientists)Social Studies (U.S. History, Biography, Geography, Regional History)
Laurence Pringle

Home Base: West Nyack, NY

Sharks! and Snakes! and Scorpions! (Oh, my!)–they don’t begin to capture the rich variety of Laurence Pringle’s fascinating books. Larry also writes about the lives of scientists (Dolphin Man, Scorpion Man) and history, including two Lewis  & Clark titles. His education as a wildlife biologist led, via serendipity, to a distinguished career creating 117 titles–so far. He has earned several national honors, including a lifetime achievement award for excellence in science books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The roots of Larry’s career can be traced to a childhood full of exploring woods, creeks, and ponds–and of reading. His passion for nature enlivens his writing. A School Library Journal reviewer praised his ability to “examine meanings, raise questions, and encourage observation–all in a well-woven narrative.” Larry’s excitement about nature, science, biography, and history shines through in his varied school programs, which span pre-K through middle school.

They say that curiosity killed the cat, and I say that cat was never bored! In schools I celebrate curiosity, and show how solid research can give readers both what they need to know AND what they want to know, for fun.”


Laurence Pringle's Book List


 The Secret Life of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar Scorpions!Strange and Wonderful 

ICE! The Amazing History of the Ice Business 

Frogs! Strange and Wonderful

Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution 

American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Scorpions! Strange and Wonderful

Spiders! Strange and Wonderful

Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland’s Adventures with Lewis and Clark

An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly

Doreen Rappaport


Social Studies U.S. History, World History, Women’s Hisstory, Multilcultural History, the Holocaust, Jewish Resistance, Biography, Civil Rights, Social Justice, Women’s History, Cultural Diversity, Racism, Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Biography  People Who Overcame Obstacles, Empowered themselves, and Changed the World

Social Studies U.S. History, World History, Women’s History, Cultural Diversity, Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Doreen Rappaport

Home base:  Copake Falls, New York



Teaching in the summer of 1965 in a Freedom school in McComb Mississippi transformed Doreen’s life when she met “ordinary” people who did extraordinary things.  The experience launched her on a career to introduce children to the strivings and struggles of human beings. She has written about “Celebrated” Americans—Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr.–and “Not-Yet-Celebrated Americans”— Olaudah Equiano, Zitkala-Sa, and Thecla Mitchell.  She spent ten years researching Jewish resisters who fought their oppressors in the nightmare of the Holocaust.  Her books have been praised for their meticulous research and varied literary styles.

 “I want children to understand that they too have the capacity to empower themselves and shape the futures they want.  If I have a mission, that’s my mission.”


Doreen Rappaport's Booklist

Susanna Reich


Fine Arts (Dance, Visual Arts, Music Hist.);
Soc. Studies (Biography, Cultural Diversity, US. Hist., Women’s Hist.)
Susanna Reich

Home base: Ossining, NY

Susanna’s back­ground as a designer and pro­fes­sional dancer and her grad­u­ate work in dance and South Pacific cul­tures are reflected in her meticulously-researched biogra­phies of his­tor­i­cal fig­ures in the arts and other creative fields. What roles do art and artists play in soci­ety? How and why do people become artists, and what can they  teach us about tapping into our own creativity? Susanna and her books answer these ques­tions, “help­ing kids under­stand the world by see­ing it through the eyes of artists and creative people.”


Susanna Reich's Book List

Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat (Abrams)
Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin (Clarion)
José! Born to Dance: The Story of José Limón (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster)
Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso (Clarion)

Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles (Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt)

Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music and the Path to Justice (Bloomsbury)

Julie K. Rubini

History: Biographies

Social Sciences: Behavior

Julie K. Rubini,

Julie is naturally curious and loves sharing her discoveries with children of all ages.

She has a knack for uncovering stories of inspiring, unsung heroes and subjects which are unique to young readers.

Julie came into the world of children’s literature through establishing a children’s book festival in honor of her late daughter. Claire’s Day, a Celebration of Life, Authors, Illustrators and Reading Excellence impacts 20,000 children annually.

Julie has a blast sharing stories and spreading her messages of inspiration, her passion for reading and writing, all the while using her sense of humor. She sings upon request.

I believe in living life to its fullest, exploring opportunities as they come, and empowering people of all ages to conquer their fears and pursue their dreams.”

Julie Rubini's Book List

Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller

Missing Millie Bension: The Secret Case of the Ghorswriter and Journalist, Nancy Drew

Coming in 2019: Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan



Elizabeth Rusch

Science (Earth, Space, Engineering, Technology, Geology, Volcanology, Invention)  Social Studies (History, Community Service, Biography) Fine Arts (Music, Art, Biography, History)

Elizabeth Rusch

Homebase: Portland, OR

Twitter: @elizabethrusch

Facebook: @elizabethruschauthor


Children’s book author and magazine writer Elizabeth Rusch loves the Carl Sagan quote: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Many of her books and articles are about discovery:  an astronomer’s revolutionary findings about our solar system, two adventurous little rovers’ explorations of the red planet, a geologist’s insights about an unfolding volcanic eruption, a new way to look at Wolfgang Mozart through the life of his talented but forgotten sister. Rusch’s books bring young readers untold or missed stories, cutting-edge insights, and fresh ways of seeing popular subjects. “You never know what will spark a student’s interest and feed the flame of learning. For me, all subjects are connected: writing, reading, science, art, music, math, social studies. By presenting myself as a writer with wide ranging passions – for astronomy, volcanology, art, music, history, and community service – I hope to inspire not only budding writers but also budding scientists, artists, activists…”

Elizabeth Rusch's Booklist

MPACT: Asteroids and the science of saving the world

The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori and the invention of the piano

Mario and the Hole in the Sky (forthcoming)

The Big One (forthcoming)

Avalanche Rescue Dogs IN TRAINING (forthcoming)

The Next Wave: The quest to harness the Power of the Oceans

Volcano Rising

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla lit up the world

Eruption: Volcanoes and the science of saving lives

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The incredible adventures of Spirit and Opportunity

For the Love of Music: The remarkable story of Maria Anna Mozart

The Planet Hunter: The story behind what happened to Pluto

Will It Blow?: Become a volcano detective at Mount St. Helens

Generation Fix: Young ideas for a better world

April Pulley Sayre

The Voice of Playful Read Aloud Science

K-8 Nonfiction writing; rain forests/biomes/continents
April Pulley Sayre

Home base:
South Bend, IN, Richmond, VA

April has followed lemurs in Madagascar, pursued army ants in Panama, and eaten Piranha in the Amazon. This photographer, videographer, and nature-sound-collector loves to share her rain forest adventures and lively writing techniques with students.

I want kids to feel connected – to understand those big and small links between creatures, plants, stars, sunsets, and their lives.”

April Pulley Sayre's Book List

Eat Like a Bear
Here Come the Humpbacks!
Touch a Butterfly
Trout Are Made of Trees
One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab
The Bumblebee Queen
Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust
Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls of Whales, Elephants, and Birds
Trout, Trout, Trout: a Fish Chant
Ant, Ant, Ant: an Insect Chant
David M. Schwartz
The amazing, engaging, math exponent.
Math (especially big numbers, ratio and proportion, the connectedness of math to science and the world around us)
Science (Life Sciences, wonders of nature, connection to math)
David M. Schwartz

Home base: Oakland, CA

As a child David won­dered about the world around him and now he pur­sues his life­long curiosi­ties by trav­el­ing, research­ing and writ­ing books. His books are noted for using humor to convey difficult concepts in engaging ways. In schools, David will do any­thing to get kids to won­der, learn and laugh at the same time, whether it’s hold­ing up giant bags of pop­corn that grow by pow­ers of ten or show­ing pho­tos of him­self read­ing in some of the world’s most unlikely places.

“Won­der­ing is won­der­ful. You don’t have to wait until you’re 25 years old to have a great idea. You already do, so long as you won­der about the world.”

David M. Schwartz's Book List

How Much Is a Million?
If You Made a Million?
Millions to Measure
Rotten Pumpkin
G Is for Googol
Q Is for Quark
If You Hopped Like a Frog
If Dogs Were Dinosaurs
Where In the Wild?
Where Else In the Wild?
Alexandra Siy

“STEM through the lens”
(space travel, astronomy, solar system, insects, spiders, human body, trees, microscopic world);
Math (Counting); Memoir (Sports)

Alexandra Siy

Home base:   New York State

@alexandrasiy (Twitter)

Science writer Alexandra Siy turns STEM into STEAM by creating books that combine science and art through primary source imagery that reveals both microscopic and far away worlds. Her new instaSTEMprogram is a STEM inspired photography and writing workshop that inspires students to research, read, and write nonfiction, while creating their own scientific imagery. Discover the Siy equation: interactive videoconferencing + STEM + art = instaSTEM ! Alexandra also visits schools and libraries nationwide, sharing her passion for nonfiction, science, photography, and literacy. She lives in New York State’s Hudson Valley with her son and their cat.

“Turning STEM into STEAM—the “a” is for art!”

Alexandra Siy's Book List

Bug Shots: The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly
Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet (2009/Charlesbridge)
Sneeze! (2007/Charlesbridge);
Achís! (Spanish translation of SNEEZE!)
Mosquito Bite (2005/Charlesbridge)
One Tractor: A Counting Book (Holiday House/2007)
Sports Shorts (Darby Creek/2005)
Footprints on the Moon (Charlesbridge/2001)
Jennifer Swanson

Shining the Spotlight on Science and Technology

Homebase: Jacksonville, FL


email address

Jennifer Swanson

Curious about the world around her, Jennifer started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. That passion for learning has been with her throughout her life as she majored in chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy and now is a middle school science teacher for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth.

From topics about the brain, to geoengineering a new climate, to comparing and contrasting astronauts and aquanauts, Jennifer’s books encourage inquiry and encourage the reader to ask not only how things work, but why, and what impact they might have on society. Through her presentations, Jennifer challenges readers to notice the science all around them and to make observations about what they see. To see science and technology as it crosses boundaries, both in the classroom and out in society. She encourages the use of STEM books in all classrooms to promote diversity in thinking and action, and in order to provide dynamic connections to both verbal and written literacy. As she says, “STEM ROCKS!”.

I showcase science and history with attention-grabbing topics that fascinate, engage, and excite my readers. I like to discuss how in my research to find fun facts that make kids go “Hmmmm…. or ‘WOW. I didn’t know that’. My goal is to show how science and writing intersect in remarkable, appealing, and extremely interesting ways to promote curiosity and wonder about the world we live in.

Jennifer Swanson's Book List

Brain Games: the Mind-Blowing Science of Your Amazing Brain

SuperGear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up


Geoengineering the Earth’s Climate: Resetting the Thermostat


Steve Swinburne
Nature and Wildlife Adventurer

Science: Nature, Animals, Conservation, Inspiring environmentalists

Steve Swinburne

Home base: South Londonderry, VT 


As a life-long naturalist, Steve has patrolled a sea turtle beach on a Caribbean island, peeked into a black bear ben in Pennsylvania, traded howls with wolves in Yellowstone National Park, snorkeled beside Florida manatees, and studied orangutans in Borneo. He loves taking his wild adventures onto the pages of a book or into an assembly of curious school kids.
“I love sharing my passion for nature and exploring wild places and animal habitats. As an author, I love writing about wildlife and this amazing and beautiful planet we share. As a guitar and ukulele player, I love connecting music and nature. Boring sentences? Blah paragraphs? Wanna’ add some BLING to your students’ INFORMATIONAL writing? I will help guide your students in a fun, fast-paced workshop to add sparkle to their writing with strong verbs, vivid details, great leads, cool comparisons, sounds, facts, etc. It’s a perfect recipe for the Common Core!”

Steve Swinburne's Book List

The Sea Turtle Scientist  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  hard

Ocean Soup – Tide Pool Poems  Charlesbridge  hard & paper

Whose Shoes – A Shoe for Every Job,  Boyds Mills Press hard & paper

A Butterfly Grows HMH hard and paper

Safe, Warm and Snug, Animal Poems Houghton Mifflin Harcourt paper

Once a Wolf – How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf HMH paper

Saving Manatees BMP paper

Lots and Lots of Zebra Stripes – Patterns in Nature BMP paper

Turtle Tide – The Ways of Sea Turtles BMP paper

Black Bear – North America’s Bear  BMP paper

Peggy Thomas

Curiosity Queen

Science (Life Science, Biography, Nature, Agriculture, Forensics)
Social Studies (U. S. History, Biography, Geography)
Fine Arts (Visual Arts, Biography)

Peggy Thomas,

Peggy’s nonfiction writing is driven by her curiosity. Whether it is wondering about the ‘earthier’ side of George Washington, how elephants think, or who made bird identification easier, she hopes to spark children’s curiosity as well.  Research has taken her deep into dusty archives, down the Peruvian Amazon, and occasionally has compelled her to practice “fear factor” research; whatever it takes to connect her readers to the world around them.


“A nonfiction writer’s process mirrors how children learn naturally – We follow our passions, ask lots of questions, and seek out the answers.”

Peggy Thomas's Book List

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson
Anatomy of Nonfiction: Writing True Stories for Children
Farmer George Plants a Nation
New York: The Empire State
Grace Hopper: Computer Pioneer
Artificial Intelligence
Bacteria and Viruses
Forensic Anthropology: The Science of Talking Bones
Laurie Ann Thompson

Inspiring and empowering young readers

o   Social studies: history, biography, activism and social justice, diversity

o   STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math

Laurie Ann Thompson

Home base: Near Seattle, WA


Email address:

A former software engineer, Laurie now writes for children and young adults to help her readers—and herself—open their hearts and minds so that they can actively engage both in understanding and improving today’s complex world. She believes that each of us is capable of doing amazing things once we discover our passions, talents, and purpose, and that reading is one of the best possible ways to explore those potential destinations. She strives to continually inspire and empower her readers by writing nonfiction that gives wings to their active imaginations and fiction that taps into our universal human truths.

“Getting lost in a good book is one of the best ways to truly find ourselves.”

Laurie Ann Thompson's Book List

 Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! (coming in spring 2017 )

o   Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters

o   Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Andrea Warren
Giving Voice to Children in History
Social Studies, Writing, Nonfiction Literature
Andrea Warren

Home base: Eastern Kansas

Andrea centers each of her books on a young person caught up in a dramatic moment in history. Finding just the right main character is always her biggest challenge. Her settings have included everything from the orphan trains, the Civil War, and pioneer Nebraska, to Victorian England, the Nazi death camps, and Saigon during the Vietnam War. Her true stories help young readers understand their own resiliency and humanity.

“Each of us wants to know, if that had been me at that time, in that place, what would I have done? What would have happened to me?”

Andrea Warren's Book List

Orphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story (as print and Kindle edition)
Under Siege! Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg
We Rode the Orphan Trains
Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy
Pioneer Girl: A True Story of Growing up on the Prairie
Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London
Carole Boston Weatherford


Black history and culture

Carole Boston Weatherford


Homebase: Turin, North Carolina



A New York Times best-selling author, Carole is one of the leading poets writing for young people today. She believes that poetry makes music with words. And she mines the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. Her work spans poetry, nonfiction, biography and historical fiction.

For career achievements, Carole received the Ragan-Rubin Award from North Carolina English Teachers Association and the North Carolina Literature Award, among the state’s highest civilian honors. She holds an M.A. in publications design from University of Baltimore and an M.F.A. in creative writing from University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has two adult children and lives in North Carolina, where she is a Professor of English at Fayetteville State University. Through her books and performances, her words reach millions of young readers. And as a professor, she trains current and future teachers and mentors emerging writers.

“I write picture books that I think would have inspired and empowered my son. For today’s young black princes.”

Carole Boston Weatherford's Book list

  • Captured Black and White America (NAACP Image Award)
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (Caldecott Honor, Sibert Honor, Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award and Flora Steiglitz Straus Award from Bank Street College of Education)
  • Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood (Arnold Adoff Early Poetry Honor)
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (NAACP Image Award, Coretta Scott King Award and Caldecott Honor Medal)
  • Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor)
  • Becoming Billie Holiday (Coretta Scott King Author Honor)
  • Dear Mr. Rosenwald (SCBWI Golden Kite Honor, NAACP Image Award finalist)
  • Birmingham, 1963 (Jefferson Cup from Virginia Library Association, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor)
  • The Sound that Jazz Makes (Carter G. Woodson Award from National Council for the Social Studies, NAACP Image Award finalist)
  • Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sitins (North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award)
  • Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People (North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award
Jim Whiting

Nonfiction is the new black

History (especially military and ancient history)


Arts (especially classical music)


Jim Whiting

Home base: Bainbridge Island, WA (half-hour ferry ride from Seattle)

Jim views himself as a walking advertisement for a liberal arts education. His more than 180 books (and counting!) run the gamut from A(ristotle) to Z(ionism) and reflect his lively curiosity about the world around him. Much of his writing is infused with personal experience: running in the original Olympic stadium, appearing on stage with Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet, following in the footsteps of intrepid Antarctic explorers, breathing in sulfur fumes and steam from the still-active volcano on Santorini Island, and skippering a sailboat in the wine-dark seas of Greece.

Constantly learning new stuff is one of the main reasons why I keep writing. It’s especially exciting to discover human details about cultural icons: Bach was involved in knife fights and was chastised for inviting ‘unfamiliar maidens’ into the choir loft, the real-life Little Red-Haired Girl broke Charles Schulz’s heart by turning down his marriage proposal, and Snoop Lion has poured millions of dollars into the Snoop Youth Football League—which not only has produced several NFL players but also competes on the eve of the Super Bowl in an all-star game called the Snooper Bowl.”


Jim Whiting's Book List

The Science of Hitting a Home Run

Black Holes

Seattle Seahawks

Green Berets

Life Along the Ancient Nile

Joan of Arc

An Overview of World War I

The Bermuda Triangle

Vincent Van Gogh

Peter Tchaikovsky
For a complete list of Jim’s titles, please see his website.

To order personalized copies of these or other titles, please contact Jim at