Meet Our iNK Thinkers
A Rock-Star in Your Classroom!
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.
AND iNK-THINKERS VISIT SCHOOLS IN PERSON AND VIRTUALLY FROM OUR ZOOM ROOM
BackPax: Empowering ‘adventurous young minds™’
Engaging children in history and culture through travel and adventure.
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."
The Explainer General
History, Technology, and Biography
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?”
The Empathetic Historian: Bringing history’s heroes (& villains) to life!
Social Studies (U.S. history, biography)
Home base: Island Park,NY
Selene Castrovilla knew she was a writer from the first time she held a pencil. But if you told young Selene that she was going to write about George Washington, she would’ve said, “No way! He’s so boring!”
Grown-up Selene stumbled upon a piece of George Washington’s life which was not so boring: he was a spymaster! That’s when she started researching other “revolutionary” people. She realized that the people of the past were just like us! What’s in our hearts never changes.
Selene loves revealing riveting true stories about history’s heroes and villains during school and library visits. Students leave fired-up to read, research and learn even more!
“I want to to bring the excitement and tension of history to kids, through the eyes of the people who lived it. During school visits I ask students: ‘What would you do in this situation?’ I love starting conversations, and getting young minds wondering.”
PB Bios and slice of life stories about people who changed the world for the better
Home Base: Plano Texas
Starting with her book debut with THE WILLIAM HOY STORY in 2016, Nancy Churnin has felt a mission to shine a light on people who have changed the world for the better and to provide projects that inspire readers to action and emulate the heroes and heroines in their own world. In honor of William Hoy, a Deaf hero loved baseball introduced the American Sign Language symbols for safe and out to baseball so he could play the game he loved. Kids can alsol earn sign language, advocate for Deaf awareness and inclusion, and write to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to ask for Hoy to be inducted, which would make him the first Deaf player honored there.
Nancy is the author of 10 books (two of them out in 2021) that have won national and international acclaim, including a Sakura Medal nomination, a South Asia Book Award win, a Books for a Global Society Notable, a Sydney Taylor Notable, two National Council for the Social Studies Notables, two Silver Eureka winners, an Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award winner, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and been on multiple state reading lists as well as A Mighty Girl lists. A former journalist and theater critic with the Los Angeles Times and The Dallas Morning News, Nancy is a native New Yorker and mother of four who has been living for many years in Plano, Texas, with her husband, a dog named Dog and two cantankerous cats.
Let the light of the heroes and heroines in the books you read strengthen your determination to change the world for the better.
The "Master Chef of Kids' Hands-On Science"
Science (Physical, Life Science, History of Science, Technology, Biography)
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.”
Word Nerd and Real Life Storyteller
Nonfiction, biography, cultural diversity, sports, humor
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.
Weaving Tales from the Web of Life
Juvenile Nonfiction, Science & Nature, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Environmental Conservation and Protection, Animals, Zoology
Home Base: Oakland, CA
Websites: www.mdunphy.com, www.weboflifebooks.com
You might say Madeleine Dunphy specializes in wonder. For thirty years, Madeleine has traveled the world in search of wonder, and then written about it. Poison arrow frogs bathing in tropical rain, wolves howling at the aurora borealis, peregrine falcons winging from Alaska to Argentina, the secret life of your house cat: All have found a place in Madeleine’s lavishly illustrated picture books. Her books have won awards from the National Science Teachers Association, Children’s Book Council, and the International Reading Association, among others.
Madeleine is also the founder and publisher of Web of Life Children’s Books—a company devoted to publishing picture books with rigorously researched environmental themes. She has written curricula for numerous organizations, has Masters degree in education, and has taught at the California Academy of Sciences, Lawrence Hall of Science and dozens of elementary schools in the United States and abroad. Madeleine lives in Oakland, California with her husband, daughter, two cats, a dog, and a hamster.
Quote: “We don’t know of any other planet besides earth that has life. This makes earth incredibly special. My goal is to bring a sense of wonder to children about the great diversity of life on earth, and to encourage them to love, cherish and protect it.”
K-8 Fine Arts (Art and Architecture, Dance);
Social Studies (Biography, History)
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.”
Social Studies (US Hist.; Geography, Biography, Transportation); Science (Hist. & Nature)
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!
Kerrie Logan Hollihan
Teaching the Power of Wonder
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.
A Scribe for Social Justice
Content Areas: Social Studies (History, Biography, Civics, Multiculturalism, Diversity)
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."
The Earth Whisperer
Social Studies (Biography, U.S. and World History, Current Events, Cultural Diversity); Environmental Science
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.”
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 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.”
Illuminating Hidden Histories
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, www.marissamoss.com) 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."
Science (Biology, Ecosystems, Aviation)
Social Studies & History (Biographies [fliers, explorers, builders], Travel, Cities)
Fine Art (Architecture, Visual games)
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."
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)
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.”
Aline Alexander Newman
The Teacher Between the Pages
Language Arts: reading, writing, research techniques Science: animal behavior, nature, conservation
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."
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Nature's Animal Ambassador
Science (Life & Physical Sci., Botany, Ecology, Environmental, Zoology); Social Studies (Regions, Geography, US Hist., Plains Indian history)
Home base: Lihue Hawai'i
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.
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)
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 120 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."
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
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.”
Fine Arts (Dance, Visual Arts, Music Hist.);
Soc. Studies (Biography, Cultural Diversity, US. Hist., Women's Hist.)
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.”
Science (Earth, Space, Engineering, Technology, Geology, Volcanology, Invention) Social Studies (History, Community Service, Biography) Fine Arts (Music, Art, Biography, History)
Homebase: Portland, OR
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…”
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)
Home base: Oakland, CA
www.davidschwartz.com - www.facebook.com/davidschwartzauthor
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.”
“STEM through the lens”
(space travel, astronomy, solar system, insects, spiders, human body, trees, microscopic world);
Math (Counting); Memoir (Sports)
Home base: New York State
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!”
Science (Life Science, Biography, Nature, Agriculture, Forensics)
Social Studies (U. S. History, Biography, Geography)
Fine Arts (Visual Arts, Biography)
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.”
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
Home base: Near Seattle, WA
Email address: Laurie@LaurieThompson.com
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.”
Putting the Story Back in History
Disciplines: Historical Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Biography, Memoir, Fiction
Homebase(s): London, England; Brooklyn, New York
Websites: www.historyheroblast.com, www.sarahtowle.com
Teacher and curriculum designer turned author, Sarah is out to prove that history is not just the stuff of dust and cobwebs, but a collection of the best mystery, adventure, thriller, and suspense stories ever imaginable.
She is an award-winning digital storyteller of immersive tales for educational tourism that have been called “Horrible Histories meet Pokémon Go!” by her fans. She also publishes fun, factual fables with a fictional flair 3x/wk at the History Hero BLAST: an online magazine and emerging podcast that highlights the contributions of humankind’s bravest, most inspirational figures from all over the world and throughout time.
Bring the HHBLAST to your school. Sarah leads workshops worldwide that engage youth in excavating the past, then bringing their findings to life through storytelling. Her unique cross-disciplinary and highly interactive approach combines research best-practices with creative writing skills certain to complement history, social studies, and ELA curricula. Student-authored posts may even find a home on the HHBLAST. As all posts are written or edited and fact-checked by Sarah, it promises also to be a research tool teachers and parents can trust.
Quote: My mission is to ensure that no young person says, “History is boring!” ever again.
Giving Voice to Children in History
Social Studies, Writing, Nonfiction Literature
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?”
Carole Boston Weatherford
The Poet Professor
Black history and culture
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.”
The Running Encyclopedia (because Jim runs and knows a lot)
History (especially military and ancient history)
Arts (especially classical music)
Home base: Corvallis, OR
Jim views himself as a walking advertisement for a liberal arts education. His more than 300 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.”
Science (Biology, Engineering, Aviation)
Social Studies & History (Biographies [fliers, explorers, builders], Travel/Geography, Cities)
Fine Art (Architecture)
Home Base: New York, NY
Glass Houses: Magnificent Master Builders (Bank Street Best Book; NCSS-CBC Notable); Feathers, Flaps & Flops: Fabulous Early Fliers (SLJ Best Book of the Year; SLJ Starred Review; Center for Children's Books Best Book); Crocodiles, Camels & Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes (NCSS-CBC Notable); and The Great Bridge-Building Contest. He’s illustrated books (Georgia State Picture Book Award Winner Max, The Bad-Talking Parrot by Patricia Demuth and One Gift Deserves Another by Joanne Oppenheim), and Bo has written, illustrated, and narrated two animated interactive children’s book apps: The Artist Mortimer and The Artist Mortimer 2.
Bo was born in southern Sweden, and immigrated to the United States in his twenties. He is now a US citizen.
My fascination with history started early. At nine years old, I was so inspired by Vikings that I wrote a long story about them. I now hope to make children as fascinated and curious about history as I was myself.
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