School Visits

Virtual Author Visits Now Available

Please contact me to talk about visiting your school, library, or home virtually on Zoom, Skype, and other platforms. I offer several options:

    * Single presentation for grades K-1; 2-3; 4-5; 6-8

    * Full-day: up to three 45- to 60-minute presentations 

    * Privately funded in-home visits for one or more families


Optimistically, I'll be booking in-person visits for spring 2021, with the understanding that we may switch to a virtual visit if necessary to keep everyone safe. 


More Information

I LOVE speaking to grades PreK—8 and am happy to tailor my presentations to your needs. 

For preschoolers and kindergarteners: I read my books and share book-related slideshows, games, songs, activities, and crafts. I can also discuss books I wrote while working for Sesame Street and Nick Jr. 

For grades 2-8: I offer interactive PowerPoint slideshows. We talk about:

    *the stories behind the stories
    *where I get my ideas
    *the detective hunt of uncovering facts vs. fake news in research
    *the importance of revision

(See more detailed info about each book's presentation below.)

I also discuss being an author, explain the business of publishing, and take questions from the audience. For more info, download my new author visit brochure at right. I offer up to three presentations per day and fees are available upon request. If you'd like to schedule a visit, please contact me at or my school booking agency at



Media Folder: 






2019 Golden Kite Winner
2019 ALSC Notable Book
2019 Bank Street Best Book of the Year
2019 CBCC Choices
NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction Recommended Title
Nominated for State Awards in Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Vermont
(curriculum areas: history, World War II, poetry, research, revision, historical fiction vs. nonfiction)
An interactive slideshow spotlights the thrill of researching historical events and includes photos of the real Ken Sparks, his friends on Lifeboat 12, the SS City of Benares and the rescue ships. I reveal how I discovered this little-known story in old family letters written by my British evacuee mother-in-law and how I found the real Ken Sparks (then 88-years-old) and journeyed to England to interview him…two months before he died. I discuss why I chose to tell this story as a novel-in-verse and how writing middle grade books differ from my usual picture books.

TITAN AND THE WILD BOARS: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team

(curriculum areas: social studies/current events, science/environment/natural disasters, poetry, nonfiction, research using interviews and primary sources, teamwork)
This book recounts the true cave rescue of the twelve young soccer players and their 25-year-old coach that riveted the world in the summer of 2018. My presentation shows photos of the real kids and rescuers from 23 different countries and explains the challenges of researching a developing, and ever-changing, news story. I discuss collaborating with a co-author and interviewing two of the divers who rescued the boys. Includes a “Behind the Art” video of illustrator Dow Phumiruk’s work. Can be combined with Lifeboat 12 (see above) to highlight the differences between researching historical and current events.

SHAKING THINGS UP: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

2019 Cooperative Children’s Book Center CCBC Choices
2019 Bank Street Best Book of the Year
(curriculum areas: Women’s history, biography, poetry, nonfiction, research, revision)
In this presentation, students and I play a game called “Two Facts and Two Fakes” to reveal just how much is WRONG on the Internet. I show them the myriad mistakes I found while researching this book and suggest ways to go beyond Google in their own research: asking an expert, consulting primary sources, questioning everything, using logic and imagination, digging deep to find nuance, asking for help. Includes a “Behind the Art” video showcasing the work of the 13 award-winning women artists who illustrated this book.

ADA’S VIOLIN: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
2017 E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book

2017 Bank Street’s Flora Steiglitz Straus Award
2017 Américas Award
2017 Christopher Award
(curriculum areas: Earth Day, recycling, poverty, music, Spanish, science of sound, nonfiction)
This slideshow details the challenges of writing my first nonfiction book, interviewing children who live on a landfill in Paraguay (with no postal service, no telephones, no email, and no Skype). I discuss where ideas come from, how to work with a translator, how many revisions I wrote (33!) and how to pursue an impossible subject, even in the face of a natural disaster. I talk about why I love writing nonfiction and share the thrill of the detective hunt for facts as I show photos of the real kids in the book. Includes a short video so students can hear the orchestra play their instruments made from recycled trash.


2013 Bank Street Best Book of the Year
2013 Cooperative Children's Book Center CCBC Choices
(curriculum areas: writing, revision, fables, fairy tales, cultural differences, French, dental health)
Interviewing a Parisian six-year-old for a magazine, I discovered that more than fifty percent of the world has a Tooth Mouse instead of a Tooth Fairy! A version of La Petite Souris is found not only in France, but also in Spain, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, El Salvador and many other countries around the world. We discuss cultural differences and similarities and touch upon the French language because there is some French in the book. Then we discuss fairy tales, who invented them, and how they differ from fables. I have TOOTH MOUSE handouts that allow kids to keep track of lost baby teeth and offer tips for tip-top teeth and dental health.


2017 Bank Street Best Book of the Year
(curriculum areas: science, metamorphosis, poetry
A good choice for the littlest kids! In this presentation, I read this rhyming book about frog metamorphosis and then show photos of the miraculous process that transforms jelly eggs into tadpoles into frogs. We discuss how "changes come to all who grow," including what else hatches from eggs and how kids themselves have changed since they were babies. Can be combined with SPIKE (see below) a salamander that does not go through metamorphosis.


Winner of the 2013 International Latino Award
"Highly Commended" list -- Charlotte Zolotow Award
(curriculum areas: social skills, science, ecology, geography, Spanish)
Using an interactive Powerpoint guessing game, I show photos of the real animal behind the story--a critically endangered salamander called an axolotl who lives in one place in the world—Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City. The axolotl is critical to science and medicine because it can regrow almost any body part, including parts of its brain! I also show sketches and color art by Caldecott Honor Medalist Melissa Sweet to demonstrate the stages of picture book making. Our SPIKE curriculum guide offers printable games, activities, songs and drawing lessons I can share with the kids.


Starred review, Publishers Weekly
Featured in Scholastic Book Clubs
(curriculum areas: Halloween, reading, poetry)
Perfect for your Halloween event! I even come in costume. JUST SAY BOO is meant for the littlest trick-or-treaters. Its call-and-response rhymes help Pre-K through Grade 2 kids scare off the frights of the season. We read the book together and then treat ourselves to spooky JUST SAY BOO games and crafts.
I'm happy to offer free 15-minute Q&A Skype talks with your class. 


"The students and teachers really LOVED your books and your presentations. The first graders couldn't stop talking about it!"

Librarian Michele Eng, Ridgewood, NJ

"You kept an end-of-the-year, summer so close they could taste it, group of teens and tweens hanging on your every word. My principal remarked, 'She has such a great way with the students. Amazing!' According to one of my veteran teachers, 'This event was the best one I have ever seen at any school.'"

Librarian Sue Crean, Brookfield, CT

"We loved having her! My students actually wrote signs and letters about saving axolotls. It worked so well with our persuasive writing unit!" 

Kindergarten teacher Barbara O'Neill, JFK, Brewster, NY

"We were so overjoyed to have you visit! It put the inspiration bug in us all!"

Fourth grade teacher Kate Ciccarelli, Stratfield School, Fairfield, CT

"Susan's books engage young children's imaginations while allowing older children to think about environmental issues, health issues and culture."

Abigail Hoyt von Trapp, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

"I've sat through dozens of these over the past 18 years, and never have I seen a group so engaged with so few bells and whistles."

5th grade teacher Mike Wood, Milford, CT

RESOURCES Here are resources, games and activities you can use with some of my books. They’re a great way to encourage reading and have fun together!

Click a book cover for activities you can do with your child!