Author Visits

Now booking school visits via Skype or Zoom!

I would love to visit your students via an interactive video presentation—whether they’re back in the classroom or Zooming from home.

My current offerings for kids include:

• Behind the scenes of The Nerviest Girl in the World. I’ll read a scene from the book and share the inside scoop on the writing process, including: where ideas come from, how I approach historical research, my secret source of inspiration, and the journey from spark to finished book. Along the way, we’ll take a look at my marked-up manuscript pages to see editing and copyediting in action! (Students say this is their favorite part of my presentation—discussing editorial comments and witnessing the revision process firsthand.) Grades 3 and up.

• Storytime with all the voices! Meet Fox and Crow and Inch and Roly in a lively readaloud followed by a Q&A. Grades K-3.

Have a question or want to check my availability? Please fill out the form below.

Presentations for adults

Makers Gotta Mess
“How can I encourage my kids to be more creative?”—This is one of the questions I’m asked most often. In this talk, I’ll share a variety of tips, resources, and practical advice for building spaces and schedules that foster creativity and inventiveness. This is a nuts and bolts and glue and paints talk!

Books for Breakfast, Literature for Lunch
How do you fit read-alouds into your day, especially for kids of varying ages? And with so many books to choose from, how do you pick the winners? I’ll share my best strategies for bringing any subject to life with captivating literature, including tips on finding great booklists, doing character voices, and keeping energetic small fry engaged.

Tidal Homeschooling: The Ebb and Flow of Joyful Learning
When I first started homeschooling, I spent a lot of time trying to determine what kind of label fit her family best—Charlotte Mason? Unschooling? Eclectic? Gradually I realized there was a pattern to how my family learned and lived: an organic rhythm of “high tides” and “low tides,” each with its own character and activities. We’ll explore the tidal homeschooling lifestyle and discover how the metaphor can be useful in shaping joyful learning adventures for your family.

Comics Make You Smart
Many adults think of comic books and comic strips as literary junk food. But the truth is, sequential art is a sophisticated art form that can be a powerful learning tool for our kids. In this talk, we’ll look at the ways comics can quietly improve reading comprehension, vocabulary, storytelling, and other skills—all while being total kid magnets!

Habits in the Home
In this lighthearted workshop we’ll explore steps for building useful habits in a spirit of fun. Good habits—both in ourselves and our kids—free parents from having to negative and critical. Instead, we can work together in a playful spirit to build positive habits that support a lifestyle of learning and family harmony.

Contact me

Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for being with us yesterday for World Read-Aloud Day!  The students absolutely loved the Roly Poly and Fox and Crow books! For PreK and Kinder to remain so entertained is quite a feat! Your time is very much appreciated, as well as your enthusiasm, love and passion for writing!

Sincerely,
Linda C., Edison Elementary
Gainesville, TX

Previous speaking engagements have included:

  • Brave Learner Conference, Cincinnati, OH
  • Virginia Homeschoolers Conference
  • BraveWriter Retreat, Cincinnati, OH
  • Young Writers Camp, San Diego, CA
  • The Publishing History of the Betsy-Tacy Books, Mankato, MN
  • Exploring Poetry with Kids, San Diego, CA
  • Early Readers, Chapter Books, and Middle-Grade Novels at SCBWI-San Diego
  • Storytime at the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, CA
  • Social Media for Writers with Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan at SCBWI-San Diego
  • A Betsy-Tacy Celebration at Readers Inc Children’s Bookstore in La Mesa, CA
  • Blogging the Backlist panel at KidlitCon 2010 in Minneapolis, MN
  • The History of the Little House Series at Providence College in Pasadena, CA
  • Writing Workshops at various homeschooling conferences across the country
  • The Ancestors of Laura Ingalls Wilder at The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

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