Author Visits

I would love to visit your students via an interactive video presentation—whether they’re back in the classroom or Zooming from home. Email me at melissawileybooks (at) gmail (dot) com for more info or click here to download a pdf with rates and scheduling information.

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. Note to California 4th-grade teachers: Nerviest Girl is a good tie-in to your CA history studies! Check out my teacher resource post at Random House Teachers & Librarians for loads of fun tie-in activities.

• Fox and Crow Are Not Friends

We’ll meet two determined rivals from a famous fable—and find out what happened next in their story! This flexible presentation can be as simple as a readaloud and Q&A, or you may opt for a storycrafting activity in which kids create new adventures for characters from classic tales. We’ll brainstorm together and spin a tale as a group. For younger students, this is an oral activity. For third-graders, it may include a short writing component if you wish. Grades K-3.

• Insect Fun with Inch & Roly

Storytime with all the voices! For emergent readers, I offer a lively readaloud with an optional, easy, insect-themed craft. (Materials needed: one long strip of construction paper per student, plus something to draw a face with.) As always, there’s plenty of time for Q&A. Grades K-2.

To download a pdf with rates and scheduling information, click here.

Feedback from kids and teachers:

What a gift you gave us yesterday! I am amazed at your kind and engaged presence in our book club. Thank you for spending your morning with us and for sharing so much. Thank you also for your book The Nerviest Girl in the World. It was a fantastic read for our group and it brought out several deep conversations. Your book allowed the kids to dive into figurative language and explore their own work with it.
With gratitude,

Kaitlin Cavallaro

Dear Ms. Melissa Wiley,

I really like all of the idioms you put in the book, some of them made me laugh.  I have used the simile of arms or legs feeling like noodles after reading your story.  I like that visual of noodle arms.  Out of all the things Pearl could been made afraid of, I think caterpillars is funny.  Thank you for coming to book club and for answering our questions.  


Dear Ms. Wiley,
Thank you for your visit to our book club! I am so glad we got this opportunity, and thank you for staying for almost an hour! The visit was amazing— and I am so glad you got to answer some of my questions! It was very fun and you were a super great listener.  Thank you for coming to our meeting!


Dear Ms. Wiley,

Thank you for participating in our class today. We enjoyed having you and you made it a really special lesson. I especially liked how you took the time to ask us our questions we had for you and gave thoughtful answers. Thank you again for coming to our book club session.

Yours Truly,

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!

Linda C., Edison Elementary
Gainesville, TX

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!

Click here for a list of joyful learning resources for my books!