Photo Credit: Young lady creates a magical vibe by blowing confetti from the pages of a book.
When I was in Vegas earlier this summer, my lovely niece (who is also an amazing educator fostering diversity, equity and inclusion) asked if I know any authors who do school visits?
Do I know any authors who do school visits?
Why, YES, I DO! So, I thought I'd share some of my favorite authors, their books and their contact information here on my website so that all of you in education could benefit as well. Books for young people are pure magic, y'all, and the brilliant authors who write them are definitely worth getting to know! Nothing inspires kids to keep reading like personally introducing them to the writers of the books they love!
Two notable items:
#1 - There is no way I could possibly list all of the wonderful authors who would be thrilled to visit the kids for whom they write in only one blog post. Therefore, these rec-lists will likely become a series as more #HamlineMFAC writers in my own cohort along with current and future Hamline Pipers are published. If you are an author who would like to be included in this series in the future, please click this link and let me know! I'm both thrilled and delighted to include you in future rounds and promote your work.
#2 - Disclaimer: I have quite randomly chosen author-friends who have indicated on their websites that they do author visits and/or speaking engagements. Did I let these literary geniuses know beforehand? Not so much. They'll probably find out they've been featured on this website right along with the rest of you. I hope they'll be forgiving--this girl is out-of-her-mind-busy looking for representation!
So, here we go!
First things first: I just finished a CAREER-CHANGING writing class with this amazing author called Revision Season that I met at #HamlineMFAC. If you're struggling with revising a manuscript, click on that link. Because here's what I know to be true: You merely need to stand in the same room with this woman, and you will instantly become more intelligent. Not surprisingly, this phenomenon works via Zoom as well. I can't explain it. It just is.
Books I've read: Red Hood, Damsel, A Boy Called Bat, The House that Wasn't There, Far from Fair and What Riley Wore. Books I have on my shelf (or that I'm about to pre-order) that I have yet to dive into: The Blood Years, all things STARLA JEAN, all things BAT, all things HARRIET, What Girls are Made Of and An Ordinary Day.
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I have not yet had the privilege of meeting THIS BEAUTIFUL HUMAN, but I am currently taking advantage of her FREE annual summer poetry class for educators, TEACHERS WRITE 2023. (It's fabulous!)
Books I've read: Chirp (AMAZING!), Dr. Fauci: How a Boy in Brooklyn Became America's Doctor, The Next President, How to Write a Story, several books from her Over and Under series as well as her History Smashers series. I also have Breakout and The Seventh Wish on my shelf to read next!
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Who has two thumbs and was LUCKY ENOUGH to be paired with THIS author/speaker/educator/rocket-scientist?-zoologist?/rock-star at #HamlineMFAC? THIS GIRL! Eliot was an invaluable mentor my last semester and worked with me on my capstone project. Believe me, the very stars he writes about aligned for me!
Books I've read: The Darkness Outside Us (most beautiful love story I've ever read) and Queer Ducks and Other Animals.
Books by Eliot I intend to read in the future: Every friggin' thing he's ever written or will ever write. Not even remotely kidding.
Click on this link to watch Eliot's interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah! (Can you believe I'm two degrees of separation from Trevor Noah???)
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Yet another life-changing mentor from my third semester at #HamlineMFAC! We worked on poetry. (It is not an exaggeration to admit that I may have sucked at it.) Laurel also got all my ducks (queer or otherwise) flying in V-formation for my critical thesis: Atmospheric Setting--How Fiction Authors Foster Heroic Imaginations in their Characters. <<<Click away. We also worked on an early reader chapter book together that I will be querying shortly! (Exciting stuff!)
Books I've read: Orphan Island and Seven Stories Up. Waiting on my shelf are Bigger Than a Breadbox, Jasper June, Endlessly Ever After and The Witch of Woodland.
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Oh. My. Heavens. I did not have the honor of working with Brandy at #HamlineMFAC, but her incredibly powerful books have absolutely placed her fingerprints on my life.
Books I've read: The Only Black Girls in Town, Pointe, Blackbirds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. (Blackbirds in the Sky should be required reading in every high school in America--full stop.) Waiting on my shelf: The Voting Booth, The Revolution of Birdie Randolf, Finding Yvonne and Little & Lion.
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I have only shared actual space with Erin one time at #HamlineMFAC before COVID shut down the world. She is talented and hilarious and the queen of multi-vocal novels! AND she's an artist as well!
Books I've read: Those Kids from Fawn Creek (my FAVE!), We Dream of Space and Hello Universe. On my shelves for later: All things MARISOL RAINEY and Lalani of the Distant Sea.
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Before you pass clean out with jealousy, I do not personally know Mr. Reynolds, so don't let the picture fool you--although I do whip it out every chance I get, and SO WOULD YOU! I was fortunate enough to meet him at #HamlineMFAC when he came to speak.
FUN FACT: I asked Mr. Reynolds what actor he would want to play HIM if ever a movie was made about his life.
THE ANSWER: Don Cheadle. You're welcome.
Books I've read: Long Way Down (both the novel and graphic novel), Miles Morales--Spiderman, As Brave As You, For Everyone: A Poem, A Nod, A Nothing to Lose and Ain't Burned All the Bright. On deck? Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You, Look Both Ways, All American Boys and When I Was Greatest.
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CONFESION: I saved My Meg for last on this blog post! She is my heart! Wonder of wonders, I was straight-up BLESSED (no other way to put it!) with Meg for my advisor my first semester at #HamlineMFAC. We began working on what I hope will be my debut novel (Every Good Day) which I am querying as I write this! (Meg was my alpha on this manuscript and Eliot was my omega. How lucky am I???)
If you are a fan of #KidLit, you probably already know that Meg is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for the United States, 2023 - 2024, appointed by the Library of Congress. (Another FUN FACT: Mr. Reynolds was our National Ambassador from 2020 - 2021.) Click this link to watch her inauguration.
Books I've read: Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, Tia Isa Wants a Car, Mango, Abuela and Me, the entire Merci Suarez trilogy, She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (the best novel I've ever read about bullying). On my shelf: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (graphic novel) and Burn Baby Burn.
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Folks, I haven't even BEGUN to exhaust my author-friends' list! These are only eight authors I love both personally and professionally. Every single person on this post has touched my life in a profound way and made this world a better, kinder, safer place. Please support them! Buy their books and connect with them. I would be so elated if you got to meet with any one or all of them and/or bring them to your schools.
Keep checking back for more recommendations like these OR be a jewel and SUBSRIBE TO MY BLOG! You'll hear from me about once a month going forward, and I would love to stay in touch. If you would be kind enough to promote this website to friends, family, neighbors, teachers, librarians, administrators, young people, writers or people who would love to start writing, people you have crushes on, exes you still sorta like most days, people you barely know, complete strangers... well, you just go ahead!
I am most grateful!
Miss Daisy thinks kids are WAY cooler than adults which is why she hangs out with 7th graders five days a week peddling grammar and structure and form. She lives to help kids to find their own voices and tell their own stories on the written page.
In the summers, you can find Daisy in her gardens with her husband. As often as she can, she loves spending time with her grandbaby boy, Wiggle, who was born on her birthday and her grandbaby niece, Giggle, who was born on Christmas Eve. Truly, she writes for them.
If you would like Miss Daisy to come speak for your school district, provide professional development for your staff, visit with your students or connect with your writing group, please leave a note on her Contact page.