"Engaging, funny, real." - Andy H., 7th grade teacher
"A natural with the kids!" - Sarah R., 3rd grade teacher
I love visiting schools, libraries, bookstores, book clubs, book-themed birthday parties, you name it! As a former teacher and school librarian, I know all the tricks to make a fun, educational, and memorable visit for everyone involved.
Not near the Twin Cities? I'd be glad to Skype with your class or book club free of charge for up to 20 minutes. Looking forward to meeting you soon!
NOW SCHEDULING FOR THE 2018-2019 YEAR!
1. THE ONE! (45 min – 1 hour) Contact for rates
- Large group assembly or workshop (see below for more information)
2. THE TWO! (Two programs, 45 min - 1 hour each, plus another hour for additional activities) Contact for rates
- Your choice of one assembly and one workshop, two assemblies, or two workshops
- Includes lunch with students
- Includes small group discussion (book club, literacy circles, aspiring authors, etc.)
3. THE THREE! (Three programs, 45 min - 1 hour each, plus additional time for extra activities and fun!) Contact for rates
- Your choice of three programs (mixture of presentations and/or workshops)
- Includes lunch with students
- Includes small group discussion
All visits include a book signing and Q&A session, as well as a bookmark and sticker for every student.
**Please note: if your school is located outside the Twin Cities/immediate area where I am staying, a travel fee will apply.***
I am happy to stay after school to meet with writing/reading clubs and/or faculty. An additional fee will apply.
“I had a student tell me today that you were their favorite author. They said that your visit to our school last year was the most memorable reading experience they’ve ever had because they didn’t really believe that they could ever meet a real author. This kid was a nonreader, but now they read your books.” - Sarah L., 7th grade teacher
Presentation (Grades 3-8, best for large groups)
In this engaging, interactive presentation, students will get an overview of what it’s like to be an author. They’ll hear about the process of writing, revising, and publishing a book. Abby will discuss the importance of theme in writing, with specific examples from Sticks & Stones and Bubbles. She will also discuss the power of perseverance, determination, and believing in yourself and your dreams. Students will leave feeling inspired and eager to read and write!
*Workshops are adapted for each grade level
Publication 101 (Grades 3-8)
A book goes through many stages before it turns into the final product you see in stores and libraries. In this session, we’ll visit each exciting step of the publishing process, with fun, interactive writing and editing exercises throughout. Students will get to see pages from Sticks & Stones and Bubbles in various stages, as well as notes from real agents and editors.
Fantastic Flashbacks (Grades 3-8)
Flashbacks are important to include in fiction because they show us something about the main character we wouldn't otherwise know. In this workshop, we'll discuss examples from popular movies and books. Then, we'll think about how various experiences in our lives helped shape who we are today. Students will come away with multiple ideas as well as a short written piece that can be used in a variety of different ways.
Writing is Magical (Grades 3-8)
Roald Dahl once said “a little magic can take you a long way.” In this introduction to magical realism, we'll explore the many ways we can make our stories magical. We'll brainstorm ideas for magical characters, settings, and objects, and we'll experiment with including some of each in our writing. Then, we'll discuss how to account for magical elements in a way that makes sense to readers. At the end, we'll share some of our work. It'll be a magical session!
Ideas Are All Around (Grades 3-8)
How do writers come up with their ideas? There are lots of fun ways to find and develop stories. In this session, students will learn and practice using multiple techniques and strategies to generate great ideas.
NEW! Real Revision (Grades 3-8)
Revising your work can be challenging, but the benefits are huge! In this workshop, Abby will discuss why it is important to do your best work, and how to make your writing truly shine. She will share her early drafts as well as real techniques students can use to improve their work.
NEW! Show, Don't Tell (Grades 3-8)
Show, don't tell: it's something we hear all the time, but what does it actually mean? In this session, Abby will discuss what it means to her, and give a variety examples from her books. Students will participate in several fun writing activities that will deepen their understanding.
NEW! What Are They Thinking?! (Grades 3-8)
BUBBLES is all about a girl who knows what others are thinking. In this session, we'll discuss why, as a writer, it's valuable to always have a sense of what your characters are thinking. The way your characters think influences how they act, the decisions they make, their body language, everything! Through fun, hands-on activities and prompts, we'll learn how your character's inner thoughts influence his/her world. Students will come away with a piece of writing as well as the skills to develop stronger, more complex characters.
NEW! The Sticks & Stones Kindness Challenge (Grades 3-8)
STICKS & STONES is all about the importance of being kind to others and ourselves. Students will discuss kindness and participate in a variety of fun writing activities that will help spread kindness throughout your school and community.
***Please don’t let budgetary concerns stop you from reaching out! I’m happy to work with you to customize a program for your school.***
"Abby is an energetic, enthusiastic, and all around fun speaker. We're looking forward to having her back again next year." - Charlie Beck, Media Director, Olson Middle School
"If we'd had an energy barometer, Abby would have broken the glass and the mercury would have shot to a galaxy far beyond!" - Pat Martinez, high school creative writing teacher (read full review)
"Abby was a very kinetic presenter, keeping the students engaged the whole time and encouraging them to share and discuss their ideas." - Tom M., 4th grade teacher
"Abby's presentation kept all of our students engaged and involved. She encourages imagination, perseverance, optimism, and laughter. Her enthusiasm is contagious; we had a blast visiting with her!" - Caryl M., school librarian
Our 4th & 5th grade students loved having Abby come and share her writing life with us! 4th graders enjoyed the “Writing is Magical” workshop and it fit into our curriculum nicely! Our 5th grade students learned how to better infuse flashbacks into their narrative writing during the “Fantastic Flashbacks” workshop. We were also grateful to have the opportunity for Miss Cooper to sign copies of her books!" - Katie R., 4th & 5th grade English/language arts
School Visit Resources
Awesome Author Visits by Heather Booth (School Library Journal)
The Perfect Author Visit by Dan Gutman
Why Pay Authors For School Visits Anyway? by Caroline Starr Rose
Finding Funding by Alexis O'Neill
How to Get the Most Out of an Author Visit by Melanie Conklin
5 Ways Author School Visits Benefit You by Carmen Oliver
Where I've Been
Olson Middle School
McGuire Middle School
Valley View Middle School
Sandburg Middle School
Prairie View Elementary School
Plymouth Middle School
Montgomery Elementary School
Blackberry Creek Elementary School
Independence Jr. High School
St. Thomas More School
Highland Park Elementary
Saint Anthony Middle School
Old St. Mary's School
Anne Sullivan School
Diegueno Middle School
Sheridan Middle School
Open World Learning Community
Zachary Lane Elementary
St. Paul Academy
Maple Grove Jr. High School
Sand Creek Elementary
Eagle Ridge Elementary
Jefferson Community School
Osseo Middle School
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School
Orono Middle School