Lark & the Diamond Caper is on the 49th Shelf’s Most Anticipated Books for Fall, and Kirkus reviews said, "Deen's heroine reflects an underrepresented reader group and is as successful as any other lead character in early chapter books…Lark's sparkly presence on the chapter-book shelves will be welcomed by many.”
Email us to book Natasha:
Book now for Remembrance Day ---
Karen Bass won the Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction award twice, both times for WWII novels. In all she has four novels that deal with World War Two, and she loves to bring that era alive for students. With Remembrance Day week only two months away, now is a great time to make your booking. Karen now lives in Hamilton Ontario and for Remembrance Day week she is waiving travel fees for venues in the GTA.
Amanda West Lewis is appearing at The Kingston International Writers Festival September 27 – 28. Travel fees to Kingston are waived for bookings during this period.Share
Consider saving this newsletter for future reference. With our new mailing schedule you won't be getting another one until October.
Over the summer, we've made some big changes.
Explore our revamped website. There's an alphabetical snippet view of all our authors here. We have a Youtube video library with book trailers, author interviews and more. We've got a dedicated index tab for French presenters, illustrators and more, plus a full-site google search bar.
New Map Feature!
Our map has always shown to indicate approximately where our presenters live. Click on the + sign at the right side of the map to get a detailed view of a particular area.This is a great tool for estimating travel costs and also discovering local authors.
Now you'll also see green V's to indicate out of GTA bookings. Hover your mouse over a green V and you'll see when you may be able to save on travel costs or share a day by booking an author while they're already in your area!
The most stringent selection process in Canada
Our members can promote literacy and a love of reading as well as support curriculum objectives.Over the summer, we've added one more condition of membership: Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) . Every single member on our website as of Sept 1 has an up-to-date VSS.
Request for Collaboration
Our mission is to provide you with a reliable way of booking qualified and engaging presenters for the student audience. We ask that you help us do our job in the following ways:
1. Collaborate with us. Please book our authors through the email contact forms at the bottom of each presenter page. Our members pay us a small fee per booking (you pay us nothing) but if you use our service and then book directly, we receive nothing for the effort and expense we've put into providing it. We rely on the honour system.
2. Collaborate with your colleagues. If you are booking one of our presenters, ask nearby colleagues if they'd like to share the day or the tour with you. There are significant cost savings for you when you work together. As an example, an author may charge $600 plus travel for a half day (two sessions), but $1000 for a full day. If you and a colleague book together, you each save $100 and half the travel costs. As well, we can advise you on subsidies, reducing the cost even more. When you share our information, everyone wins.
3. Collaborate with your association or school board. Did you know that we host regional ABS-School Library meet and greets at no charge? You provide the venue, the audience and coffee (maybe some chocolate too??) and we'll bring the authors and the books. Here's a write up of one such event from last year. We would LOVE to do a similar event with YOU!
ABS is the booking agent for The Forest of Reading®. We are also partnered with the TDSB (under Amdox Co Ltd/Authors' Booking Service).
Is YOUR Board or organization Interested in working with ABS as a partner too? Let's talk.
News feed updated regularly!
Bookmark our website and check it often. Our news feed, Coming to the GTA and Deals are all index tabs on the main page and they're updated several times a week.
Valerie Sherrard & Marsha Skrypuch
Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).
Nadia L. Hohn B.A. (Hon.), B.Ed., M.Ed. is an author and illustrator who delivers interactive presentations with arts and culture.
Toronto-born of Jamaican parents, Nadia L. Hohn is passionate about diversity in the children's book industry. Nadia L. Hohn is a teacher and the author of two picture books-- Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017), illustrated by Irene Luxbacher and published by Groundwood Books. She is also the author of Music (Grade 5) and Media (Grade 6) books in the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection series published in 2015 by Rubicon Publishing Inc. Nadia has an upcoming early reader about Harriet Tubman to be published by HarperCollins in 2019 and she is currently working on other books.
Caribbean Playground (Malaika’s Costume/Malaika’s Winter Carnival) K to Grade 3, Educator version also available, 30-90 minutes
Explore Caribbean songs, rhymes, and games that Malaika would learn and play in her schoolyard. This is an interactive, lively and musical workshop featuring a reading of Malaika’s Costume or Malaika’s Winter Carnival, musical instruments, and storytelling as well. Educators will gain African-Caribbean songs, rhymes, and games that you can share with your Kindergarten to Grade 3 students.
Carnival Adventure (Malaika’s Costume/Malaika’s Winter Carnival) K to 12, 60-150 min
Come join the Carnival! Learn about the history of Carnival in the Caribbean through dance, costume, a slideshow, and music. Who can’t forget the limbo? Depending on group size, we’ll even get to design our own costume as a group or individually or design your own Carnival headpiece. This is an interactive, lively and musical workshop featuring a reading of Malaika’s Costume or Malaika’s Winter Carnival. (Materials cost is extra for crafts.)
Beyond Black History Month: African-Canadian Experiences through the Arts (Sankofa Media and Music, Malaika’s Costume, Malaika’s Winter Carnival) Grade 5 to 12, Educator, 45-120 min
Songs, images, and other forms of media create windows into the Caribbean peoples who have made contributions to Canada. Through the Sankofa series books, Music and Media, as well as Malaika's Costume, students will take part in dramatic arts activities such as role playing and readers’ theatre. In addition, they will deconstruct video and audio clips that explore the history and experiences of African descended people in Canada and the diaspora and enhance their understanding of the book.
Write-Your-Own or Customized Workshops available upon request, Grades 1 to 12, Adults 60-180 min
Have you ever wanted to write your own children’s book? Song? Rap? Or an alternate genre? I can help you. This workshop helps you to come out with a finished piece.
African-Caribbean OR Diverse Children and Young Adult Authors Panel, Adults 60-90 min
This would be a panel of 3 to 5 children and young adult authors discussing such questions. What is the importance of diverse kidlit in 2017? What are some barriers for diverse children and young adult authors (if any)? What are your books about? Do your main characters deal with issues of diversity (e.g., racism, identity, prejudice, islamophobia)? What diverse books do we need in 2017?
Malaika’s Costume and/or Malaika’s Winter Carnival STEAM Day
STEAM or STEM are existing programs and curricula that integrate science, technology, engineering, arts, and math into critically engaging with students and helping them to reach their full-potential. The workshop includes Carnival arts and history, drafting, design, exhibition/community sharing, and discussion.
IDEAL AUDIENCE SIZE: 10-60
MAXIMUM AUDIENCE SIZE: 200
GRADES: Kindergarten-Grade 12, staff-specific workshops
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Not required but it is often the most fun if we have a flip chart. For larger audiences, a projector and screen is very helpful.
You will also require a stereo-system or CD player to play music that will be part of the presentation.
A table for display purposes.
Voice projection is needed for larger groups, especially if the presentation is in a gymnasium.
For arts and crafts workshops, the materials will need to be provided by the school. Otherwise, the author can provide these for a nominal material cost.
Email Nadia to book a visit:
Melanie’s rate is $250.00, two is $450.00, three is $700.00 and four is $900.00, plus travel. Skype visits available.
An experienced teacher, lecturer and presenter, Melanie has internationally presented on children’s literature, historical fiction and the life and work of Canadian author L.M. Montgomery to people of all ages. Her presentations are adaptable to the skill and knowledge of the group and she incorporates her experience as an English college teacher to engage students in writing about what they are interested in.
Melanie is an animated speaker who enjoys bringing props to her presentations, which may or may not include her first writings (and most definitely not her journal from when she was 12-years-old). Geared to grades 5 and up, her presentations can be adapted to the grade level and/or size of group. All presentations discuss path to publication, writing life, with a focus on research best practices, and the writing process. Depending upon the length of the book talk, details to be explored can also include any or all of the following:
• The life and times of L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables
• L.M. Montgomery as Teen Writer
• History of women during late-19th century Canada – L.M. Montgomery and her contemporaries
• Larger discussion on how to write historical fiction
Writing Historical Fiction: This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop provides an outline and framework on best practices in writing historical fiction, including the difference between primary and secondary sources, important questions to consider, as well as focusing on plotting, character, structure, description and dialogue. Workshop can be adapted for time requirements.
Journal Writing: Many writers, such as Anne Frank and L.M. Montgomery, used journal writing to explore their feelings about the world and work on their writing. This workshop shows how journal writing can not only be the first step in the writing journey, but it also be a tool for self-exploration and examination. This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop gives students the opportunity to tap into their creativity, while also exploring freewriting, discussions on the inner critic and strategies for writer’s block.
Equipment and Other Requirements
For lectures and talks, 30 to 50 students, but will take larger groups for lectures. For writing workshops, 16 or so.
I’ll require a table, water, laptop & projector for PowerPoint, and access to a microphone for larger groups or in the gym.
For writing workshops, a white board or flip paper with markers. Students should come with a notebook and pencil or pens. No laptops or cell phones, please.
Krystia’s family is hiding Jews from the invading Nazis, but the risks are immense. How much will she risk for her friends? A gripping story based on true events.
Invite Marsha Skrypuch to your school today. Fans of Making Bombs for Hitler will love this new book.Share
David Poulsen of Alberta is available in Toronto on Tuesday October 10.
$325 plus GST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel.
The highly entertaining David Poulsen is one of Canada’s most sought-after author-presenters in schools and makes between 80 and 100 school visits per year. Because he has written picture books, middle reader and YA novels, David is comfortable and willing to present to virtually every grade (and adult audiences as well). He can do up to four presentations in the same school or area in a day and is especially excited to conduct workshops (grade four and up) and work with the school’s young and often amazingly talented young writers.
Email us to book David:
Celebrate diversity and growth mindset with a visit from Alberta Readers’ Choice Award nominee Natasha Deen. She will be in the GTA from October 16-20, and is taking bookings.Share
Junior and Intermediate Teachers! Begin History, Geography, Social Studies or various theme topics with a bang! Use factual Canadian Disasters as a hook to pique student interest. René Schmidt will visit your classroom to present stories of drama, heartbreak and triumph over adversity to augment your study topic. René will be visiting the Metro Toronto area in mid to late October and will waive kilometrage and give discounts for multiple bookings.
White Pine Award winning author Don Aker is returning to the GTA this fall, but his week is nearly full! If you'd still like to book him, let us know asap! He currently has Monday Oct 23 and Friday Oct 27 still open. Full days requested (can be shared between neighbouring schools). Check out this interview by students from Heritage Regional High in Saint-Hubert, Quebec:
Red Maple award-winner Vicki Grant will be available for bookings in the GTA October 24-26 and November 28-30. Vicki’s latest YA rom/com novel, 36 QUESTIONS THAT CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT YOU, has been sold to twenty countries. She has fifteen other YA, Middle Grade and high/low books including award-winning Quid pro Quo, Not Suitable for Family Viewing and PIgboy. For more details on Vicki’s books and presentations, visit her info page here.Share
In honour of Remembrance Day, Amanda West Lewis is booking schools in the GTA November 7 – 9. Travel fees from Perth are waived during this period. Amanda’s program “War from Both Sides” is an ideal presentation as you plan your Remembrance Day activities.Share
L. E. Carmichael is now an Ontario-based author! To celebrate, she will donate a copy of her award-winning Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild, to all junior highs that host her forensics presentation(s). Students at hosting schools can also order signed copies of Fuzzy Forensics at 50% off list price.Share
Silver Birch award winning BC author Robin Stevenson will be in Toronto January 31-Feb 4 2018. She will also be visiting her old hometown-- Hamilton! Robin has 20 novels for all ages from grade 2 to grade 12, and
offers engaging presentations and inspiring creative writing workshops
tailored to each group's needs and interests. Her novels include the 2014
Silver Birch Award winning Record Breaker, the middle-grade novel The
Summer We Saved the Bees, and a new YA mystery called Blood on the Beach
Click on the the link above for more information and to access Robin's contact form.Share
Sharon McKay is available in Burlington and surrounding areas from January to April 2018.
Eric Zweig has eight new books out this fall, including seven for school children! Book him for a visit to your classroom or library and receive a free copy of the new and updated 2nd Edition of The Big Book of Hockey for Kids.