Choosing an Author: Tips for All Grade Levels
Author studies are appropriate for children in any grade from elementary school to high school. A good place to begin is an online search engine. Ask students for suggestions of books they would like to read, and do a bit of online research before making any final decisions. Does this author write books that are appropriate for your class? Does the author have an online prescence? Is there enough information available for students to conduct an in depth author study? Is the author still living?
Once an author has been chosen, begin reading several different titles by the author. If the author is still living, do a bit of research to see if the author is available for a school visit or Skype visit. In this age of virtual meetings, Skype visits are becoming more popular and can be much more affordable for both the school and author. See if the author you choose would be willing to have a Skype visit with your class.
Here are several suggestions for authors who have written books popular with children and whose websites and school materials are readily available:
Picture Books: Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Tomie DePaola, Don and Audrey Wood, Hester Bass, Robie Harris, Susan Rosson Spain, Jane Yolen, Jon Scieszka
Middle Grade or Chapter Books: Laurie Halse Anderson, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, Jon Scieszka, JS Lewis, Jeff Kinney, Greg Neri, Susan Patron
Young Adult Books: Laurie Halse Anderson, Lindsey Leavitt, Irene Latham, Cyn Balog, Jo Knowles, Maureen Johnson, Greg Neri, Vicky Alvear Schecter
Be sure to review books by these authors before making any final decisions to determine whether the content is appropriate for your classroom's needs.