These authors will make private presentations to school audiences at various grade levels. We thank participating schools and other donors for supporting our Authors in the Schools program.
John David Anderson — Nickolas Butler — Molly Beth Griffin — Kirstin Cronn-Mills — Pat Zietlow Miller — Chris Monroe — Peter Pearson — Phyllis Root — Phuoc Thi Minh Tran — Jillian Weise — Jeff Zentner
Teachers! Click here for amazing resources for you and your students to help you present these authors to your students!
Chippewa Valley Book Festival 2017: Authors in the Schools
John David Anderson is the critically-acclaimed author of several middle-grade novels, including Sidekicked, Posted, and Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his lovely wife, his black-belt twins/bodyguards, and an ancient cat named Oreo. He enjoys board games and books, plays multiple musical instruments, and can run a half-marathon without passing out. He can be bribed with chocolate.
Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire, and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the author of the internationally best selling novel Shotgun Lovesongs, a collection of short stories entitled, Beneath the Bonfire, and his newest novel, The Hearts of Men. He is the winner of France’s prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, among others. Along the way, he has worked as: a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot-dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk, and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker, and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in: Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch, and several other publications.
He lives on sixteen acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.
Kirstin Cronn-Mills is originally from Nebraska and has lived in Minnesota for 25+ years. For her day job she teaches college students how to write, think critically, and understand literature. For her night job, she writes young adult novels, including The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don’t Mind, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, and Original Fake. She also writes young adult nonfiction. Kirstin thinks teenagers are generally marvelous.
Molly Beth Griffin is the author of the picture books Rhoda’s Rock Hunt and Loon Baby and the young adult novel Silhouette of a Sparrow. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and hosts a monthly Picture Book Salon. She has won a McKnight Fellowship and two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, and her books have been finalists for the Minnesota Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and Foreword’s Book of the Year. She lives in South Minneapolis with her two young children.
Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.”
She has five books currently available and five more under contract. Her first book, Sophie’s Squash, won the Golden Kite Award for best picture book text. It also won an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor and a Crystal Kite Award. Her second book, Wherever You Go won a Crystal Kite Award and The Quickest Kid in Clarksville was a Junior Library Guild Selection.
Chris Monroe is an author, illustrator, and cartoonist who lives in Duluth, MN. Her children’s picture books include the award-winning Monkey With A Tool Belt series, as well as Sneaky Sheep, Cookie The Walker, and Bug On A Bike. Her books have been published in five languages. She has illustrated books for notable authors, including Jane Yolen and Kevin Kling. Her animation artwork for Kevin Kling: Lost And Found won her an Emmy in 2016.
Chris’s new book Monkey With A Tool Belt And The Silly School Mystery is slated for release in August 2017.
Peter Pearson earned his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in 2012 after detours through social services and astrophysics. Peter has received awards, grants, and other recognition from Hamline, the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Anderson Center. His first picture book, How to Eat an Airplane, was published by Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins). He also makes pretty good pancakes and is sort of tall.
Phyllis Root has published fifty books for children, including Lucia and the Light, which won a McKnight Fellowship; Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble, which won a Minnesota Book Award; and Big Momma Makes the World, which won a Horn Book Award. Her recent picture book One North Star recently won a John Burroughs Riverby award for nature writing as did her book Plant A Pocket of Prairie. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and teaches in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She loves being out of doors, including gardening, camping, canoeing, sailing, and looking for native wildflowers. And it’s a little known fact that her name is in the seventh Harry Potter book. It really is.
Website: Under construction, coming soon at phyllisiroot.com
Phuoc Thi Minh Tran is the first Vietnamese librarian in Minnesota. A respected storyteller, a 2016 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon author, and a published and award winning author, she has shared her experiences and knowledge of Vietnamese culture at various cultural events, storytelling programs, conferences, libraries, universities, colleges, and schools throughout the state and beyond. Her book Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories was the winner of a 2015-2016 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award, the Creative Child Magazine 2015 Book of the Year Award, and the 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal. Her story “The Ocean Where the Dreams Go” was included in the anthology Sky Blue Water: Great Stories for Young Readers.
Jillian Weise is a poet, performance artist and disability rights activist. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post and The New York Times. She is the author of two collections of poetry and a novel, titled The Colony. Her most recent book, The Book of Goodbyes, won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, which recognizes a superior second book of poetry by an American poet, and the Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions. She has received writing fellowships from the FineArts Work Center in Provincetown, the Fulbright Program and the Lannan Foundation.
Weise is an Associate Professor at Clemson University and lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Weise will also be presenting to the adult public, see our author page for details.
Jeff Zentner is the author of Morris Award winner The Serpent King and most recently, Goodbye Days. Before becoming a writer, he was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. In addition to writing and recording his own music, he worked with young musicians at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp, which inspired him to write for young adults. He lives in Nashville.