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Authors in the Schools

These events are only available to children in the Chippewa Valley school districts and are not open to the public. The following authors will make private presentations to school audiences at various grade levels.  Please spread the word about these amazing opportunities by sharing this information with your child's school. We thank participating schools and other donors for supporting our Authors in the Schools program.

Join our school authors for a public book sale and signing on Wednesday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m. 

Our 2018 Authors in the Schools



Sarah Ahiers is the author of the YA fantasies Assassin’s Heart and Thief’s Cunning (Harperteen). She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives in Minnesota with her dogs and a house full of critters. When Sarah’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends, and good family.


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Lisl H. Detlefsen is the author of a growing number of picture books. Her first, Time for Cranberries, (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, illustrated by Jed Henry) is a Junior Library Guild selection, a 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (K–2), and the 2017 Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Book of the Year. Lisl’s second picture book, If You Had a Jetpack (Penguin Random House/Knopf, illustrated by Linzie Hunter) was included on the Spring 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List. She lives on a family-owned cranberry marsh near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, with her husband and two sons.




Michael Hall is the author/illustrator of The New York Times bestseller, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the critically acclaimed Perfect Square, It’s an Orange Aardvark, Red: A Crayon’s Story, and Frankencrayon.

Before becoming a children’s author, Michael was an award-winning graphic designer whose work—including graphic identities for the City of Saint Paul, Macalester College, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Hennepin County Medical Center—has been widely recognized for its simple and engaging approach.

Michael lives, works, and reads in Minneapolis, Minnesota.




Beth Hautala holds a degree in writing and rhetoric from Northwestern College and is the author of Waiting for Unicorns and The Ostrich and Other Lost Things. She lives with her husband and four children in northern Minnesota, where she strives to write stories that tie heart and imagination together.




Alethea Kontis is a New York Times bestselling author, a princess, a voice actress, a force of nature, and a mess. She is responsible for creating the epic Young Adult fairytale fantasy realm of Arilland in the Woodcutter series, and dabbling in a myriad of other worlds beyond. With picture books like Alphaloops: The Day Z Went First and Simi’s ABCs all the way up to her series of chapbooks inspired by fairytales from her childhood, Alethea's stories capture the childlike wonder in all of us. Her award-winning writing has been published for multiple age groups across all genres. Host of “Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants” and Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con, Alethea also narrates for ACX, IGMS, Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders. Born in Vermont, Alethea currently resides on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie.




David LaRochelle has been creating books for young people for over twenty-five years. His many picture book titles include The Best Pet of All, How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans, and Moo! He is the recipient of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award, multiple children’s choice awards, and a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award.

A former elementary school teacher, David still visits many classrooms around the Midwest (and world!) each year, talking with students about books, writing, and illustrating. When he is not creating new books, he loves to read, play board games, and carve unique jack-o’-lanterns, which can be seen on his website.




Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB, is an ethologist who has consulted with pet owners for over twenty-five years about serious behavioral problems. She taught "The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships" in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for twenty five-years and speaks around the world about canine behavior and training. Dr. McConnell is the author of eleven books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books The Other End of the Leash (translated into 14 languages), For the Love of a Dog, and Tales of Two Species. Her newest book, The Education of Will, is a memoir focusing on healing from trauma in both people and dogs.




Darcy Miller lives in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, with her librarian husband and two small children. Their cat, Jeffreys, deserves his own sentence. Their kitten, Stompy, does not. Darcy is the author of Roll (HarperCollins '17) and Margot and Mateo Save the World (HarperCollins '18), and hopes to write many more middle grade novels in the future.




Mitali Perkins has written ten novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near, which was on the 2017 National Book Award longlist. She has been honored as a "Most Engaging Author" by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a "Literary Light for Children" by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.




Mari Schuh is the author of more than 300 nonfiction books for beginning readers, covering topics from tomatoes to tornadoes. She has written for nine publishers over the course of two decades. After authoring several Crayola-themed titles, Mari celebrated by buying an armload of giant crayons. She lives with her husband in her hometown of Fairmont, Minnesota, where she continues her lifelong streak of never baking a cake or pie of any kind.




Caren Stelson lives in Minneapolis and has been a teacher, educational consultant, and freelance writer for thirty years before refocusing her writing career on matters she felt most passionate. In 2010, Caren embarked on a six-year journey traveling to Nagasaki, Japan, to interview Sachiko Yasui about her life as an atomic bomb survivor and her pathway to peace. In 2016, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story was published by Carolrhoda/Lerner Publishing Group. Sachiko was longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award, received the Robert F. Silbert Informational Honor Book Award, was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and won the Jane Addams Book Award for Older Children. In 2020, Caren’s newest book will be published, Grandmother’s Bowl, a picture book about Sachiko Yasui and her family written for young readers.




Leah Weiss is a bestselling author born in North Carolina and raised near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her debut novel If The Creek Don’t Rise was released in August 2017, and was selected as an Indie Next, Okra Pick and Library Reads. Her short stories have been published in magazines such as The Simple Life Magazine, and online magazines like Every Day Fiction and Deep South Magazine. In 2015, she retired from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She lives in Virginia with her husband and writes, travels and hikes—and enjoys speaking to groups and book clubs.