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Ellen with other 2000 Printz Award winners, Walter Dean Myers, Laurie Halse Anderson and David Almond

Looking for an exceptional speaker?

I am available for conferences, school visits, and library engagements.

For more information, email me directly at

This Means War

My current author talk is a PowerPoint presentation for my newest book This Means War! and is most appropriate for fifth through seventh graders. This Means War! is set in 1962 during the weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis in a small Midwestern town which is home to a large Air Force Base. The protagonist, Juliet, lives behind her parents' small grocery store, as I did in those days, and ponders her future in light of frightening world events and changing relationships among her own friends and family. A full discussion guide for the book is available here.

The PowerPoint presentation includes both my own photos (and music) from that time and pictures of "duck and cover" drills and fallout shelters. I will also read a few selections from the book. The presentation lasts 45-60 minutes (the hour leaving more time for questions at the end). As with any presentation, students get much more out of the talk if they've read the book beforehand.

Within Massachusetts my rates are: 1 presentation: $400; 2 presentations at the same school: $600; 3 presentations at the same school: $800.

Out-of-state rates are: 1 presentation: $500; 2 presentations: $750; 3 presentations: $1,000. Schools will also need to pay for my airfare and room and board. For schools who book 2 or 3 presentations I am also happy to meet informally with a small group of students either at lunch or at a book fair. I'm always happy to sign books, but schools need to make arrangements for selling them to students beforehand.

This Means War! is available in hardcover from Simon and Schuster and also in paper through the Scholastic Book Club and Fairs.

Other Book Talks or Workshops

I am also happy to meet with older students or to discuss any of my books or writing in general. For more information about my other books, there are several discussion guides available, and descriptions of all my books can be found here.

I'm also available to do writing workshops with smaller student groups. Rates will be similar to those above. Library rates are always negotiable. Contact me at for more information.

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