Teachers & Librarians

Penguin Young Readers

Tara Altebrando

Invite an author or illustrator to speak at your school or library today! This month's featured author is Tara Altebrando.

Tara Altebrando has lived in four out of the five boroughs of New York City (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens). Her newest Young Adult novel, The Dreamland Social Club is set in Brooklyn's Coney Island. Tara has also worked as a music journalist in Dublin, a stand-up comic, and was once paid to watch television. She lives in Queens, New York with her husband and daughters.

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Learn More About Tara Altebrando »

If you are interested in hosting an appearance by Tara Altebrando at your school, library, or conference, please use the online request form or send an email to authorvisits[at]us.penguingroup.com with possible dates, your school name, location, details about the day, and your contact information


Author Appearance Q&A with Tara Altebrando:

What can a school, library, or conference expect when you are making an appearance? What do you do differently with audiences of varying sizes, ages, and interests?

My current presentations are spun in some way off my novel set on Coney Island, Dreamland Social Club. With larger groups, I do a presentation about the rich history of Coney Island—especially its amusement parks and sideshows—and how it all inspired my novel. In smaller groups, we can actually pull some fun assignments that a teacher in the book gives his students, like making a postcard from the place you've been where you've had the most fun of your life, or creating sideshow characters for ourselves as a way to discuss how the usage of the word "freaks" has changed over time.

What makes your author appearances unique?

I think it's fair to say that most author appearances don't involve talk of cities populated by dwarves or human roulette wheels or elephants being electrocuted. The pure insanity of old Coney Island and its impact on my writing—and thus on my presentation—makes it unique.

Do you enjoy making appearances for adult audiences? What do you do when presenting to adults?

I have taught fiction writing workshops to grown-ups and enjoy that a great deal. I also love doing readings and Q&As. Regarding Dreamland Social Club, I think my presentation is as suited to grown-ups as it is to high school kids.

What can schools and libraries do to ensure a successful appearance?

Ideally, the students have been prepped and know a little bit about what/who to expect when they come to a large presentation. Ideally, a smaller group, at least, has read my book.

Do you enjoy traveling to other parts of the country for appearances?

I have yet to do this, but I love to travel.

What do you hope your audience will come away with from your presentation?

An interest in the history of Coney Island and what it says about our culture, a new awareness of some of the economic factors at work on Coney and in all of our communities (big business vs. mom and pop), excitement for books in general, and, hopefully, an interest in Dreamland Social Club in particular!


Click here to see previous featured authors.

Do you have questions about an author visit or comments about this page? Please contact the author appearance coordinator.