Teachers & Librarians

Penguin Young Readers

Rachel Vail

Find out about Rachel Vail and her author appearances!

Author Appearance Roster

Welcome to our archive of previously featured authors from our website. Click on each author's name to find out a little more about what he or she does when making appearances. Feel free to also peruse our website from the homepage to discover any of our authors who would be best for your event. If you have any questions or are interested in having any of these authors make a visit to your school or library, please email our Author Appearance Coordinator at penguinauthorvisits@gmail.com. Don't see the author selection you're looking for? Feel free to also email penguinauthorvisits@gmail.com for information on any Penguin author you have in mind or for guidance on choosing and inviting an author to your event.

Picture Books & Chapter Books

Jim Arnosky
Jim Arnosky, author of The Brook Book (Putnam, 2007) and Dolphins on the Sand (Putnam, 2008) is an accomplished presenter and has been making appearances at schools for many years.

Ginjer Clarke
Ginjer Clarke writes fun, fact-filled nonfiction beginning readers about weird, wonderful animals. She loves that her job entails visiting zoos and aquariums, reading lots of books, and even watching TV for research. Ginjer is an experienced and lively school, library, and conference presenter, who has appeared at more than 200 elementary schools, regional reading and writing conferences, statewide book festivals, many bookstores and libraries, and even a zoo. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, young son, and several silly-looking pets.

Anna Dewdney
Anna Dewdney is the creator of the beloved Llama Llama Red Pajama and the New York Times Bestseller and Book Sense Honor Book Llama Llama Mad at Mama. In her newest book, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama goes to school for the first time.

Melissa Guion
Melissa Guion is the author and illustrator of Baby Penguins Everywhere! and Baby Penguins Love their Mama. Melissa is also a writer for Tom Tom, the world's only magazine dedicated to female drummers.

Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers is a creator of art for both adults and children. Oliver has become one of the world's most in demand artists, creating pieces and graphics for TED talks, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and album covers. He is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including The Hueys, Stuck, This Moose Belongs to Me, and Once Upon an Alphabet. He also illustrated The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt, which has spent many weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Max Kornell
Max Kornell is the author and illustrator of Bear With Me and Me First. When he's not writing picture books, Max pens a regular comic for LA Weekly and creates caricatures for the Santa Barbara Independent. He teaches art at Crossroads and the Brentwood Art Center, and is married with three children.

Nancy Krulik
Nancy Krulik is author of the Katie Kazoo series, the most recent book being Vote for Suzanne. She has written over 100 books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers. Although Nancy has written some books for teens, she is most well-known for the Katie Kazoo series.

Jane Kohuth
Jane Kohuth knew in the third grade that she wanted to write children's books. She began by crafting her own picture books, poetry, and novels in the style of Judy Blume. Now, she is a published author of several books for children, including Duck Sock Hop.

Loren Long
Loren Long is illustrator of the best-selling favorites Toy Boat, Otis, and the re-issued version of The Little Engine That Could.

Lori Nichols
Lori Nichols' enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open.

Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney is a Caldecott medalist, five-time Caldecott Honor winner, five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, and a United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Anderson Award, among many other authors. He has written and illustrated many amazing books, which include Puss in Boots and Three Little Kittens.

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco doesn't create a book unless she loves the story. Her own passion for a story drives the narrative of her books, and this is clear in her dramatic and touching art. She is known throughout the country for her school visits which inspire children to think of themselves as heroes and to be courageous in life.

Adam Rubin
Adam Rubin is a creative director at Firstborn Multimedia by day and the best-selling author of Secret Pizza Party and Dragons Love Tacos by night. Adam had the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented picture-book illustrator Daniel Salmieri, and he jumped at the chance. Together Adam and Daniel create stories that they think are funny — and we happen to agree.

Daniel Salmieri
Daniel Salmieri is the illustrator behind best-selling Dragons Love Tacos and Secret Pizza Party. He grew up doodling pictures of fighter jets, dinosaurs, and Ninja Turtles before tuning to picture books. Daniel has now illustrated 8 picture books, and won't be stopping anytime soon!

A.J. Stern
A.J. Stern is the author of the Frankly, Frannie series. She lives in an upside-down house in Brooklyn, New York. She has fifteen children under the age of eleven who all have very good jobs. She rides to work on a horse and only eats food that is orange. Okay, none of this is true (except the Brooklyn part), but it would be a little funny if it were. Right?

Hudson Talbott
Hudson Talbott's book, River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River pays homage to the river that shares his name with this gorgeously illustrated and fascinating history. Hudson Talbott also wrote and illustrated United Tweets of America, and illustrated Show Way (by Jacqueline Woodson), a Newbery Honor book, and Leonardo's Horse (by Jean Fritz), which was an ALA Notable Book and a VOYA Honor Book.

Ursula Vernon
Ursula Vernon is the author and illustrator of the Dragonbreath series, as well as Turk and Digger. The daughter of an artist, she attempted to rebel and become a scientist, but in the end couldn't fight her destiny. She lives in Pittsboro, NC, where she writes, draws, and creates oddities.

Rosemary Wells
Rosemary Wells is the award-winning author of numerous books for children, including her most recent title, Time Out for Sophie. Rosemary is also the brain behind the popular and beloved preschool series Max and Ruby. Her career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books.

Natasha Wing
Natasha Wing is constantly inspired by the magic that happens while reading a book. As a writer, her goal is to challenge her own imagination to see if it could create magical moments for kids all over the world. She has succeeded and is the author of many books, such as The Night Before My Birthday and the Night Before Kindergarten.

Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson loves to tell stories. As a kid, she would write stories wherever they would fit — on sidewalks, on paper, even on the sides of buildings. Now Jacqueline writes these stories for a living. Her most recent books are her novels Brown Girl Dreaming and Beneath a Meth Moon and her picture books Each Kindness and This Is the Rope.

Middle Grade

Sophie Bell
If Sophie Bell could have just one superpower, it would be to control the frizzies come rain, snow, tornado, or monsoon. Either that or invisible-flying. Sophie is the writer behind the Ultra Violet series, the latest of which is Ultra Violets: Lilac Attack. Like the Ultra Violets, Sophie once had purple hair.

Joan Bauer
Joan Bauer is the author of twelve highly acclaimed books for young readers. She received a Newbery Honor Medal for Hope Was Here and the L.A. Times Book Prize for Rules of the Road. She is a two-time recipient of the Christopher Award, and her books appear on numerous state award lists. Tell Me is her most recent novel.

Adam-Troy Castro
Adam-Troy Castro is the award winning author of over twenty books for young readers. Adam has said in interviews that he likes to jump genres and styles, and has therefore refused to ever stay in place long enough to permit the unwanted existence of a creature that could be called a 'typical" Adam-Troy Castro story. His latest project is a series of middle-grade novels, beginning with Gustav Gloom and the People.

Kathryn Erskine
As a resident of Virginia, Kathryn Erskine was devastated by the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she was driven to understand how community and family—particularly families with special-needs children—dealt with this violent event, and how our lives might be different if we understood each other better.

Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Laura Marx Fitzgerald drew on her study of art history at Harvard and Cambridge Universities in writing Under the Egg. She lives in Brooklyn and this is her middle grade debut.

Adam Gidwitz
Adam Gidwitz went to college at Columbia and thought about majoring in religion, and then in philosophy, but ultimately chose English literature. After graduating, he stayed in New York and took a job in a second grade classroom at Saint Ann's School, in Brooklyn. He now teaches second grade, fifth grade, and high school, writing half the time and teaching the other half.

Lisa Graff
Lisa Graff is the author of Double Dog Dare, The Thing About Georgie, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. A former children's book editor, she is now a full time writer and an adjunct professor at McDaniel College. She lives with her cat, Henry, in New York City, where she loves to bake cookies and cakes—and even make peanut butter every once in a while.

Ann Hood
Ann Hood is the author of many books including the adult bestsellers The Knitting Circle, Comfort, and The Red Thread. She has also penned the middle-grade title How I Saved My Father's Life (and Ruined Everything Else). She also knits, wanders around museums, has cool glasses, loves the color pink (although she never wears it), and spends a lot of her time wishing she could time travel and meet famous people. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, O, The Oprah Magazine, and elsewhere.

JV Kade
JV Kade was born and raised in Michigan. She still lives in the tiny town she grew up in, with her husband and two kids. She has written two series for young adults — Altered and Bot Wars.

Ingrid Law
Ingrid Law is a huge fan of words and stories, of small towns and big ideas. Ingrid's first book and New York Times bestseller, Savvy, received numerous awards, including a Newbery Honor, and appeared on many lists. Her second book, Scumble, takes place in the same world, but with a whole new cast of characters.

Caroline Lawrence
Caroline Lawrence grew up in Bakersfield, California. She claims that some of her ancestors were pioneers, teamsters, newspapermen and Mormons. She was a schoolteacher in London for ten years before she started writing books for kids. The Western Mysteries series is her second historical series. Set in Virginia City, Nevada in 1862, these aren't your ordinary Dime Novels. These are stories of prospectors, miners, actresses, saloonkeepers, gamblers, hurdy-girls, desperados and--the worst of the lot--newspapermen.

Kristen Levine
Kristin Levine has been everything from an au pair in Vienna, Austria to a screenwriting instructor in Washington, DC. She is currently a mom and writer in Alexandria, VA. Her first novel The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had was published in 2009. The Lions of Little Rock, which is based on true family history and sheds light on the little-known period immediately following the Little Rock Nine’s integration of Central High School in 1957, is her second novel.

C. Alexander London
C. Alexander London is an award-winning author of non-fiction for grown-ups, an accomplished skeet-shooter, a master SCUBA diver, and a fully licensed librarian. He has watched television in 23 countires, survived an erupting volcano, a hurricane, four civil wars, and a mysterious bite on his little toe in the jungles of Thailand. Currently, C. Alexander London lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Matt London
Matt London is a writer and avid recycler. He is the creator of the animated web comic Space Pirates in Space and a graduate of The Clarion Writers Workshop. When not investigating lost civilizations, Matt explores the mysterious island where he lives — Manhattan. His new adventure series begins with The 8th Continent.

DJ MacHale
DJ MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. He has penned three series for the middle grade/YA reader. His most recent project is the SYLO Chronicles, which includes SYLO, STORM and STRIKE.

Jake Marcionette
Jake Marcionette is in the sixth grade, and lives in Maryland with his parents and sister. Just Jake is his first book, and is loosely based on his life as a middle schooler who moves to a different state.

Wendy McClure
Wendy McClure is the author of Wanderville and The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, as well as several other books for adults and children. She is a Senior Editor at Albert Whitman and Company, where she acquires and edits picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. Her projects include books in The Boxcar Children series.

Scott McCormick
Scott McCormick can juggle three balls but not four. This frustrates him to no end, especially considering some people can juggle nice. He is a marketing and advertising copywriter when he isn't writing children's books. His latest release is Mr. Pants: Slacks, Camera, Action.

Maile Meloy
Maile Meloy is the bestselling author of The Apothecary and The Apprentices. She has also written several adult novels and short story collections. Her stories have been featured in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Granta.

Robin Palmer
Robin Palmer's teen books include Cindy Ella, Geek Charming, and Little Miss Red. Her newest book, however, is the middle grade novel Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker: Girl vs. Superstar

M.D. Payne
M.D. Payne is a mad scientist who creates monsters by stitching together words instead of dead body parts. He truly believes the way to a reader's heart is laughter. After nearly a decade in multimedia production for public radio, he entered children's publishing as a copywriter and marketer. His Monster Juice series includes Fear the Barfitron, Fartsunami, and Boogers from Beyond.

Richard Peck
Richard Peck has written more than thirty novels, and in the process has become one of America's most highly respected writers for young people. A versatile author, he is beloved by middle-graders as well as young adults for his comedies and coming of age novels.

Dean Pitchford
Dean Pitchford was born and raised in Hawaii and studied at Yale. He began his career as an actor off and on Broadway before turning to songwriting, screenwriting and directing. Dean has been nominated for four Academy Awards (winning the Oscar and Golden Globe for "Fame"), six Grammys, and two Tony Awards. His first novel for young readers was The Big One-Oh, followed by Captain Nobody.

Geoff Rodkey
Geoff Rodkey grew up in Freeport, Illinois and began his writing career on his high school newspaper, the oddly named Pretz News. During college, he wrote for both the Harvard Lampoon and the Let's Go travel guide series. After graduation, he wrote for magazines, a video game, a newspaper, a standup comedian, a syndicated columnist, a government-funded economic think tank, several popular television shows, and hit films Daddy Day Care, RV, and the Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas. He's currently at work on Blue Sea Burning, the final book in the Chronicles of Egg adventure-comedy series that began with Deadweather and Sunrise now in paperback and continues with New Lands, to be released in May 2013.

Polly Shulman
Polly Shulman is also the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopeic Fantasy Award Finalist) and Enthusiasm. She has written for the New York Times, Discover, Newsday, Salon, Slate, Scientific American Archaeology, and the Village Voice, among others, and editors news stories for Science magazine. She is an alumna of Yale University, where she majored in math. She lives in New York City.

Sheila Turnage
Sheila Turnage grew up on a farm in eastern North Carolina. A graduate of East Carolina University, she is the author of two nonfiction books and one picture book, but Three Times Lucky is her first middle grade novel. Today Sheila lives on a farm with her husband, a smart dog, an ill-tempered cat, a dozen chickens, and a flock of guineas.

Matt Ward
Though Matthew Ward was crowned the back-to-back School Spelling-Bee Champion in the third and fourth grades, his childhood passed with little international distinction. Matthew went on to be nominated for and win several awards for his work as a writer and director of several short films and a feature-length documentary. His first book, The Fantastic Family Whipple, won the Editor's Choice Award at the 2007 SDSU Writer's Conference and the Lincoln City Fellowship in 2011, living up the award winning family it centers around. His latest book, The war of the World Records, is the companion to The Fantastic Family Whipple.

Jacqueline West
Visit her website at www.jacquelinewest.com and learn more about The Books of Elsewhere at www.booksofelsewhere.com.

Robert Paul Weston
Robert Paul Weston lives in London, England, in a crumbling old building, hidden behind shiny glass towers. He has worked as an editor, a trampolinist, and a dub-script writer for Japanese cartoons. He also writes all of his books with a mechanical pencil. Robert has written many books for children, which include Prince Puggly of Spud and the Creature Department series.

Rachel Vail
Growing up, Rachel Vail never wanted to be a writer. She had dreams of being an actress, a lobbyist, and a poet. Now, Rachel is the critically acclaimed author of a number of books for teens and middle readers. Her most recent title is Unfriended.

Django Wexler
Django Wexler is a self-proclaimed computer/fantasy/sci fi geek. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked in artificial intelligence research. His latest release is The Mad Apprentice, the sequel to The Forbidden Library.

Young Adult

Jay Asher
Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill, 2007) loves making school and library appearances. He will also help organize meaningful programs if he can't be there in person.

T.A. Barron
T.A. Barron, creator of the beloved series The Lost Years of Merlin and The Great Tree of Avalon, began his explorations of fantasy worlds as a student at Oxford University. He cites two main areas of inspiration for his tales: heroism and the environment.

Julie Berry
Julie Berry grew up on a farm in western New York as the youngest in a family of seven book-loving kids. She holds a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in communication and an MFA from Vermont College in writing for children and young adults. She now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her husband and four young sons, and two cats. She is the author of six critically acclaimed books for young readers. All the Truth That's in Me is her first novel for teens and adults.

Susane Colasanti
Susane Colasnti taught science at a public high school in New York City for nearly a decade. Now, Susane is a full-time author, with eight books on the shelves, including Something Like Fate, Waiting for You, and Take Me There. Her latest release is Now and Forever.

Ally Condie
Ally Condie received a degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and spent a number of years teaching high school English in Utah and upstate New York. Ally is the author of the bestselling Matched series. Her newest release is Atlantia.

Lori and Wayne Earl
Lori and Wayne Earl are the parents of the late Esther Earl and founders of the non-profit organization This Star Won't Go Out, whose mission it is to financially assist families struggling through the journey of a child living with cancer. Wayne and Lori co-wrote This Star Won't Go Out, which features journal entries, letters, and fiction written by their daughter.

Kathryn Erskine
As a resident of Virginia, Kathryn Erskine was devastated by the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she was driven to understand how community and family—particularly families with special-needs children—dealt with this violent event, and how our lives might be different if we understood each other better.

Gayle Forman
is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, and Elle. She is the author of If I Stay and it's companion, Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Gregory Galloway
Gregory Galloway has an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He lives in New Jersey.

Alan Gratz
Alan Gratz is the author of the Horatio Wilkes mysteries Something Rotten and Something Wicked as well as the more recent The Brooklyn Nine, which tells the stories of nine generations of baseball lovers within one family.

John Green
John Green is author of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Medal winner Looking for Alaska, 2007 Michael L. Printz Honor book An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns.

Maureen Johnson
Maureen Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of more than ten young-adult novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope, Devilish, The Bermudez Triangle, Let It Snow, and Suite Scarlett. Her latest release, The Shadow Cabinet, is the final book in the Name of the Star trilogy. Maureen divides her time between New York City and England. She also spends far too much time online.

Una LaMarche
Una LaMarche is a writer, editor, and amateur Melrose Place historian. She is currently a columnist for The New York Observer and contributes to The Huffington Post and NickMom. Una also blogs at the Sassy Curmudgeon, which she started in 2006 as a way to bring shame to her family. Her newest title is Like No Other, a beautiful coming of age love story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet and set in Brooklyn, NY. Una is also the author of Five Summers.

Marie Lu
Marie Lu writes dystopian stories. (Ironically, she was born in 1984.) Before Marie started writing full time, she was the art director at a video game company. She also owns the business and brand Fuzz Academy, which was chosen by C21Media as one of the International Licensing Expo 2010's brands with the most potential for a TV series. She graduated from USC in '06 and live in Los Angeles, where she spends much of her time lost on the freeways.

DJ MacHale
DJ MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. He has penned three series for the middle grade/YA reader. His most recent project is the SYLO Chronicles, which includes SYLO, STORM and STRIKE.

Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Vampire Academy series, which has also received honors from the ALA.

Robin Palmer
Robin Palmer's teen books include Cindy Ella, Geek Charming, and Little Miss Red. Her newest book, however, is the middle grade novel Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker: Girl vs. Superstar

Diana Renn
Diana Renn knew at the age of five that she wanted to be a writer. She's taken all sorts of jobs in order to support her writing habit, and now writes contemporary mysteries for young adults. Tokyo Heist is her first novel, to be followed by Latitude Zero (2014) and Blue Voyage (2015).

Ruta Sepetys
Ruta Sepetys grew up saying she would marry Roald Dahl. She is part of a family of artists, readers, and music lovers which helped her creativity grow. Her first novel, Between Shades of Gray, was inspired by her father who escaped from Lithuania when he was a young boy. Ruta's is also the author of Out of the Easy.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith knew ever since his days as editor of his high school newspaper that he wanted to be a writer. Andrew is a native Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. He is also the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including Grasshopper Jungle and Winger.

Sherri Smith
has written several award-winning novels for young adults. Flygirl, her first novel with Putnam, won the California Book Award, was a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and has received over fifteen state award nominations. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Maya Van Wagenen
Maya Van Wagenen is an amazing teen author. At the age of eleven, Maya found a copy of Betty Cornell's 1950s Teen-Age Popularity Guide and used the lessons it contained to make her way through the transition of moving in middle school. This experience resulted in Maya writing her first novel, Popular. Currently, Maya lives with her parents and two siblings in rural Georgia where she attends high school.

Padma Venkatraman
Padma Venkatraman is an oceanographer by training and lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Along with Island’s End, she is the author of Climbing the Stairs (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008; Speak, 2010) and twenty books for young readers, published in India, on a variety of subjects.

Paul Volponi
Paul Volponi is a writer, journalist and teacher living in New York City. For six years he taught incarcerated teens on Rikers Island to read and write, and for six years he taught teens in drug day-treatment centers. These experiences have influenced many of his novels. He is the author of Black and White (winner of the IRA Children's Book Award for YA Fiction), Rooftop, Rucker Park Setup and, most recently, Hurricane Song.