Monday, November 11, 2013

J&P Voelkel & Successful Author Visits

While Bear Pond Books takes a brief break from our monthly author-educator talks, we're turning our attention to sharing information from past talks and what's sent to us through our network of educators and authors. We're lucky to be in a state with so many creative, engaged people who are passionate about education, about the subjects they write about and teach, and about how children learn to always inquire and discover new things.

It seems appropriate during this vacation from educator events to start our blog posts with information on . . . well, educator events. It's a guide to arranging author visits to your school, classroom, library, book club, etc. . .

J&P Voelkel are known for their ability to make Maya history and culture come alive. You can get lost on their website In fact, I just lost 15 minutes reading up on Maya math (did you know they were one of the first civilizations to get the concept of zero?). Their teachers' materials include a full CD of information compiled with input from archaeologists, middle school teachers, and contemporary Maya people. And that's before we even get to the books themselves, an adventure series called The Jaguar Stones that Booklist describes as “a fact-packed, thrilling ride."
So, who better prepared to give us an author's eye view on crafting events that both catch children's imagination and match up with a teacher's lesson plans?

It turns out, nobody is better prepared. And the Voelkels left us with both a checklist for author visits and full notes on their presentation about how to arrange a successful visit.

These materials have great information - so we'll close this post and let you switch over to what the Voelkels have to say. One important thing to note: J&P Voelkel are available to do presentations in Vermont schools and you'll see from what they've written that they're enthusiastic about it! E-mail them at info @

Do you have useful resources, questions you'd like to see answered, or other information on connecting authors with educators? Let us know by e-mailing helen.labun.jordan @

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