Authors Write Back


    1. inspire kids
    2. promote literacy
    3. build connections between authors and readers
Author promise
To respond personally to any child who reads one of our books and writes to us.

Librarian/Staff promise
To promote the program to your students, curate what books are available, and provide a safe conduit for letters between the student and author. Librarian signup form

Please send questions or suggestions on how to make the program better to .

Donate Books to Schools

School budgets are tight. If you can help out by donating a book for a school library, use PayPal or send an Amazon or Barnes & Nobel e-gift to Ben Langhinrichs at the address above and we'll get the book into the hands of a librarian who needs it. Choose a book or let us select based on ages and librarian requests. We are not a certified charity, but do guarantee that all funds will be spent on buying and sending books to librarians in the program.

Authors Write Back - School program

The following children's books are written by authors who promise to write back. If you are a librarian or staff member at an elementary or middle school in the United States or Canada who would be interested in participating, please fill out the Librarian signup form so we can provide you information. This is a free service aimed at connecting authors and librarians in order to better reach and inspire students from approximately second to seventh grade.

If you are a lower to upper middle grade author interested in signing up, please stay tuned for further information. We want to start slowly enough that we get this right, but we will be reaching out for you when we have a bit more experience.

Note: Retail links below provided for convenience only. Barnes & Noble has an educator discount which may be applicable.
A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno [Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers]
A Swirl of Ocean        Author: Melissa Sarno      http://
A touching, timeless novel--perfect for fans of Lisa Graff and Lauren Wolk--about a girl who discovers that the ocean is holding secrets she never could have imagined.

Twelve-year-old Summer loves the ocean. The smell, the immensity, the feeling she gets when she dives beneath the surface. She has lived in Barnes Bluff Bay since she was two years old, when Lindy found her on the beach. It's been the two of them ever since. But now, ten years later, Summer feels uncertainty about her place with Lindy and starts to wonder about where she came from. One night, Summer goes for a swim and gets caught in a riptide, swallowing mouthfuls of seawater. And that night, she dreams of a girl. A girl her age living in the same town, but not in the same time. Summer's not persuaded that this girl is real, but something about her feels familiar.

Summer dreams again and again about this girl, Tink, and becomes convinced that she is connected to her past. As she sees Tink struggle with her sister growing away from her and her friends starting to pair off, Summer must come to terms with her own evolving home life and discover how the bonds that make us family can help heal the wounds of the past.

From Melissa Sarno, the author of 
Just Under the Clouds, comes a new story of discovery, family, and finding where you belong. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Braced by Alyson Gerber [Published by Arthur A. Levine Books]
Braced        Author: Alyson Gerber
Grades 5‒7
Rachel Brooks is excited for the new school year. She's finally earned a place as a forward on her soccer team. Her best friends make everything fun. And she really likes Tate, and she's pretty sure he likes her back. After one last appointment with her scoliosis doctor, this will be her best year yet.

Then the doctor delivers some terrible news: The sideways curve in Rachel's spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace 23 hours a day. The brace wraps her in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. It changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a ball, and how everyone sees her -- even her friends and Tate. But as Rachel confronts all the challenges the brace presents, the biggest change of all may lie in how she sees herself.

Written by a debut author who wore a brace of her own, 
Braced is the inspiring, heartfelt story of a girl learning to manage the many curves life throws her way. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Danger Tastes Dreadful by Ben Langhinrichs [Published by ]
Danger Tastes Dreadful        Author: Ben Langhinrichs    
Grades 2‒5
When Bernie tastes danger in the air, he knows his best friend, Tish, will help solve the mystery. But when the danger turns out to be giants who stomp into town and grab their parents, the two young trolls must follow and try to rescue their loved ones.
Thus begins a harrowing journey across the wasteland to the mountains where giants live. Inside Mount Dreadful's smoky caverns, Bernie and Tish discover the giants have enemies of their own who may prove even more dangerous. Bernie and Tish must figure out who is friend and who is foe, rescue their captured parents and escape the mountain, all without getting squashed or roasted or eaten alive.
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen by Merrill Wyatt [Published by jimmy patterson]
Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen        Author: Merrill Wyatt
Grades 4‒7
We all know and love Ramona, Matilda, and Harriet the Spy. Now meet Ernestine.
Ernestine Montgomery is the kind of kid who gets things done. She's smart, prepared, and always knows just what to do. But there's big trouble brewing inside the walls of the rambling old mansion where she lives... and only Ernestine can decipher the clues that point in one direction-murder! 
Can Ernestine solve the mystery before catastrophe strikes? 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Focused by Alyson Gerber [Published by Scholastic Press]
Focused        Author: Alyson Gerber
Grades 5-8
Clea can't control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework . . . but she gets distracted. She knows she can't just say whatever thought comes into her head . . . but sometimes she can't help herself. She know she needs to focus . . . but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum loudly or making other annoying noises?

It's starting to be a problem--not just in school, but when Clea's playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. Other kids are starting to notice. When Clea fails one too many tests, her parents take her to be tested, and she finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be.

Clea knows life can't continue the way it's been going. She's just not sure how you can fix a problem that's all in your head. But that's what she's going to have to do, to find a way to focus.  
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Further Adventures In Barn Town by Eve Culley [Published by ]
Further Adventures In Barn Town        Author: Eve Culley    
Grades 2‒4
Written in feline narrative by a life-long resident, Ol' Stripe (Deputy of Barn Town) shares with the reader the highlights of life in Barn Town - a barn situated on a large farm. Deputy Stripe does all he can to keep his eyes and ears open in order to maintain peace and order, with a hilarious outcome. 
Amazon US  CA; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Hanging With My Peeps by Katherine Higgs-Coulthard [Published by ]
Hanging With My Peeps        Author: Katherine Higgs-Coulthard
Grades 3‒6
Before Dad's rust-bucket lurched into the driveway with forty-three chickens in the back, the closest Sami Duggan had ever come to poultry was licking the grease off her fingers at the local KFC. Now Sami better think quick before her whole life is turned upside down by Dad's latest get rich quick scheme. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno [Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers]
Just Under the Clouds        Author: Melissa Sarno      http://
Can you still have a home if you don't have a house? In the spirit of The Truth About Jellyfish and Fish in a Tree comes a stunning debut about a family struggling to find something lasting when everything feels so fleeting.

Always think in threes and you'll never fall, Cora's father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.

But now Cora is a middle schooler, a big sister, and homeless. Her mother is trying to hold the family together after her father's death, and Cora must look after her sister, Adare, who's just different, their mother insists. Quick to smile, Adare hates wearing shoes, rarely speaks, and appears untroubled by the question Cora can't help but ask: How will she find a place to call home?

After their room at the shelter is ransacked, Cora's mother looks to an old friend for help, and Cora finally finds what she has been looking for: Ailanthus altissima, the "tree of heaven," which can grow in even the worst conditions. It sets her on a path to discover a deeper truth about where she really belongs.

Just Under the Clouds will take root in your heart and blossom long after you've turned the last page.
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Oops-A-Daisy by Melody Delgado [Published by ]
Oops-A-Daisy        Author: Melody Delgado    http://
Grades 3‒6
Who wants to be stuck wearing a shaggy dog outfit or a chicken suit on television? Twelve-year-old aspiring singer, actress, Daisy De la Cruz, that's who. She'll do and wear just about anything to get ahead in the entertainment industry. But will all her embarrassing moments pay off and land her a spot in her arts magnet school's coveted master class where she'll be rubbing shoulders with top professionals in the entertainment industry? Or will she be doomed to play the role of an animal, vegetable or mineral forever? 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Payback on Poplar Lane by Margaret Mincks [Published by Viking Books for Young Readers]
Payback on Poplar Lane        Author: Margaret Mincks      http://margaretmincks .com
Grades 4‒6
Ways to Run (Ruin) a Successful Business:
1. Hire your neighbor as an (unpaid) intern.
2. Make them do all the work.
3. Take all the credit.
4. Bask in the glow of your achievements.
5. Completely underestimate your neighbor.
6. Do not expect payback.

Shark Tank meets The Terrible Two when a pair of sixth grade entrepreneurs compete to become top mogul on their block. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy, destined to become a middle-grade classic. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure by Emily A. Steward [Published by ]
Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure        Author: Emily A. Steward
Grades 3‒6
When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she's sure she's going crazy. But she's not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

Rainbow Crystal by Samantha Caprio-Negret [Published by ]
Rainbow Crystal        Author: Samantha Caprio-Negret
Grades 3‒6
The tragic loss of ten-year-old Seraphina's best friend, Josie Lee, leaves Seraphina questioning her destiny, until she learns she's the chosen one. 
Everything changes after that. Fate has other plans. A past visit to a psychic and a wish on a shooting star whisks Seraphina away on a quest. She finds herself on a mission to gain order back to a magical world called Raiven with its six different, colored- realms by returning a rainbow crystal back to its wizard owner that was stolen from an evil witch and her trolls. Seraphina will get to see her best friend's spirit with the help of fairies, pixie dust, elves, and her very own unicorn. Throughout her journey, she passes a series of tests to find a rainbow crystal that has the power to restore balance to the world. However, Seraphina's truest test is in discovering self-confidence and hope. Most importantly, she learns that Josie Lee is more of a guardian angel to her than she realizes and has never really left her side after all. It doesn't even require magic, just faith.
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

The Boy, The Boat, and the Beast by Samantha M. Clark [Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books]
The Boy, The Boat, and the Beast        Author: Samantha M. Clark
Grades 3‒7
The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie novel about a boy who is stranded on a mysterious beach, from debut author Samantha M. Clark.

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.

This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

The Cryptid Catcher by Lija Fisher [Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)]
The Cryptid Catcher        Author: Lija Fisher
Grades 3‒5
The Cryptid Catcher is the first book in a monstrously fun middle-grade duology by Lija Fisher about a boy who inherits a job hunting legendary creatures.
After Clivo Wren's archaeologist father dies mysteriously, the newly orphaned thirteen-year-old finds out the truth: his dad was no archaeologist. He was actually a cryptid catcher, known for finding elusive beasts like the bloodsucking chupacabra. His goal: discover the one extraordinary cryptid whose blood grants immortality―before the knowledge falls into the wrong hands. 
The mission remains unfinished, and now there's only one person who can take the renowned cryptid catcher's place: Clivo. He may not know the first thing about monster hunting, but he's willing to give it a try―because anything beats staying home with his salsa-crazy aunt and her neurotic cats.
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

The Land of Yesterday by K. A. Reynolds [Published by HarperCollins]
The Land of Yesterday        Author: K. A. Reynolds
Grades 3‒7
A tender and fantastical adventure story perfect for fans of Coraline.
After Cecelia Dahl’s little brother, Celadon, dies tragically, his soul goes where all souls go: the Land of Yesterday—and Cecelia is left behind in a fractured world without him. 
Her beloved house’s spirit is crumbling beyond repair, her father is imprisoned by sorrow, and worst of all, her grief-stricken mother abandons the land of the living to follow Celadon into Yesterday.
It’s up to Cecelia to put her family back together, even if that means venturing into the dark and forbidden Land of Yesterday on her own. But as Cecilia braves a hot-air balloon commanded by two gnomes, a sea of daisies, and the Planet of Nightmares, it’s clear that even if she finds her family, she might not be able to save them.
And if she’s not careful, she might just become a lost soul herself, trapped forever in Yesterday.
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

The Mad Wolf's Daughter by Diane Magras [Published by Kathy Dawson Books]
The Mad Wolf's Daughter        Author: Diane Magras
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home--with all the excitement of Ranger's Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.

One dark night, Drest's sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.

Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family's past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they'll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who's become her friend.

Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father's daughter or is it time to become her own legend? 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager [Published by ]
True Colors        Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager
Grades 4‒6
Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically "unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it. Each book in the Landry's True Colors Series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order. 
Amazon US  CA; or Barnes&Noble US; or an independent bookstore IndieBound

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