One of my favorite parts of my practice as a social worker was talking with kids about books. When asked to reflect directly on challenging aspects of their own lives, kids often feel put on the spot. By talking about the dilemmas of characters who face overwhelming, even life-threatening situations, kids can explore problem-solving skills and practice identifying and drawing on their own strengths by empathizing with a character. My final paper in graduate school was titled, Therapeutic Properties of Children’s Literature. Back then, I had no idea I would someday write a middle grade novel, myself.

I would be happy to speak about coming to your school or conference to work with large or small groups of students, librarians, and/or teachers. I’m especially excited about holding creative writing workshops, and can also give a short presentation on my writing process (with lots of slides).

My preference is to talk beforehand about the needs of your specific student body or group. My experience is primarily in New York City schools and clinics, and other urban settings, but I grew up in the cornfields of central Illinois. All kids need to draw on their imagination superpowers to grow up strong in an unpredictable world.

Contact me to talk about the possibilities!

ParisTexasCalifornia at gmail dot com