Click to download:

  1. The pre-visit packet (school visit packet.pdf) helps you plan for a successful, easy school visit. All the information is here to help you get your students, teachers, and the whole school community “revved up” for the big day.

  2. The teacher's guides (below) will help you build up to your author visit with activities based on Karen’s books; connect the books and the information she will present with your curriculum; and suggest ways you can use ideas from her presentations and books as a touchstone for the rest of your school year.

School Visits

Grades: K-8, adult
Sessions: 3 presentations, book signing, plus extras
Program Length: 45-60 minutes (shorter for K’s)
Audience: Any size, though smaller groups make for better discussion
Schedule and Cost: click here for schedule and pricing

The Basics

I love talking with students and their teachers about writing and books.

Why? When I was in fourth grade, meeting an author at school changed my life. After her presentation, Elizabeth George Speare signed my copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and talked with me. She saw me as a reader. After that, I too saw myself as a reader. My amazing and persistent school librarian (my mother) then invited other authors to our school, and I was hooked on books. Permanently.

Now here I am, a few years later, excited to pass along the gift they gave to me by writing for children, by visiting schools, by hooking kids on books and convincing them to see themselves as readers and writers. I love my job!

I usually begin by telling a personal story or reading from one of my books. If a digital projector is available, I’ll project the book so everyone can see the pages easily. Using visual props, I show-and-tell my way through stories and often enlist students or teachers in a demonstration or an impromptu readers’ theater production. After giving students a chance to ask questions, I will chat briefly with students one on one as I sign and personalize their books.

Program Content

Where Do Picture Books Come From?                Gr K-2

How ideas find us? When we find one, then what? Students take a “behind-the-scenes” look into the process that creates the books they
love with actual pieces of the writing and publishing phases—messy early drafts, printed galleys, and finally the finished book. We often stage an impromptu play based on one of my books, chock full of audience participation. With time at the close for student questions.

Awesome! How to Write Exciting Nonfiction      Gr 3-8

Nonfiction doesn’t have to be as “dry as dust”! I share tips that kids and teachers can use in their own writing. Developed during my time as a news reporter, science editor, and author, we’ll talk about how to find fascinating facts, how to have fun revising (yes, fun!). Then we’ll transform dull beginnings into dazzlers. I talk about my writing process, research, working with editors, and revising.
Time permitting, students will demonstrate a real firefighter’s training shelter (see chapter 1 of Fire in Their Eyes). I am happy to answer students’ questions.


In addition to three formal presentations and a book signing, I’m also willing to talk informally with a small group of students or teachers over lunch; to pop into a class for a brief, casual chat about writing; or to visit a kindergarten class for a reading.

Getting Ready

To prepare your students, it’s important to read my books with your class. Reading and talking about my work will help your students have a richer, more meaningful experience when they meet me.

Photos by Carmella Caldara, Susan Kirby-LeMon, Sue Rohs


                            JACK’S HOUSE

Teacher’s Guide


Copyright © 2008 Karen Magnuson Beil. All rights reserved.

Click here for printable BOOKMARKS (pdf)

Click here to arrange 
SCHOOL VISITContact.html