Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Spellbinders Lunch Chicago Style!

Spellbinders Logo

May 7, 2012
or is it DINNER?

Following the tradition of the past two years, we are wrapping up the spring semester with a Spellbinders Lunch, except in this case it happened to be a dinner with our other IRA author panelists. We all gathered at Mity Nice in the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago the night before our all day panel.
From left to right: Caroline Starr Rose, Kimberley Griffiths Little, Esther Hershenhorn, Carolee Dean, and Lisa Schroeder, Uma Krishnaswami, April Halprin Wayland, and Carolyn Meyer. Kersten Hamilton couldn't join us but showed up Sunday morning in a cowboy hat and boots. The author panel was a great success. Here are some of the comments we received on the evaluations:
Dinner in Chicago

"Very interesting presentations with practical, motivating ways to teach writing and content areas."

"The lecture came full circle as ideas for developing stories were shown put into practice by published authors."

"This was my first IRA and I could not be happier with my first institute. I was actively engaged all day and I literally drank up every word. Thank you."   


If you missed our author panel, you can still find some of the highlights online.

From Carolee's poetry panel there is an entire power point taking examples of literary and poetic devices from her novel TAKE ME THERE and putting them into a fun format for middle and high school students. Look in the TEACHER RESOURCES section of Carolee Dean Books.

From Caroline's revision discussion you may want to explore  STICKMAN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT which includes a simple graphic to get kids thinking about deeper aspects of character development. From her history panel she also contributed a reading TRAVEL LOG and an activity called WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE READING.

Check out Kimberley's examples of historical fiction at  


After this issue we will be going on a newsletter haitus for the summer so we may work on our book projects. That gives you three months to catch up on past issues of Spellbinders you may not have had time to read during the busy school year.

You may find past issues at the SPELLBINDERS BLOG.

Carolee'scolumn "The Secret Language of Stories" provides practical examples and discussions of her twelve step story analysis method.

Kimberley's "Book Buzz" provides short descriptions of the latest titles in children's books so you'll know what to recommend for your students.

Caroline's "Classroom Connections" gives fun and practical suggestions for how to run book clubs, and other helpful classroom tips.





Meet the Spellbinders
Carolee Dean
Carolee Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools, libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist.
Comfort Paperback Cover 
Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading list. Take Me There is a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Her upcoming paranormal verse novel, Forget Me Not, will be published by Simon Pulse in October of 2012.
Take Me There Cover
She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Act of Haiku."Forget Me Not

 Follow me on Twitter 

Caroline Starr RoseCaroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Back in New Mexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time. 
To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to my website.

Kim Bio PhotoKimberley Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well Circle of Secretsas two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013.
She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has been a speaker at many conferences.
Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides. 
Follow me on Twitter 

                 Upcoming Author Events

                 Wednesday, May 16 
Bloomers, Buckboards, and Buffalo Chips presentation
The Library Center
Springfield, MO
Saturday, May 19
George Washington Carver National Monument
Diamond, MO
Caroline Starr Rose
November, 2012
YALSA Literature Symposium 
"Author Research Panel"
Carolee Dean
Kimberley Griffiths Little
and two other authors
St. Louis, Missouri

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