Authors in Chelsea Logo

Past Authors

Every year, Authors in Chelsea endeavors to bring in authors that are engaging for both children and educators alike. Over the years, a wide variety of writers have been invited to Chelsea, including award-winning authors Jennifer Holm, Kenneth Oppel, Gary Schmidt, Nancy Shaw, and many others! Scroll through this page to view each year’s authors.

2019 Authors

Dori Hillestad Butler

Picture of authors Helen Frost and Rick Lieder with some of their books.

Dori Hillestad Butler, writer of children’s fiction and the 2011 winner of the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, has written more than 50 books for children and young adults as well as ghost written for the classic series Sweet Valley High and The Boxcar Children. Her best known work is her early chapter book series, The Buddy Files, a mystery series told from the unique perspective of Buddy the Dog. Dori visited Authors in Chelsea in 2013 and has since written two more series, the Haunted Library and King & Kayla, that will be read by first and second grade students at North Creek Elementary. Find out more about Dori by visiting her website.

Cynthia Lord

Picture of Michael Buckley

Cynthia Lord will be visiting all students in grades 3-5 at South Meadows Elementary. Cynthia is the author of four middle grade novels as well as several series for younger readers. Her novel Rules received a Newbery Honor Medal, the Schneider Family Book Award, and seven state awards, including the Mitten Award in Michigan. As a former teacher, Cynthia knows what it takes to engage and delight students. Her books are full of inspiring characters who don’t always get it right the first time, just like real kids, and her love of animals shines through in many of her stories. More information about Cynthia can be found here.

Shelley Pearsall

Picture of Nora Baskin

Shelley Pearsall visted Beach Middle School to talk to sixth grade students and lead writing workshops. Shelley is the author of six inspiring and thought-provoking novels for middle grade and teen readers. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Shelley was a teacher in the public schools, as well as working in the education departments of several parks and history museums where she created museum theater programs. Shelley’s first book, Trouble Don’t Last, was published in 2002 and received the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. All of the Above and The Seventh Most Important Thing are ALA Notable Books. Visit Shelley’s website to learn more about her work.

2018 Authors

Helen Frost & Rick Lieder

Picture of authors Helen Frost and Rick Lieder with some of their books.

Together, painter and photographer Rick Lieder and author Helen Frost have created a series of picture books that read– and look– like poetry. Step Gently OutWake Up, Among a Thousand Fireflies, and Sweep Up the Sun invite readers to explore the natural world. Separately, Rick’s art has appeared on numerous award-winning novels, and his firefly film-making was featured in the 2016 PBS NOVA program Creatures of Light, produced by National Geographic Television, while Helen is the author of several books for older readers, including Diamond Willow and Keesha’s House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Explore their works on Rick’s website, or view teaching ideas from Helen here.

Michael Buckley

Picture of Michael Buckley

Michael Buckley is the author of the New York Times best-selling series The Sisters Grimm and several other works for middle grade and young adult readers. Sister Grimm takes traditional fairy tale stories and characters and twists them into modern adventures, and it’s been featured on various “best-of” lists from the New York Public Library, Washington Post, USA Today, and many other organizations. Along the way to becoming an author, Michael interned for the David Letterman Show and developed and wrote shows for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Discovery Channel. Learn more about Michael’s work on his website.

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Picture of Nora Baskin

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of thirteen novels for young readers. Her books have won several awards, including the 2010 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical. Sixth graders at Beach Middle School will be reading Nora’s latest novel, Nine/Ten: A 9/11 Story, which follows four kids from different parts of the country whose lives are impacted by the events of 9/11. Nora has also taught creative writing to children and adults for more than fifteen years. She lives in Connecticut with her family. Teacher guides to Nora’s books are available online here.

2017 Authors

Jennifer Jacobson

Picture of Jennifer Jacobson

Jennifer Jacobson is the author of the Andy Shane beginner chapter book series and will be visiting 1st and 2nd grade students at North Creek Elementary. She also writes novels for tween and teen readers, and is a writer’s workshop consultant for educators. Find more information about Jennifer’s books on her website.

Gordon Korman

Picture of Gordon Korman

Did you know that Gordon Korman had his first book published by Scholastic when he was still in high school!? Gordon has written more than 75 books, many of which are best-sellers, and will be visiting all students at South Meadows Elementary. Explore Gordon’s books, check out his blog.

Gary Schmidt

Picture of Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt will be returning to Chelsea for his second visit! Gary is the two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday WarsOrbiting JupiterOkay for Now, and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, plus many others. He’ll be speaking to and leading writing workshops for 6th grade students at Beach Middle School. View interviews with Gary and download teacher resources on his website.

2016 Authors

Nancy Shaw

Picture of Nancy Shaw

Nancy is a local author from Ann Arbor who knows what kids like: Laugh-out-loud animal rhymes! She created the infectious characters of Sheep in a Jeep fame during a long road trip with her family, composing goofy rhymes to entertain her children. North Creek Elementary School students read this and several other rhyming stories, including Sheep on a Ship and Raccoon Tune, and learned about find writing inspiration in their everyday lives. Nancy’s books have been selected for honors such as Parents magazine Best Kids’ Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and the Horn Book Fanfare distinction. Learn more about Nancy by visiting her website.

Johnathan Rand

Picture of Jonathan Rand

Johnathan has written more than 75 books and has visited over 1500 schools and libraries in the US, Canada, and Europe. His book series include the incredibly popular Michigan Chillers, American Chillers, and Freddie Fernortner, Fearless First Grader. When not traveling, Rand lives in northern Michigan with his wife and three dogs. His funny, engaging speaking style has earned him the position as one of the most sought-after school speakers in the country. Johnathan Rand’s message is simple: Reading and writing are the keys that will unlock success in every aspect of life for everyone! Johnathan will visited South Meadows Elementary School. Visit the American Chillers website for more information about Johnathan Rand.

Gary Schmidt

Picture of Gary Schmidt

Gary takes writing very seriously, so much so that he actually uses a typewriter to create all of his novels. He is a professor English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor for The Wednesday Wars. He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by. Gary visited Beach Middle School. Learn more about Gary and his books by visiting his website.

Dan Yaccarino

Picture of Dan Yaccarino

Dan Yaccarino is the author and illustrator of the beloved children’s books Doug UnpluggedDoug Unplugs on the Farm, and many others. His bold illustration style can also be seen in children’s television shows such as The Backyardigans and Oswald. Discover all of Dan’s projects on his blog. North Creek Elementary School students read several of Dan’s picture books and learned how he fulfilled his dream of becoming a writer through presentations filled with illustration and animation.

Ruth McNally Barshaw

Picture of Ruth McNally Barshaw

Ruth McNally Barshaw and written and illustration six novels for the Ellie McDoodle Diaries series and is now creating picture books. She and her husband travel widely, teaching writing and story-creation workshops to kids and teachers. Barshaw is a life-long writer and artist, and lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her family. Her program for 3rd-5th graders at South Meadows combined humor and drawing for a look at how the important of journaling and how it can benefit young writers. Visit Ruth’s website here.

William Durbin

Picture of William Durbin

William Durbin lives at the edge of Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area. Much of his historical fiction is closely based on journals, letters, diaries, and original period documents. His books are about high adventures, and include The Broken BladeSong of Sampo Lake, and Blackwater Ben. Beach Middle School sixth graders met William and read The Broken Blade, about a young voyageur who joins the North West Company to take the place of his injured father. On William’s website, teachers and parents will find a huge list of resources for students wishing to dive into the facts behind his historical fiction books.

2015 Authors

2014 Authors

Jennifer L. Holm

Picture of Jennifer Holm

Sue Stauffacher

Picture of Sue Stauffacher

David Lubar

Picture of David Lubar

2013 Authors

Dori Hillestad

Picture of Dori Hillestad

Tim Smith

Picture of Tim Smith

Kenneth Opal

Picture of Kenneth Opal

2012 Authors

John Nickle

Tony Abbott

Jim Ottaviani

2011 Authors

Gail Carson Levine

Jerzy Drozd

Johanna Hurwitz

2010 Authors

Gijsbert van Fankenhuyzen

Kate Klise

Paul O. Zelinsky