Many authors have their own web sites, and they may even publish online excerpts from their new books or essays they have not published elsewhere. These sites can give additional insights about the themes an author wishes to explore and can greatly enhance students’ understanding of a book that has been assigned.

Making contact with an author can be a powerful experience, and with the growth of the internet, many authors are now readily accessible online. If they are given sufficient advance notice and approached with a reasonable request, many authors will be pleased to conduct an online discussion with a classroom of students.

One example of a “meet-the-author” curriculum is North Star Navigators, a project developed by a teacher at the Hokie School in Bourne, Mass. Peter Reynolds, author and illustrator of the award-winning children’s book The North Star, worked with an elementary school class on a series of projects that built upon the themes in his book. (The results can be found at http://www.capecod.net/voyage.)

Here are 14 web sites that provide links to authors’ web sites and eMail addresses:

  1. The Author Corner, http://www.carr.lib.md.us/authco.
  2. The Author Page, http://www.ipl.org/youth/AskAuthor/Biographies.html.
  3. Bookreporter.com, http://www.bookreporter.com.
  4. Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature site, http://www.carolhurst.com.
  5. Children’s Book Authors Who Visit Schools, http://www.snowcrest.net/kidpower/authors2.html.
  6. Children’s Book Council, http://www.cbcbooks.org.
  7. The Children’s Literature Web Guide, http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown.
  8. Educational Paperback Association Top 100 Authors, http://www.edupaperback.org/top100.html.
  9. Fairrosa Cyber Library of Children’s Literature, http://www.dalton.org/libraries/fairrosa.
  10. HarperChildrens.com, http://www.harperchildrens.com/hch.
  11. The Horn Book, http://www.hbook.com.
  12. Just for Kids Who Love Books, http://www3.sympatico.ca/alanbrown/kids.htm.
  13. The Online Books Page, http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books.
  14. Scholastic Authors and Books, http://www2.scholastic.com/teachers/authorsandbooks.