Author: Washington, D.C.
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Books: More than twenty picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and books of poetry, including Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns and its sequels, Pirate vs. Pirate, The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans, Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond and other nature-themed books, Winter Friends, Sparks Fly High (colonial American folktale), and Underground Train (child’s journey on the Washington, DC Metro train).  For more information about Mary’s books, please visit
Fee: Varies but usually $300 for one classroom or library presentation, with each one costing an additional $200 (up to 4 or 5 presentations/day). Fee varies for Skype sessions, talks/workshops for adults, conferences, and when traveling outside the Washington, DC area.
Availability: Grades Preschool to 6th; writing conferences; educators and university students.  Because her books span ages 4 to 12, Mary is often booked into an elementary school to speak to all the grades and adapts her talks accordingly, focusing on the books most relevant to audience’s age.

Basic author presentation on the writing, revising, and publishing process, with mention of how Mary got started and where she gets ideas.  Lively and interactive!  Includes visuals (drafts, maps, galleys, illustrator’s sketches, other props) and a chance for kids to discuss their ideas and ask questions.  Talks to preschoolers include creative movement and sound.

Mary can also vary her basic author presentation to include

  • Book Buccaneer, with Mary dressed as a pirate (preK-2nd)
  • Poetry (especially appropriate for National Poetry Month)
  • History, with focus on research/writing of colonial American folktale set in Virginia
Experience and Awards: Teaches in Vermont College’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, reviews children’s books for the Washington Post and Washington Parent, frequently writes for KidsPost section of Washington Post.  Awards include Random House’s Marguerite de Angeli Prize for Middle-grade Novel, Parenting Reading Magic Award, SIBA Best Picture Book, Sugarman Award, NAPPA Gold Award, Bank Street Best Book, and inclusion on numerous state Children’s Choice and summer reading lists.



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