For two decades, internationally recognized children's and young adult authors have come to North Country School to share their craft with students. Their visits bring literature to life and make real the idea of writing as a future endeavor. Students read some of an author's work prior to the visit. Newbury honorees, National Book Award finalists and other authors of note who have recently visited include:
- Kwame Alexander
- Laurie Halse Anderson
- Liza Ketchum
- Tracie McMillan
- Donna Jo Napoli
- Linda Sue Park
- Tal Pinchevsky
- Gary D. Schmidt
- Javaka Steptoe
Kwame Alexander leapt into the literary spotlight by winning the John Newbery Medal for his book in poetry The Crossover. He also received many other recent honors including: Coretta Scott King Author Honor, NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor for Outstanding Fiction for Children, Penn State/Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and Paterson Poetry Prize for Young People's Literature. Mr. Alexander gave a humorous, engaging presentation at North Country School in the spring of 2015. He read pieces of his poetry, joked about his experiences, and encouraged everyone to say “Yes,” even when they really want to say “No.”
Laurie hit the young adult market in 1999 with her sobering novel, Speak, a National Book Award Finalist, Michael L. Printz Honor book, New York Times bestseller, an Edgar Allan Poe award nominee, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. She also has earned wide acclaim for her Revolutionary War era novels, Chains and Forge, the first two books in an expected trilogy of what she calls "historical thrillers." Laurie also is a past recipient of the prestigious ALAN Award, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to adolescent literature, and the Margaret A. Edward Award for Lifetime Achievement for her body of work for young adults. Laurie's candor, humor, and insight captivated our students during her all-school presentation in October 2010. Afterward, Laurie hosted an engaging panel session comprised of NCS ninth graders that was open to the public and attracted a good crowd of teachers, parents, and book lovers.
Camp Treetops alumna Liza Ketchum visited North Country School in the spring of 2015. Liza has written fifteen books for children and young adults. These titles have won several awards including the Massachusetts Book Award for Children’s Literature and the Boston Authors Club/Julia Ward Howe Prize for Young Readers. Ms. Ketchum was a founding faculty member at Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program and at Rhode Island College's ASTAL Institute. She spent the day at North Country School answering questions and working with students of all ages on an engaging writing exercise.
Tracie McMillan is an award winning journalist and teacher. Her book, The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table, won the Sidney Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, a Books for a Better Life Award, and a James Beard Journalism Award. She has also written for National Geographic, Slate.com, and The Wall Street Journal. Her hard hitting, in-depth reporting goes right to the heart of food issues in the United States. Tracie spent the day chatting with NCS students about her experiences in the food industry. She was also the keynote speaker at a public gathering in which the public was invited to ask questions and engage in a conversation about the way we eat. During this event Senator Betty Little stopped by for a listen.
Donna Jo Napoli has been writing books for over twenty years. She has written picture books, young adult novels, and textbooks including Mama Miti, Stones in Water, and Skin. She is currently a linguistics professor at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Donna Jo visited NCS in January 2014. She spent the day discussing her books and the writing process with each different grade level. She also addressed the entire student body during lunch council. She was an active and engaging speaker who had students and staff buzzing about the writing process.