Monday October 16, 2017 – Wednesday October 18, 2017 – New author partner Anne Sibley O’Brien at Vinalhaven, North Haven, and Islesboro

Anne Sibley O’Brien, a resident of Peaks Island, Maine, is a new IRW author partner, and we are thrilled to bring her to three island communities – North Haven, Vinalhaven, and Islesboro – this October. Students at each school will receive one of Anne’s books, all timely reads: I’m New Here (about welcoming new people into your classroom and community), The Legend of Hong Kil DongThe Robin Hood of Korea, and In the Shadow of the Sun (a middle grade novel set in North Korea, the first of its kind). Anne is both an author and an illustrator, providing art and writing for both I’m New Here and The Legend of Hong Kil Dong. Anne’s presentation and workshops will focus on an awareness of the diverse populations of Maine, the nation, and the world, a look at how empathy impacts the world, and also her own personal creative process – a “behind the scenes!”

Friday October 20, 2017 – – MDIRSS Seventh Grade Read with Lauren Wolk and Wolf Hollow

New author partner and Newbery Honoree Lauren Wolk will be our guest author at IRW’s 7th Grade Read event with all seventh graders from MDIRSS (Mount Desert Island district). Approximately 100 students from the area will gather together to celebrate Wolk’s incredible book Wolf Hollow, meet the author and hear a presentation, discuss their shared experience of reading the book, participate in group activities based on the book, and better acquaint themselves with their peers from the greater island community. IRW’s island-wide events, such as this 7th Grade Read, are possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of over a dozen facilitators from the community. If you’d like to be involved, please visit the Volunteer page and send us a note!

Monday October 23, 2017 – – Lauren Wolk and Wolf Hollow at Jonesport

Another new-to-IRW author for this fall is Newbery Honor author Lauren Wolk! IRW will bring Lauren to Jonesport Elementary this October to meet with students in Grades 5 – 8. Lauren is author of Wolf Hollow, an “IRW Favorite Read” from Sail Away on a Good Read (Summer 2017).

Monday October 23, 2017 – Tuesday October 24, 2017 – New author partner Elizabeth Atkinson and her book The Island of Beyond at Charlotte and Edmunds

Elizabeth Atkinson is another new addition to the author roster, and IRW will bring her and her book The Island of Beyond to middle school students at Charlotte Elementary School and Edmunds Consolidated School. Elizabeth’s book is set on an island in the middle of a Maine lake, and is about a boy named Martin’s journey of self-discovery, and how he learns to adapt to new situations – all in a setting very familiar to students in IRW programs!

Monday November 6, 2017 – Tuesday November 7, 2017 – Megan Frazer Blakemore, new author partner, at Beals and Milbridge Elementary Schools

IRW will bring new author partner Megan Frazer Blakemore and her book The Water Castle to Beals Elementary School and Milbridge Elementary School this November. The Water Castle, a Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2013, tells the tale of Ephraim Appledore-Smith, a boy who moves to the fictional Maine town of Crystal Springs and tries to harness the mysterious powers of the Fountain at the nearby Water Castle for a great and noble purpose – curing his sick dad. Megan will offer a presentation to students on her writing life, and the research required to write her books, and will lead workshops in the classroom to help students hone their own writing skills.

Monday November 13, 2017 – Thursday November 16, 2017 – Extreme Survivors with Kim Ridley at Pembroke, Lubec, Whiting, and Beatrice Rafferty Elementary

IRW and science writer Kimberly Ridley are teaming up to take children on a journey of discovery that will both amaze and mystify.

It’s all part of IRW’s Literary Links to Science program with third through eighth graders at Pembroke Elementary School, Lubec Consolidated School, and Whiting Village School, featuring Kim’s book, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot. The ten ancient animals profiled in the book have literally survived the test of time! Some of these critters can be found in the ocean, others under moss or lichen in nearby woods, and still others in our own backyards.

Together with nature writer Kim Ridley, students will research, observe and write about these ancient animals and learn why they are coined “extreme survivors.” In June, Dr. Harold Borns, Founder and Director of the Climate Change Institute at UMaine (1974-1988), offered a teacher training to prepare educators for exploring the many environmental and geological changes, resulting from five glacial periods or ice ages, that these critters have had to endure over millions of years.

This fall, a visit with students to the Ice Age Trail Down East, which passed through their communities 21,000 years ago, will provide a reference point for exploring the lasting effects of the ice age on the landscape, ocean and their environments.


Thursday November 16, 2017 – Friday November 17, 2017 – Robin Orm Hansen at Pembroke, Charlotte, and Beatrice Rafferty Elementary Schools

Robin Orm Hansen and her book, Ice Harbor Mittens, will visit younger students at Pembroke, Charlotte, and Beatrice Rafferty Elementary Schools and offer presentations on the folk history and culture behind knitting, its art and functionality, and its connection to Maine folklore as depicted in her picture book about a young sternman and his compass-pattern mittens. Robin will also guide students in creating their own mitten patterns and designs, make rope, and finger knit. Students are encouraged to bring mittens from home – Robin may be able to tell you folk stories and legends about them!