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Hello- Here is a HIT on my request for info on Gordon Korman author
visits....sorry for the delay in posting!  Thanks to all who


Original Query:

Has anyone hosted Gordon Korman for an author visit for grades 3-5?  My
school is considering having him in the spring.  His fee is a little
steep for us and I want to make sure I get some feedback before I decide
to go in this direction or another.  Did you think he was worth the
price?  How many presentations did he give and what were they like?  How
did the students and staff respond to him and his books?


We thought he was terrific. No frills - no slideshow, no props - just a
talk - but a really nice guy with a great story and wonderful books...
 We had him at my elem. building when I taught in Kansas (about 4-5 
years ago) and he was great with kids and nice to work with. He had
started the "On the Run" series at that time.
We had Gordon visit us in late March. He was great! The kids and the
teachers loved him. He gave 3 presentations. He was worth the fee! We
are having someone from our region next year to offset the higher fee
this year.
We had him in our district (Round Rock ISD, TX) for a week and split
the days into 2-3 sessions. It was expensive. We are all middle schools,
but I imagine he adapts his stories well for elementary kids, as well. I
know Swindle is very popular with elem. kids, and he focused more on
Schooled and The Juvie Three with our kids. He told stories about how he
came up with his plots, and he also talked about how he because an
author. He is very charismatic and the kids really enjoyed it. I think
he spoke for about 40 minutes and we had 10 or so minutes for questions
(and then book signings). We have an auditorium in our school, so I was
able to have around 400 kids at a time. I do think it would work well
with a much smaller audience---more chances for interaction w/the
author. Let me know if you have any questions. Our entire district read
Schooled at the middle school level and the kids really loved it. 
I had him for a visit recently in February  and he was great. Very easy
to get along with and low maintenance.  He spoke to grades 6-8 but I can
foresee he would relate well to lower grades as well.  He did two
presentations of about an hour each including questions and answers. 
Very patient with he kids.  300 kids in each group.  THEN he signed
books.  Especially well received by boys. 
I have had him for grades 3-5. He was very good, engaging and real. The
kids love him. The teachers also liked him and his way with the kids. He
talks about writing and publishing (he started at age 12) and he shares
favorite passages from his books. He is a solid choice.
Gordon came here many years ago as a 6-8 visiting author. He was well
received by students and teachers. Gordon is an energetic speaker who is
very generous with his time. I do not remember his schedule; however,
most authors seem to work for 3 hours a day. In the days before we moved
to a block schedule, I would break that up into 4x45 min., rather than
3x60 min.
He is delightful, down-to-earth, and entertaining. He'll tolerate
pictures and autographs for a long time.  He is quite comfortable
talking to the kids and answering their questions.  That said, I agree
that his fee is very high.  My book club kids loved his series, but when
I researched his price, I was pretty taken aback.  A little while later,
our public library hosted him and asked if I'd like to go havsies and
sharing the price; I just couldn't justify the cost so I turned him
down.  When he came to town, I presented at a Catholic Library
Conference with him.  I didn't see his presentation, but I heard it was
nice, entertaining, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Then this crazy
thing happened--one of the schools who was scheduled to visit the
library to listen to him cancelled out the day before.  The library
called me and offered to bring him to our school for free!  He couldn't
have been nicer, but I was glad I hadn't paid his fee.  He brought
nothing with him--not a power point, not a picture.  He just talked off
the cuff.  The kids enjoyed him, and I guess that was the point, but I
would have expected something prepared.  Nice guy who married a gal in
my home town, Cincinnati.
I work as a media specialist in NJ and we have had the pleasure of
having Gordon Korman speak to both our third and fourth graders.  He is
wonderful, very funny, personable, and the students very much enjoy his
visits.  He is coming again this month and will be giving at least three
sessions if not four that day.  His presentations last about 45 minutes
each.  In the past he has told the students how he does research on his
books and how he comes up with his ideas.  He has the students laughing
and so inspired that I can’t keep his books on the shelf.  Most of my
teachers read aloud to their classes one or more of his books before he
comes and once that happens his “shelf” in the library is empty, and
I have quite a few of his books.  I read Nose Pickers from Outer Space
to each of the classes and the students hate it when I stop because
class has ended.  They can’t wait to come again to hear what happens
next.  He has visited our school for the last 5 or 6 (if not more –
can’t remember) years and I know that the teachers request that he
return each year.  In my opinion, he is well worth the money.  If you do
have him I hope that you will agree.  
I had Gordon visit my Grade 7-8 school a few years ago, and he was
excellent. I have no doubt he would also be excellent for an
school, and I know he has done many elementary school visits.
We had him in the HS a few years ago - awesome
 I had Gordon Korman visit my 4-5 school three years ago.  The kids
loved him.  His books still circulate like crazy even though my
students didn't see his visit but they heard about him from their
siblings.  He did three presentations each day, ate with a group of
students, and signed lots and lots of books.  We sold over 600 books
he came and he signed them all.  His talk is exactly the same each time
only I knew that.  The kids adored him and thought he was very funny. 
he had good messages about the importance of research.  He's been a
hard act
to follow the last two years.

Catie Jefferds
Elementary Library Media Specialist
Kelley/Perkins/Lincoln Schools
Newark Central School District
Newark, NY

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