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Touring In: Ontario

Craft: Author

Genre: Junior Fiction, YA Fiction, Teen Fiction, Non-Fiction, Hi-Lo

Ideal Audience Size: up to 100

Maximum Audience Size: 500

Grades: Grades 4-8

Special Equipment: DVD player/projector combo (Pam brings a stick and DVD). Chair and small table, microphone for audiences of over 150.

Website: www.pamwithers.com
 
 

Shortlisted for the 2013 Red Maple Award
Silver Winner in Mid-Grade/Teen Fiction 2012 Nautilus Book Awards

Presentation Information

Pam speaks about her best-selling, award-winning “extreme sports” adventure books, which are particularly popular with boys. They’re riveting; so is their author as a speaker. What else would you expect of a journalist, editor and award-winning speaker who has also been an outdoor guide? Even boys are impressed that she has kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. She has spoken to more than 15,000 children per year across North America.

Her lively one-hour presentation for grades 4-8 includes short readings, tales of her own adventures, humorous anecdotes of how she researches her material, the patience and persistence it takes to achieve success, and special encouragement to boys. In also includes the importance of rewriting and accepting criticism, tips on writing and getting published and (last but not least, very popular!) extreme-sports video clips.

Alternatively, she offers a writing workshop in which participants pair up and interview one another before writing some paragraphs of fiction, to practice incorporating research into their writing.

Download this PDF for more info.

Book List

Bungee Jump
(Orca Book Publishers, 2016)

Andreo’s Race
(Tundra Books, 2015)

Paintball Island
(Starburst Digital, 2013)

First Descent
(Tundra Books, 2011)

Going Vertical (with Tao Berman)
(Menasha Ridge Press, 2008)

Skater Stuntboys
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005)

Surf Zone
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005)

Vertical Limits
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006)

Dirtbike Daredevils
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006)

Wake’s Edge
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007)

BMX Tunnel Run
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007)

Mountainboard Maniacs
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008)

Camp Wild
(Orca Book Publishers, 2005)

Breathless
(Orca Book Publishers, 2005)

Daredevil Club
(Orca Book Publishers, 2006)

Biography

Pam Withers is an award-winning young-adult/middle-grade author of 18 adventure books especially popular with teenage boys, including reluctant readers. She’s also a boys’ literacy advocate, speaker (parenting groups, library and school visits), and a blogger on parenting boys and more. She co-authored Jump-Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life.

Growing up in a large, boisterous family in a small town in the Prairies, Pam was encouraged to read by her parents and grandparents. She used to sneak off to the public library for some peace and quiet, where she discovered magazines on writing and formed a dream of becoming a writer. She started writing for the local newspaper at 16, became a journalist, then an editor. She was also an avid outdoors person, whitewater kayak racer and instructor who ran a summer camp for kids for six years. She married a fellow kayaker. When their son was ten and she found herself unemployed for a year, she wrote an adventure novel for him that became the first in a series of ten and changed her career.

Awards

Andreo’s Race

  • Junior Literary Guild Selection 2015

First Descent

  • Red Maple Award nominee 2013 (Ontario Library Association)
  • Silver, Nautilus Book Awards May 2012
  • ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Silver Award in Youth Adult Fiction 2011
  • Junior Library Guild Selection for Fall 2011
  • Honorable Mention in the Ontario Library Association’s list of 2011 Best Bets

Surf Zone

  • Chocolate Lily Award shortlist 2007

Peak Survival

  • Chocolate Lily Award second place 2006
  • Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award shortlist 2006

Adrenalin Ride

  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice list 2005

Raging River

  • Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice nominee 2004
  • Willow Awards (Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice) 2004

Praise

“Thank you again for coming to Glenrosa Middle School. Our staff and students were invigorated by your presentation and your books cannot stay on the shelves. We had so much interest that we have bought 35 of your books to use with our all-boys classes for Lit Circles.”

—Trina Zuyderduyn, Teacher-Librarian, Glenrosa Middle School, Westbank, BC

“I have rarely seen a group more riveted by an author, and that goes for well-established ones. A good book, a varied pace, and the kids love seeing the video clips.”

—Fran Ashdown, Children’s Librarian, Capilano Library, North Vancouver, BC

“Our students are still talking about Pam’s visit! She’s a very engaging speaker. Her combination of book talks, personal experience, video clips, props and audience participation kept our large audience attentive and wanting more!”

—Trudy Griebenow, Librarian, Sunnyside Elementary, Idaho Falls, ID

Exciting, informative, fast-paced and thoroughly engaging to our entire middle school.”

—Mary Raymond, Librarian, LaConner School District, LaConner, WA

The kids really enjoyed the talk. All nine copies of Raging River have been checked out and are on hold.”

—Susan D. Richard, Librarian, Corporate Landing Middle School, Virginia Beach, VA

Extremely well received by our first through sixth-graders. Even the youngest were captivated by her real-life stories, readings and video clips!”

—Catherine Pavlik, Librarian, Hollywood Hill Elementary School, Woodinville, WA

“Pam was superb! She drew students into the process of writing and publishing, described how real-life situations are worked into her stories, and emphasized her extensive research. She inspires students to believe in themselves and their ability to survive difficult situations while tempering that with warnings about safety.”

—Jennifer Olito, retired English teacher, Winnipeg, MB

“A great presentation able to keep all of the 5th and 6th graders enthused for the whole hour. The adults loved it too!”

—Wendy Kesselring, Chilliwack Library, Chilliwack, BC

“A great success. The students were engaged and inspired. I particularly appreciated your explanation that the editing and refining of writing goes on even when you are a published author.”

—Paula Hardman, Middle School librarian, Lynden, Washington

“Pam Withers is a clear and engaging speaker able to capture her audience’s attention and hold it with her lively, entertaining and informative presentation.”

—Annette de Faveri, Community Relations Librarian, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC