The Big List of Children’s Book Writers Doing Virtual Author Activities


With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many of our favorite authors are offering online read alouds and activities on social media. We’ve rounded up some of the best virtual author activities below! 

Read-Alouds for Elementary School Kids

These authors are offering read-alouds of their books and books by their favorite authors.

Roda Ahmed

The author will be doing read-alouds on Instagram Live of her book Mae Among the Stars

Mac Barnett

The author will be reading a book a day on Instagram Live. It does not appear that he will be adding the videos to his website at this time.

Julie Falatko  

Enjoy a reading of Falatko’s book, Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book), by Stranger Things actor, David Harbour. This read-aloud comes with a teacher’s guide

Thelma Godin

Oprah Winfrey reads Godin’s book, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, which is accompanied by a handy teacher’s guide

Monique Gray Smith

The author has added a collection of videos of herself reading from her picture books on Instagram. You may also learn more about her books on her website

Oliver Jeffers

The author will be reading one book every day on Instagram Live. Can’t make it? He’ll also be posting the videos to his website

Kate Messner

A former classroom teacher, Messner has written more than three dozen books for kids. She’s put together a library of distance learning resources for students, families, teachers, and librarians. 

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Young kids will enjoy this great read-aloud of Where Are My Books? The author also provides a teacher’s guide, drawing demos and shares a crowd-sourced music video based on the book. 

David Shannon

Follow the story of A Bad Case of Stripes as read by Lord of the Rings actor, Sean Astin. Then, work through the helpful teacher’s guide

Tanya Lee Stone

Learn the story of The House That Jane Built as read by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actress, Kiernan Shipka. You may access activity guides for teachers or for parents

Virtual Author Activities for Middle School

Read-alouds and reading activities from favorite authors.

Peter Butzl

The author has put together reading activities around his Cogheart Adventures. He’s even created Q&A videos on YouTube

Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah is adding readings, mini-lessons, and prompts to her page! Follow along and get inspired to get reading and writing.

Leah Henderson

Listen to a read-aloud of Henderson’s The Magic in Changing Your Stars and then work through the writing challenge (with hints!) listed on author Kate Messner’s site: Who is Ailey Benjamin Lane named after?

Jeff Kinney

This official PDF teaching guide is a great learning resource for your middle schooler to think about and discuss the beloved Diary of a Wimpy Kid series!

Jo Knowles

Watch Knowles read the first chapter of her middle grade novel, Where the Heart Is, while giving students a fun writing exercise. She’s also created guides for teachers and book groups on her website

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, Krosoczka will be hosting a daily drawing webcast on YouTube at 2 PM EDT. You can also find videos on his website. Be sure to also check out his National Book Award Finalist, Hey Kiddo

Jarrett Lerner

The author behind Enginerds has created some cool worksheets that will be updated every few days to keep kids entertained and engaged. These activities may be a good addition to your distance learning resources.

Grace Lin

The author and illustrator has taken to YouTube to provide a glimpse into Chinese culture and a guide for drawing Chinese dragons. 

Madelyn Rosenberg

You may have to change the season or specific circumstances, but this collection of writing prompts is a great way to help your student build literacy skills, while giving them a chance to express themselves.  

J.K. Rowling

What better series for middle schoolers than the famous Harry Potter books? You probably loved them, and now you have the chance to introduce your children into the Wizarding World. Use this handy discussion guide that covers the first four books to bring an academic approach to your own little wizards’ education.

Melissa Stewart

The nonfiction science book author has created engaging video mini-lessons including a similes worksheet, researching skills, and more.

Mo Willems

Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his lunch doodle! Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together while he chats about his characters Pigeon, Piggie, and Elephant.

Virtual Author Activities for High School & Young Adults

Even more resources for tweens and teens.

Tracey Baptiste

The author of The Jumbies series has created videos of mini-lessons on comparative mythology and has added valuable distance learning resources, including downloadables for teachers and parents, to her website. 

James Dashner

While there are thrill books, The Maze Runner is the first book in Dashner’s YA novel series. This guide is useful for turning the adventurous themes into meaningful learning experiences.

Emily Dickenson

High school students may have discovered the timeless magic of Emily Dickinson. This teaching guide includes multimedia and discussion questions for The Essential Emily Dickinson collection. 

John Green

Fans of the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns? Here’s a link to some discussion questions surrounding his works. Green has also co-created Crash Course, a website that provides high-quality educational videos for high school and college-level classes. Students, parents, and teachers alike could be entertained for hours without ever leaving the site!

April Henry

Looking for writing prompts? This author has put together a list of prompts to get students thinking outside of the box.

Will Hobbs

To go along with his collection of youth novels, Hobbs has created resources and activities for teachers and librarians. 

Tayari Jones

Check out the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Learning Guide for Silver Sparrow by this NEA creative writing fellow.

Liz Garton Scanlon

Want to learn more about writing an etheree (a ten-line poem in which writers add an additional syllable with each line)? Scanlon has a video lesson all about them! 

Joyce Sidman

Ready to work on some poetry? It can be tough to know where to start, but Sidman has created a poem starters for teachers and students, and even has categories for Younger Writers or Older Writers.

Angie Thomas

Students or kids reading Thomas’ The Hate U Give? You’ll find some good distance learning resources for discussion questions and projects on this website.

Looking for more online resources for learning at home? We’ve built a list with over 80 options here

Have other virtual author activities to share? Email us at [email protected] with your additions and we will regularly update. 

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