Esme Raji Codell - Author and certified Readiologist(TM)
Book Esmé!
"One of the nation's most sought-after voices for empowering teachers..." (People Magazine, October, 1999) and "a writer of great humor and sensitivity" (Ann Martin, 2002 Newbery Honor winner) is available for speaking engagements and inservices!

Who is Esmé?
Esmé is the author of the highly acclaimed and bestselling Educating Esmé : Diary of a Teacher's First Year, which received favorable reviews from magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, People, The New Yorker, Elle and Kirkus. Educating Esmé won Foreword Magazine's memoir of the year, and the distinguished Alex Award for outstanding book for young adult readers. Her abridged diary appeared in Reader's Digest. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association. She gave a "virtual" keynote for the National Education Association's "Stay Afloat!"online conference for first-year teachers and was dubbed "Generation X's answer to Bel Kaufman and Frank McCourt" in February's NEA Today.

Esmé was a featured speaker at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and has appeared on CBS This Morning and CNN. Esmé's public radio reading, "Call Me Madame," produced by Jay Allison for the Life Stories series earned her first place for National Education Reporting from the Education Writer's Association. Her performance prowess was also seen on CSPAN's Book Talk and heard on NPR's Voice of America.

Her novel for intermediate children, Sahara Special, has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, was a # 1 Booksense 76 pick, won the IRA's Children's Book Award for Intermediate Fiction, was chosen as a Chicago Public Library 2004 "Best of the Best" and was runner-up for the Michigan Library Association's "Mitten Award" for excellence in children's literature. She is the author of several other books for children that have earned praise and a strong and lively fan base: her childhood memoir Sing a Song of Tuna Fish is a perennial favorite for teaching children to journal, Diary of a Fairy Godmother is a fairy-tale tell-all that leads readers to make their own wishes come true, and Hanukkah Shmanukkah gives Dickens' classic a fresh twist. The anticipated companion novel to Sahara Special, titled Vive la Paris, is scheduled for release in fall of 2006.

Esmé is an advocate for literacy. How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike is the comprehensive guidebook for parents and teachers who want to create a childhood's worth of great reading experiences. Her goal in creating this unparalleled resource was to make everyone who comes in contact with children a children's book expert. In 2005, she was the recipient of a prestigious Patterson Pageturner Award for spreading the excitement of books in an effective and original way.

Esmé is a children's literature specialist who graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern Illinois University in 1992, and is certified in the field of K - 8 Elementary Education with an endorsement in Language Arts. She has five years of teaching experience and seven years of experience as a children's bookseller. She runs the popular children's literature web site, and the unique literary salon, The PlanetEsme Bookroom, "Chicago's Literary Living Room."

Which presentations are available?

* **Note from speaking agent: Esmé is completely booked through the summer of 2009. Consideration for fall bookings and beyond will begin in May of 2009.***

Esmé does keynotes, full day teacher inservices, and classroom visits and more.
Please visit Esmé's Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator's page for details.

For bookings outside of Illinois, including conferences or educator inservices,
please contact Craig Sherman at AEI Speaker's Bureau.
For local bookings and school visits,
please contact Ms. Veronica DiCapria at the PlanetEsme Bookroom.
(Note: Esme does not drive, so any bookings outside of where the 49B bus stops or the Brown Line "L" delivers is not considered local. If you are making a request for a place more than thirty minutes outside of Chicago/Rogers Park or in the Chicagoland suburbs, AEI Speaker's Bureau is your contact.)

Due to her rigorous schedule, Esmé is not available to meet informally with local book clubs or university classes or coffee-drinking friends in 2009, however, readers and small local groups can meet Esmé in person and free of charge by attending a presentation through the unique children's literary salon, the PlanetEsme Bookroom on the North Side of Chicago.
Please e-mail to be included on the mailing list for upcoming events.

If you are looking for other outstanding professionals to speak at your event, Esmé endorses and highly recommends W. Nikola-Lisa, Chris Fascione, Judy Freeman and Jim Trelease for dynamic literature-based presentations, or stop by and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for a plethora of performing authors and illustrators.
Please tell them Esmé sent you!

sample contract

Thank You for Your Interest!

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