It’s no surprise that authors are incredibly good at bringing their own books to life. Whether through live or pre-recorded visits, read-aloud videos, or other virtual author activities, kids will connect with books like never before! Here are some of our favorite options to try.
- Pre-Recorded Virtual Author Visits
- Live Virtual Author Visits
- Virtual Author Read-Alouds
- Other Virtual Author Activities
Pre-Recorded Virtual Author Visits
Check out these videos of presentations authors have given at schools and libraries. There are authors here that will interest students at any age.
Hear Chung talk about the process of creating his book Mixed: A Colorful Story. The allegory of one color who thinks it’s better than the others is meaningful at any age.
Bao Phi’s lovely book A Different Pond showcases the relationship between a father and his son. As they fish for the food their family needs, the father tells his son about a pond from his own childhood in faraway Vietnam.
Author of the Newbery Honor book Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga gives an engaging talk about how she writes.
Jennifer L. Holm
From her Babymouse graphic novels to the Sunny series and beyond, Holm writes books that middle grade readers absolutely love.
Do your students love the thrills and chills of the MonsterStreet series? Then they’ll love seeing its author answer kids’ questions about reading and writing!
Every kid will recognize the author of the beloved Harry Potter books! See her interview with the Harry Potter Reading Club in this video.
Kate Messner writes fiction, nonfiction, novels, chapter books, and picture books, so there’s a good chance most kids have read at least one of her books.
Lots of kids read The One and Only Ivan in class, and Applegate has plenty of other popular and award-winning books as well. Hear her talk about her books (and even show off her adorable dog!).
Here’s another name kids will recognize. Whether they love The Giver, the Gooney Bird series, or any of her other numerous works, they’ll enjoy listening to her speak and answer audience questions.
The Last Kids on Earth book series is now a Netflix series too! Listen to author Max Brallier talk about his writing process and give kids a writing challenge of their own.
Live Virtual Author Visits
Want to set up a virtual author visit live for your class or school? If you have a particular author in mind, visit their website (or their publisher’s) to contact them and find out if they do virtual visits. Scholastic offers virtual author visits through their catalog, so that’s a great place to start.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has a terrific roundup of virtual author visits and writing workshops too. Here are some to consider.
Gutman has written all sorts of books for kids, and he’s happy to do virtual school visits. Find his offerings and prices at his website.
Nonfiction children’s author Kurtz loves to present his books to kids of all ages. His virtual offerings include readings, interviews, and concept-based workshops.
Long does both in-person and virtual author visits based on her popular books, like How I Became a Pirate. Visit her website to see her offerings and book a visit.
Biebow’s colorful book about the inventor of Crayola crayons is a delight. She offers free virtual visits, plus interactive in-person workshops.
Known for Dahlia in Bloom, Koehler offers both virtual author visits and writing workshops. She does professional development workshops for teachers too.
Virtual Author Read-Alouds
When you hear authors read their own books, it gives you a whole new perspective on their works. That makes read-alouds some of our favorite virtual author activities.
Hale’s YouTube channel includes a playlist called Storytime With Uncle Bruce. Hear him read about Clark the Shark and other hilarious characters.
Gutman has a whole collection of read-alouds on his Facebook page, like Miss Blake Is a Flake. Kids will love his wacky style!
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Visit her YouTube channel to see the author read her book Where Are My Books? She’s got a few other read-alouds too, along with drawing tips.
Fabien Cousteau is the grandson of famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau. His book series explores his own experiences under the water, and you can watch his read-aloud on Facebook.
You’ll feel inspired when you hear Byers read her heartfelt book I Am Enough.
Lin reads aloud from her picture books as well as chapters from her longer books on her YouTube channel.
Watch Knowles read the first chapter of her middle-grade novel Where the Heart Is, while giving students a fun writing exercise.
Hear Cook read a variety of books from her collection, like Wilma Jean the Worry Machine. Her YouTube channel also includes interviews, advice, and other fun virtual author activities.
Watch Messner read Fergus and Zeke and the 100th Day of School in this YouTube video.
Kevin Noble Maillard
This read-aloud of Fry Bread includes some of the author’s thoughts on writing the book and the recipe he included at the end.
Listen to Henderson read the first chapter of her book The Magic in Changing Your Stars on YouTube.
The author regularly shares read-alouds of his books, like I Love You Like a Pig, on his Instagram page.
Monique Gray Smith
The author has added a collection of videos of herself reading from her picture books on Instagram. Titles include When We Are Kind and You Hold Me Up.
Hear readings from Shusterman’s books on his YouTube channel, including excerpts and complete short stories.
The author created a Stay at Home: Story Time section on his website. Initially made during the 2020 COVID lockdown, these videos are still lots of fun to watch.
Visit Reynolds’ Facebook page to see him read from some of his most popular books, like The Dot.
The award-winning author and illustrator reads from her book The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this YouTube video.
The author reads his picture books on his YouTube channel, where he also has lots of drawing videos for inspiration.
Other Virtual Author Activities
So many wonderful authors and publishers have YouTube or Instagram channels! Join them as they teach you how to draw, offer writing tips, and lots more.
Authorfy 10 Minute Challenges
Kids will do more than just watch these videos. They’ll write, draw, and create on their own, inspired by famous authors and illustrators.
Watch story time, Cressida Cowell’s summer camp, author interviews, how-to-draw videos, and a whole lot more.
The prolific author has a robust website full of videos, activities, podcasts, and more virtual author activities to engage kids of a variety of ages.
Jarrett J. Krosoczka: Draw Every Day
The Lunch Lady author and illustrator has a series of videos showing kids how to draw some of their favorite characters. His YouTube channel also has cartooning tips, writing tips, pep talks, and shorts.
Jeff Kinney: Wimpy Kid
This YouTube channel is rich with content, including interviews, tour journals, how-to-draw tips, and so much more.
Lunch Doodles With Mo Willems
The Kennedy Center sponsored this series of videos with the beloved author of classics like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Raina Telgemeier, @goraina
Author and illustrator of hits like Smile and Drama shares drawings, time-lapse videos, and more on her Instagram page.
Rob Biddulph: #DrawWithRob
Aspiring illustrators will enjoy this series, where any kid can learn to draw creatures of every kind.
The Bookwanderers Club
These half-hour chats with well-known middle grade authors are the perfect length to share with your classes.
What virtual author activities do you use with your class? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out The Best Read-Alouds on YouTube for Classroom or Home.