shelley talksI try to limit my travel to twice a year and am currently booking for the 2012-2013 school year. Take a moment and click here to review my schedule, I may be coming to your area!


My aim is always to inspire students to be excited about reading and writing. During my presentations, I emphasize nature, animals and adventure, using stories from my life and visual aids - including a woolly mammoth leg bone, dog booties and Eskimo yo-yos - to personalize my talks. I cover a whole range of topics, from the Iditarod Sled-Dog Race to chasing whales. I talk about where my ideas come from, and the importance of research and accuracy in writing. I tailor my presentations for groups of any age and size. Talks with pre-schoolers tend to be 30-40 minutes long, but the rest of my sessions are usually 50-55 minutes with questions. Please make sure the room(s) are able to be darkened for better viewing since I rely heavily on slides as visual aides. Because I am such an animated and energetic speaker (no kidding, I am!), I must limit my presentations to a maximum of 3 per day. However, I would prefer to tailor my time to fit your school's needs. Sometimes two assemblies (one for the little kids, and another for the big kids) and a series of question and answer sessions is more personal. Many teachers feel the smaller the assembly the better, but I can easily keep a room of 800 motivated and entertained, because, trust me, they LIKE this stuff! Before my visit, please email me and confirm my schedule at your school.

Book Sales and Ordering:

shelley teachesStudents generally get more out of my visit if they are familiar with my books beforehand. I am happy to offer a 20% discount to schools. Please pre-order books from me at least 6 weeks in advance by mail or by email. Have checks for book orders made out to your school, then write me one check, for the 20% discount rate. Given the number of students in your school and the books they are most interested in, I will assess an appropriate core order to send to your school along with the pre-ordered books. If your school sells out of books, an order can be placed for more, even after my visit. And, these books can also be personalized.


Kids love to have their books autographed by the author and I love to be able to do this for them. I am more than willing to sign books the day of my visit. Just leave time during the day for an autographing session. If I should run out of time, I will sign them in the evening after my visit. If you have any books left over, the book return form and instructions are included in the informational packet sent to your school.

Student Preparation:

Finally, traveling all over the country, I've had the opportunity to see just how creative schools can be in managing their author visits. In one school, I was met by a bevy of bears: brown, white and black; at another the band played songs from Thunderfeet while the 1st graders, in full dinosaur regalia, escorted me to the gym. At another, bulletin boards shouted the themes of snow, Arctic animals, etc. while another school organized "dog sled races" on their track, even though it was a sunny California day! The point is, since we all want to get kids excited about reading, we need to become Reading Wackos!

I hope to see you at your school or meeting...
shelley's signature

P.S. I would be happy to coordinate an author visit for your school or conference. My fee is $1600.00 a day and I pay my own expenses. To make arrangements for a visit, please contact me by E-mail:  or snail mail: P.O. Box 2364, Homer, AK 99603.

What Teachers and School Administrators Say About Shelley and Her Books:

sheeley talks to students"Your visit was terrific! You are wonderful with the children! Every one of the teachers that saw you came to me and said, 'Wow! What a treat!' That is a record..."

"Your student response, technical, educational and performance quality were all excellent, as were your preparation materials. We highly recommend your program to other schools...In short, you were wonderful!"


"We definitely want you back here for next year...the kids want you back next week! They are really excited about your books and the Iditarod. You should see the Alaska brochures that the 5th graders made. Again, Thanks for a wonderful time!"

"Shelley, I wanted to thank you again for sharing such wonderful stories with us. The students, teachers and parents are still talking about your marvelous presentation. You truly inspired the children and your books are flying off the shelves..."

a line of fish

kiana coverVirginia@Ashley River El., October 20, 2000 A Kid's Review - I loved this book! If you want a cool {get it? She lives in Alaska} author to come to your scool,get Shelley Gill! I loved Kiana's Iditarod because it told me a lot of things.Alaska! cover

An Alaskan Author & Educator Shares Cool Activities, Projects, Games, Maps, and Fascinating Facts to Help You Explore Our Northernmost State
NEW! Funtastic social studies! Bundle up for fun with this learning-packed resource on awesome Alaska! Students make a model of Denali, avoid the perils of the icy Iditarod in a History and Hazards board game, chart the sizes of big bears and other "giants" of the Alaskan wilderness,

Up on DenaliGr. 2-4. As the tallest mountain in North America, Denali, or Mount McKinley, has its own unique ecosystem. To start, Gill gives two explanations of the mountain's origins, including the scientific and the Athabascan Indian legend. The shortness of the scientific explanation of Denali's geology will likely confuse young readers. However, most of the pages in this picture book are devoted to the plants and animals that live on or near the mountain, and these anecdote-filled accounts will spark plenty of interest. Cartwright supplies slightly cartoonish watercolor illustrations in double-page spreads that show the plants and animals with a certain amount of sly humor. Each of the layouts also features informative borders with additional pictures and facts on topics such as the yearly growth of a moose's antlers, wildflowers from the mountain meadows, or the fish of the mountain streams. Pages on animal tracks and scat are also included. An amusing and informative introduction to Denali's climate zones and the varied wildlife of Alaska. --Todd Morning Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

image of a blue whaleIf your science class is anything like mine, your students are fascinated by the magnificant blue whale. Big Blue by Shelley Gill and illustrated by Ann Barrow, is an enjoyable story that integrates sound scientific information about the ocean's largest mammal with the universal theme of dreams becoming reality. In Big Blue, a young heroine dreams of swimming with a blue whale. Her adventure takes her and biologist friends to Baja, Mexico. Snorkeling in the warm waters, the heroine encounters eels, skates, and dolphins in her search for the blue whale. Beautiful colored illustrations take the reader along with the heroine on her adventure. This book is unique in that it is not entirely about whales and other marine life. There is room for many classroom discussions about dreams, goal-setting, and character traits such as persistence, dedication, and responsibility. If you like to integrate good literature into your science class programs, Big Blue is highly recommended. -- Science Scope, January 2004

Sitka roses

Two long-time Alaska residents take the name of a local and beloved flower and give it to an outsized heroine in this awkwardly scanned, rhymed tall tale. "Not an inch of her was tame" goes the story of Sitka Rose by Shelley Gill and illustrated by Shannon Cartwright. With her long flame-colored braids woven with wildflowers, and like most heroes, Sitka Rose could do fabulous things even as an infant, when she'd climb a spruce to see the sky before she could crawl. The image shows a grubby girl in a nest with fledgling eagles. She lassoed a whale to reach the Nome gold rush, left a trench filled by the Yukon River in her search for nuggets, and won a sled race by harnessing a grizzly bear and ten wolverines. the watercolors have both a slightly mystical bent and a gorgeous sunrise-over-the-mountains palette: the animals have almost-human expressions and Sitka Rose wears a wonderful pink plaid shirt, green breeches, hiking boots--and then there's that hair. -- Kirkus Reviews, January 2005

line of fish

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