[Library Media] Author visiting Utah Schools: Josh Allen

Mariah Gerlach mgerlach at providencehall.com
Fri Aug 23 10:56:14 MDT 2019

This is from an author I'd recommend visit your school. He'll be doing
school tours here in the Salt Lake Valley through the fall.

You can email him to schedule a (free) visit to your campus. His first book
is coming out this fall. I can vouch for him as a great college professor,
so I'm excited about his book and I'm having him come to my campus for sure.

He's traveling anywhere from* Boise to Provo* this fall.

Reach out to JustJoshAllen at gmail.com.

*Mariah Gerlach, MLS*
*High School Head Librarian*
*ALA <http://www.ala.org/>, AASL <http://www.ala.org/aasl/> Member*
*UELMA <https://uelma.org/> Board Member*
*Providence Hall International **Baccalaureate*
*mgerlach at providencehall.com <http://goog_1434365220/>*
*donorschoose.org/PHHSlibrary <http://donorschoose.org/PHHSlibrary>**Library
Catalog <http://us.accessit.online/PRV00/#!dashboard>*
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Let me tell you a bit more about me, my book, and what I do at schools, and
you can pass this information along to others if it will help.

First, my book: It’s titled OUT TO GET YOU: 13 TALES OF WEIRDNESS AND WOE,
and it’s best described as *Twilight Zone* for kids. Since I wrote it with
children in mind, there’s no blood, no gore, and no profanity anywhere in
the book. Instead it’s full of zany and weird stories. For example, there’s
a story about the boy and the girl who are trapped in the school crossing
sign. And there’s one about a haunted paper towel dispenser in the boy’s
bathroom. There’s one about a book report gone terribly wrong and another
about an eerie stain on the cafeteria floor. The book is being published by
Holiday House, a New-York-based publisher that has specialized in
children’s literature since the 1930s, and it’s being distributed by
Penguin/Random House. Though the book comes out September 3rd, it’s already
been favorably reviewed by *Kirkus Reviews*, and you can see that review
It’s also already been named a Junior Library Guild selection, a real honor
for children’s authors. It also received a starred review from *Booklist*,
the review publication of the American Library Association. (From
*Booklist's* website: "A star is assigned by Booklist editors to indicate
that the title is exceptional.") You can see that review here
<https://www.booklistonline.com/Out-to-Get-You-Josh-Allen/pid=9718481> until
a paywall goes up in about a week. the book’s pretty kid friendly as it
includes 13 full illustrations by Sarah Coleman, the same illustrator who
did the cover for the 50th anniversary edition of *To Kill a Mockingbird*.
And perhaps coolest of all, the book’s cover actually glows in the dark.

You can review the publisher’s description of the book here

And now, about me: I have taught creative writing at BYU-Idaho for fifteen
years. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. Over
the past two years, I’ve regularly visited public schools to read stories
and talk to kids about writing, creativity, and storytelling techniques. My
visits have been reviewed by teachers whose classes I’ve visited. Here are
two of those reviews:

“My students can’t get enough of Josh’s stories, but to have him visit our
classroom, read his stories and unpack his art was a game changer. Josh
tells the best stories and then makes every child feel like they can too.
He made the writing process concrete and accessible in an engaging and
age-appropriate way. After Josh’s visit my students understood the elements
of a good story and felt energized to begin their own narratives. Children
have amazing stories to tell and Josh helps them find their voices. Every
student, possibly every human, should get to learn from Josh.” (Trish
Galer, 4th Grade Teacher, Madison Middle School)

“Josh did such a great job in my classroom!  We read several of his stories
before he came, which my students loved, and they were excited to meet him
in person.  As an educator, Josh knows how to interact with young kids to
get them involved.  They were enthralled.  In addition to reading to my
students, he came with a simple formula to help them write their own
stories.  My class was in the final months of the second grade, but Josh
did a wonderful job of adapting his reading and workshop to a younger
audience.  I am looking forward to having him back next year!” (Chelsea
Williams, 2nd Grade Teacher, Hibbard Elementary School)

I’ve worked with kids as young as six and as old as seventeen, and I’ve
presented in classrooms with just a few students in them and in auditoriums
filled with hundreds.
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