Award winning author Patricia McKissack will conduct three, 60 minute story-hour sessions during the fall of 2010 with New Links to New Learning.

Just in time for Halloween: Pat will read select portions of The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural on October 28, 2010 at 10 a.m. central. This book is for students ages 9-12; “these 10 spine-tinglers range from straight-up ghost stories to eerie narratives. The tales in this winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award depict racism, haunting and vengeance in a manner that can be read out loud around a campfire or savored privately, offering middle readers thoughtful exposure to important, though frightening, historical themes.” (

Here are some more details:

Pat reads the selected books, she’ll talk about (her) inspiration, and she will take questions from students. These story hours are for students in first through fifth grades (depending on the book). The cost is $125 for New Links members and $175 for non-members. First up is The Dark Thirty. To register, contact Rebecca Morrison by October 20.

Don’t miss out on this once-a-year videoconferencing event! You read full details on it at


Children’s book authors, Patricia McKissack and her son, Fredrick McKissack, Jr., will conduct a 60-90 minute session about their collaboration on several books– Black Diamond, the Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues, Hard Labor, and the upcoming graphic novel, Nat Love, Cowboy. During the highly interactive session, the McKissacks will discuss how the team works to maintain consistency, sequence, form, and accuracy. Students will be asked to participate by answering a brief quiz that will identify who might be a good collaborator with them.

During the videoconference with students, the McKissacks introduces themselves and give brief biographical information including how they became collaborators. After a definition of “collaboration” and the many forms it can take, the McKissacks will focus on research writing first draft, editing, and final draft as they are affected by collaboration.  Time for questions and answers from the students will follow, along with a brief test to see who would be a good collaborator for you?

The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write and/or illustrate a book together. In addition, the project will encourage students to work with each other in the spirit of sharing, compromise, and respect for others’ thoughts and ideas.

At the end of the project students will be able to:

• Work together brainstorming to come up with ideas for writing a short story.
• Agree upon a story line.
• Create a draft of the story then hand it off to the writing partner (collaborator.}
• Analyze their writing with each other.
• Share their work through email with other collaborators.
• Revise their writing to conform to the correct standards of English.
• Prepare a finished manuscript (publish).

TIMES AND DATES will be published soon. This videoconference will be $300 per session. Interested?

Contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts in St. Louis, Missouri.