I have spoken to numerous school groups in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and Wisconsin. I would be happy to come and speak with school groups; ideally, my work is best suited to children in the third through sixth grade. I bring with me a detailed lesson plan that includes a discussion of genre and the entire creative process from inception of idea, through the various drafts and revisions as well as working with an illustrator. My presentations have been very well received; here are some comments:
The third and fourth grade girls had a great time. McDonough’s presentations were very good–intimate and informative. She builds a warm relationship with the students.
—Krystyna Poray Goddu, The Hewitt School, NYC
Yona visited our third grade girls in March of 2010. She discussed her writing process and walked us through how a book gets published. Enthusiastically sharing examples of her work in different stages of development, Yona was a superb speaker. She engaged our girls throughout her presentation, inspired them with her ideas, and fielded their many types of questions beautifully.
—Danielle Blaise, Lower School Librarian The Hewitt School, NYC
My 6th grade Chapin students thoroughly enjoyed Yona’s lively and engaging discussion of Anne Frank’s life and times. Her presentation was well organized and showed a deep understanding of how today’s adolescents can not only connect to Anne Frank on a historical level, but a personal level as well. My girls also enjoyed reading Yona’s senstivie biography of Anne Frank. Yona’s visit was one of the highlights of the school term, and I strongly recommend her as a school speaker.
—Penny Brandt, Middle School English Teacher, The Chapin School, New York, NY
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—Grace McGuigan, Librarian and Multi-Media Specialist, P.S. 372, Brooklyn, NY
[Ms. McDonough was] a hit…truly a home run for Berkeley Carroll.
—Richard F. Barter, Head of School, The Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn, NY
[My class] read every book by Yona Zeldis McDonough they could get their hands on before meeting the award-winning author…
—Sandra Kowalczyk, Reading Specialist, Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie, WI
Ms. McDonough…regaled a group of K-5th grade students with stories about her experience as an author. She also impressed students with details about her childhood, dreams, and writing process. McDonough culminated her presentation with a short reading from her book, The Doll Shop Downstairs.
—Sarata Toriola, Behind the Book