here and there

Pewaukee Public School System, 30 Apr 2024

Richard Graef
Richard Graef

Edu­ca­tor and musi­cian Richard Graef and I vis­it­ed Pewau­kee, Wisconsin’s ten fifth grade classes.

In an assem­bly, we pre­sent­ed a “Cre­ative Process” dis­cus­sion of how Beethoven cre­at­ed his mag­nif­i­cent work and how Nan­nette Stre­ich­er col­lab­o­rat­ed as piano builder and designer.

Richard Graef did a won­der­ful job pro­vid­ing the stu­dents with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see the ways in which anoth­er musi­cal instru­ment, the flute, has devel­oped and adapt­ed over the centuries.

He has had inspir­ing, first-hand expe­ri­ence per­form­ing Beethoven’s 9th Sym­pho­ny with the Chica­go Sym­pho­ny on many dif­fer­ent occa­sions. The chil­dren heard Mr. Graef play flute selec­tions from the Pas­toral Sym­pho­ny (Beethoven’s 6th), fea­tur­ing the wood­land birds such as cuck­oo and the nightin­gale — all amaz­ing birds that Beethoven encoun­tered on his walks in nature.

What a plea­sure to present What Music! with the amaz­ing insights of a pro­fes­sion­al musi­cian, a true expert and enthu­si­ast of Beethoven and his musi­cal com­po­si­tions. I learned so much!

Richard Graef and Laurie Lawlor, Exploring the Creative Process
Richard Graef and Lau­rie Lawlor, Explor­ing the Cre­ative Process
Richard Graef and Laurie Lawlor
Richard Graef and Lau­rie Lawlor, co-presenters
Looking in depth at the piano
Look­ing in depth at the piano

The pho­to below is from my class­room vis­its to the 10 fifth grade groups, who par­tic­i­pat­ed in a writ­ing work­shop exer­cise and an in-depth dis­cus­sion about revis­ing. I pro­vid­ed back­ground on how writ­ers dis­cov­er, devel­op, and research ideas for nonfiction.

Ter­rif­ic vis­its with near­ly 300 eager read­ers and music enthu­si­asts from Hori­zon Ele­men­tary School, Pewau­kee, WI!

Talking with fifth grade students about Ludwig van Beethoven and Nannette Streicher
Talk­ing with fifth grade stu­dents about
Lud­wig van Beethoven and Nan­nette Streicher

Illinois Reads Author Luncheon, 15 Mar 2024

Illinois Reads Author Luncheon Springfield IL
Illi­nois Reads Author Lun­cheon Spring­field IL
My table at the Illinois Reads Author Luncheon Springfield IL
My table at the Illi­nois Reads Author Lun­cheon Spring­field IL

Anderson’s Children’s Literature Breakfast, 24 February 2024

Laurie Lawlor at Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast
Ter­rif­ic Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Break­fast 2024 spon­sored by Ander­son­’s Book­shops on Feb­ru­ary 24 with 45 local Illi­nois authors and a sold-out crowd of more than 500 won­der­ful teach­ers and librarians. 
Anderson's Bookshops Breakfast
Thanks to Ander­son­’s and to the amaz­ing Illi­nois authors and keynote speak­ers, Andrea Beat­ty, Kate DiCamil­lo, Lisa Yee, John Patrick Green, and Kazu Kibuishi.

Westmont High School, 3 February 2024

Lau­rie Lawlor fea­tures Restor­ing Prairie, Woods, and Pond at West­mont High School for Illi­nois Reads
Laurie Lawlor Restoring Prairie Woods and Pond
They made a poster! Cel­e­brat­ing Restor­ing Prairie, Woods, and Pond at Illi­nois Reads, West­mont High School

The Book Stall, 9 December 2023

What Music at The Book Stall
The Book Stall, Win­net­ka, pro­vid­ed a won­der­ful hol­i­day venue for a pre­sen­ta­tion, read­ing, and sign­ing of What Music! The Fifty-Year Friend­ship between Beethoven and Nan­nette Stre­ich­er on Decem­ber 9, 2023.

Anderson’s Bookshop, 8 December 2023

Sneak Peek at Anderson's Bookshop
Sneak Peeks event on Decem­ber 8th, spon­sored by Illi­nois Reads at Ander­son­’s Book­shop in Down­ers Grove, IL, includ­ed many won­der­ful authors for read­ers of all ages who shared their books. Restor­ing Prairie, Woods and Pond How a Small Trail Can Make a Big Dif­fer­ence is includ­ed on the Illi­nois Reads List.

Conference: From Head to Heart: Caring for the Environment through Science, Stories, and Action, 8 November 2023

John F Kennedy Center Conference
Our group of speak­ers under the pres­i­den­tial seal (L to R): Lau­rie Lawlor, Ani­ta Sanchez, Melis­sa Stew­art, Matt Pat­ter­son, Sy Montgomery
John F. Kennedy Center Conference Laurie Lawlor
Lau­rie Lawlor in here “Meet the Author” ses­sion, with a small­er group and discussion
JFK Con­fer­ence authors (l to r): Sy Mont­gomery, Matt Peter­son, Ani­ta Sanchez, Lau­rie Lawlor, Melis­sa Stewart
Kennedy Conference
On Novem­ber 8, 2023, John F. Kennedy Pres­i­den­tial Library and Muse­um in Boston spon­sored a con­fer­ence for teach­ers and librar­i­ans called “From Head to Heart Car­ing for the Envi­ron­ment through Sci­ence, Sto­ries, and Action.” This in-per­son con­fer­ence offered edu­ca­tors and librar­i­ans strate­gies, tools, and inspi­ra­tion to cul­ti­vate envi­ron­men­tal empa­thy and fos­ter a deep­er under­stand­ing of cli­mate change and envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges. As part of the event, authors offered a pan­el dis­cus­sion and work­shops to pro­vide insights into the cre­ation of non­fic­tion books to inspire young read­ers. A won­der­ful group of ener­getic librar­i­ans and teach­ers had books signed at the end of the event.

The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL, 10 July 2023

Laurie Lawlor at The Book Stall
At The Book Stall on July 10, 2023, in Win­net­ka, IL, Go Green Reads! spon­sored a dis­cus­sion of Restor­ing Prairie, Woods, and Pond How a Small Trail Can Make a Big Dif­fer­ence. A full house! What a great group of local envi­ron­men­tal enthu­si­asts. Very inspir­ing. Co-spon­sored by Go Green!, an envi­ron­men­tal action group, with chap­ters in Win­net­ka and Wil­mette, focus­ing on sus­tain­abil­i­ty issues and edu­ca­tion to help save the planet. 

ALA Annual Conference, 22–27 June 2023

Panel sign ALA Conference 2023
Our pan­el intro­duc­ing the new Hol­i­day House series Books for a Bet­ter Earth.
ALA Panel Members
Our Books for a Bet­ter World pan­el at ALA on June 26th: Mary Cash (left), Exec­u­tive Edi­tor, Hol­i­day House; Lau­rie Lawlor (mid­dle), author of Restor­ing Prairie, Woods, and Pond; and author Jes­si­ca Stremer, author of Great Car­ri­er Reef.
Holiday House Booth June 2023 ALA Conference
At the Hol­i­day House booth (ALA Con­fer­ence 2023) (l. to r.) edi­tor Sal­ly Mogridge, author Jes­si­ca Stremer, author Lau­rie Lawlor, exec­u­tive edi­tor Mary Cash.
Laurie Lawlor signing books at Holiday House booth at ALA Conference 2023
Lau­rie Lawlor sign­ing books at Hol­i­day House booth at ALA Con­fer­ence 2023

Waukesha Co. Land Conservancy, 31 May 2023

Wauke­sha Coun­ty Land Con­ser­van­cy’s annu­al meet­ing on May 31, 2023, in Delafield, Wis­con­sin, cel­e­brat­ed land and water pro­tec­tion. To date, this orga­ni­za­tion has helped pro­tect 3,000 acres in Wauke­sha Coun­ty. Lau­rie Lawlor auto­graphed Restor­ing Prairie, Woods, and Pond How a Small Trail Can Make a Big Dif­fer­ence, her recent book that pro­files Eagle Nature Trail in Wauke­sha County.

Eagle Nature Trail Celebration, 20 May 2023

Laurie Lawlor and Dawn-Marie Staccia outside Eagle Nature Trail in Wisconsin
Lau­rie Lawlor and pho­tog­ra­ph­er Dawn-Marie Stac­cia pic­tured out­side the Eagle Nature Trail Cel­e­bra­tion, spon­sored in part by the Alice Bak­er Memo­r­i­al Library. 20 May 2023.

Society of Midland Authors Award, 10 May 2022

Me and Car­ol Marin, long-time Chica­go jour­nal­ist and pro­gram Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies, at the May 10, 2022 Annu­al Ban­quet and Awards Pre­sen­ta­tion for the Soci­ety of Mid­land Authors at the Cliff Dwellers in Chica­go. I was delight­ed to receive the Chil­dren’s Read­ing Round Table Hon­or Award for Chil­dren’s Non­fic­tion for Fear­less World Trav­el­er: Adven­tures of Mar­i­anne North, Botan­i­cal Artist (Hol­i­day House, 2021).

Big Tree Down! Storybook Stroll, Eagle, WI

Eagle Nature Trail
A won­der­ful day at Eagle Nature Trail, Eagle, WI with the third grade class read­ing Big Tree Down! on a sto­ry­book stroll, Sept. 24, 2021. More than 119 young read­ers enjoyed the trail and the pic­ture book. Bra­vo to all!
Outdoor facility
Eagle Ele­men­tary has an out­door space that worked well for my presentation.
Eagle Elementary School
Thanks to the engaged stu­dents and teach­ers at Eagle Ele­men­tary School!
Laurie Lawlor

Invite Lau­rie Lawlor to speak at your library, school, book club, envi­ron­men­tal action group, book­store, fes­ti­val, writ­ing con­fer­ence, or com­mu­ni­ty event. In per­son or virtually.