Past Author Visits at ASIJ 2009 - 2010

Authors Who Came in 2010

Ross Kinnaird (Grades K-5 & High School)











New Zealander Ross Kinnaird first began illustrating children’s books in 2002 with the popular Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?, by Dawn McMillan, which won the Children’s Choice Award at the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. He has since gone on to illustrate several books, including two written by William Taylor for the ‘Kiwi Bites’ series. Ross's funny presentations will have our kids in stitches. He will also work with art students in the High School. Ross' High School visit is being sponsored by FOFA and The Friends of the Library


January 2010 – Nathaniel Lachenmeyer (Grades K, 2, 4)


American Nathaniel Lachenmeyer is an award-winning author of books for children and adults. His books have been translated into six languages.  Nathaniel has penned the magical story The Origami Master, a Sakura Medal 2010 picture book, and his visit supported Japan study units in grades K, 2 and 4.

March 2010 – Eric Walters (Grades 3-5 & High School) 


It all began in 1993 when Eric was teaching a Grade 5 class. His students were reluctant readers and writers and Eric began to write to encourage them to become more involved in literature.  Eric went on to win pretty much every Canadian there is to be won in children's lit... more than once.  Safe as Houses was a Sakura Medal 2009 chapter book very well received with our stronger grade 5 readers.  Eric will work with our young writers grades 4 and 5.  He will present to our grade 3 students about his sports books for boys. He will also visit the high school and work with writing classes. The High School visit is being sponsored by The Friends of the Library.

February 2010 -  William Kostakis

Australian Author of Sakura Medal finalist Loathing Lola Skyped with the HS Book Club.

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William was only 19 when his first novel for young adults, Loathing Lola, was released. It has, since then, sold close to 10 copies, including the 6 he bought himself. He's calling it a bestseller, his publisher refuses to comment. It was shortlisted for the Sakura Medal and made the official selection for 2010's Get Reading! programme.  In 2005, William won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year.   

Jack Gantos




March 2010 -  Jack Gantos (Grades 4 and 5,
Middle School and High School)

American Jack Gantos is the author of many children's books and a truly outstanding speaker who revisits ASIJ after two previous wildly successful passages.  Jack has written many books for children among which are the hilarious Rotten Ralph picture books and Joey Pigza and Jack Henry chapter books.  Jack is the Middle School visiting author this year (Chofu PTA grant) but he will spend some time with our 4th and 5th graders talking about how journaling is at the basis of all his success. Jack will also speak to students in the high school.


March 2010 - Vikas Swarup

Vikas Swarup was born in Allahabad (India) in a family of lawyers.

After his schooling, Vikas attended Allahabad University and studied History, Psychology and Philosophy. He also made his mark as a champion debater, winning National level competitions. After graduating with distinction, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986, motivated by an interest in international relations and a desire to explore different cultures.

In his diplomatic career, Vikas has been posted to various countries such as Turkey (1987-1990), the United States (1993-1997) Ethiopia (1997-2000), the United Kingdom (2000-2003) and South Africa (2006-2009). Since August 2009, he is the Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe, Japan.

Mr. Swarup spoke  to an assembly of High School students and then attended a Meet the Author book signing party in the HS Library.


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James Bradley  (April 2010  - High School) 
James Bradley is a well-known author of books that focus on the Pacific arena of World War II. 
Mr Bradely addressed High School students and attended a book signing/party afterwards.

Authors who came in 2009

September 2009 -Courtney Campbell (Grades K-5)


American Courtney Campbell is a master performer and storyteller, writer, singer, songwriter, musician,comedienne, educator and actor. Her work hasinspired a generation of children, teachers and parents.She tours worldwide in schools, theaters, libraries and conferences, giving concerts, keynote speeches and workshops. She stars in the the award winning children's television/DVD series Mustard Pancakes which she co-created and co-wrote. Children Say,” she is really funny and very nice”.  A FOFA grant made Courtney's visit to the ES campus a reality along with support from the ELC PTA.   

Min Jin Lee (February 2009) 

(High School)

Free Food for Millionaires


Min Jin Lee went to Yale College where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She then attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time. She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and her essays have appeared in THE TIMES (London), VOGUE and in the anthologies TO BE REAL and BREEDER. Her debut novel FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a NEW YORK TIMES Editor’s Choice, a WALL STREET JOURNAL Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller.  Min Jee Lee spoke to high school students and also had lunch with the book club.

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Orson Scott Card  April 2009 (Middle School and High School)

Mr. Card conducted a two-day writing workshop for the 9th grade, addressed an assembly of 10th -12th graders, spoke to middle school students, and attended several book club meetings. The visit culminated in a Meet the Author Party and Book Signing.

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Barry Eisler    (May 2009 - High School )


Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.

Barry met with HS students and interested faculty members for a discussion ranging from civil liberties to his famous character, Tokyo assassin John Rain.

Joel Friedrich (May 2009)
Poet Joel Friedrich worked with the HS Poetry Club to create a Renga Chain -  a Japanese collaborative poem using haiku. This was part of a Poetry Club initiative to create school-wide Poetry for Peace.

Poems for Peace from ASIJ

Joel Friedrich, English Language and Literature, received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana. He has published poetry in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, and River Styx. Scholarly interests include creation of identity for speaker and reader in lyric poetry and what that says about distancing in the writing process.

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