Simone Elkeles - NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Simone Elkeles - NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Simone Elkeles Books Simone Elkeles Videos Simone Elkeles Events Simone Elkeles Fan Page Simone Elkeles Buy the Books About Simone Elkeles Simone Elkeles Press & Reviews Contact Simone Elkeles
 
PRESS & REVIEWS
PRESS & REVIEWS | Simone Elkeles

 

The buzz from Simone’s talks to schools, libraries, and writing groups

 

“Not only are Simone’s books relatable, (As someone who’s hispanic) they’re really entertaining just like she is! Her presentation was so organized and she took the time to sign and talk to every single person in line. She brings a lot to the table not only as an author, but as an entertaining and inspirational speaker! (: ”
Keren A, Student, Sharyland Pioneer High School

“Simone’s visit was an absolute pleasure. The auditorium was packed with students whom roared with laughter and were captivated by her presentation. Not only did Simone answer any and all questions, but she gleefully met each student for a photo and autograph, offering personal advice for entry into the world of writing. It was a thrilling experience which I feel extremely fortunate to have had!”
Rocio V, Book Club President and student at Sharyland Pioneer High School

“PSJA ISD students and staff enjoyed Simone’s visit to the Rio Grande Valley. She swept our students to read more of her books. She is an excellent author and a great presenter. She captivated our alternative students with amazement. They focused on her presentation like I have never seen before, even the Principal at the campus was fascinated. Thank you, Simone for the great visit and the motivational presentation!”
Nora A. Galvan, MLS, PSJA ISD Library Coordinator

“Simone Elkeles is a ROCKSTAR! Her presentation is fun, sassy and real! Her books are checked out more than any other books our library so it was a dream come true for our students to see her in the flesh! We love her!”
Margie Longoria – Librarian, Mission High School, Mission, TX

“Simone Elkeles is a fantastic speaker. Funny and insightful, Simone really connects with the kids. Our students left both entertained and inspired–exactly as we hoped they would!”
Mary Adams-Legge, Sherando High School, Stephens City, VA

“What Simone did for our students was not only encouraging, but empowering. She went step by step through the process that she goes through when writing a book. It was great to have Simone impress on the students the reasons why research is so important. In today’s world finding quality information is so much more difficult because there is ample information everywhere. Simone is not only funny and witty, but completely down to Earth and honest. Our students were in absolute awe of her. They loved every minute of her time as a Wildcat. Thank you, Simone, for your generosity. Keep up the hard work. Love ya girl!!! <3”
Rebecca Steinbrook, Harrisonville High School, Harrisonville, MO

“Simone Elkeles is a librarian’s dream come true! She writes popular books, she relates well to students, and she wants reluctant readers to come to her events! Shortly after after her presentation to about 400 students, both girls and guys were asking for another book “by that author who was here.” ”
Daniel Russo, LRC Director & District LRC Coordinator, Batavia High School, Batavia, IL

“We were so lucky to have Simone visit Springfield High School. Simone’s presentation was energetic, positive and exciting. Her polished book trailers kept the students in the palm of her hand. Warm and personable Simone gave attention to every student who approached her to sign a book or share a book memory. She left our students wanting to read more and feeling that they had made a friend in her. ”
Jackie Dahmane, Librarian–Springfield High School, Springfield, IL

“Simone Elkeles is the highlight of our annual Lit Fest event for freshmen. She relates so well to students of every background, and her warmth and humor permeate her message. Between her funny and down-to-earth stories and a killer visual presentation, our students were captivated and, by the end of it, inspired.”
Erika Banick, Humanities Chair, Reavis High School

“We were lucky to have Simone Elkeles speak at our school. She was a down-to-earth person and genuinely funny. There was never a dull moment. I would definitely recommend for her to come back.”
Grace K, student, Reavis High School, IL

“I loved hearing her stories. She’s not afraid to tell how she really feels.”
Leena K, student, Reavis High School, IL

“She’s very upfront. She’s not afraid to say what normal people say.”
Kayla S, student, Reavis High School, IL

“She’s amazing and her books are, too!”
Ayah Sheikh, student, Reavis High School, IL

“Her books have a deeper meaning than what people think. ”
Victor L, student, Reavis High School, IL

“Simone’s presentation was both informative and inspiring! The students and staff are still talking about her visit a month later and her books are flying off the library shelves. Simone, thank you for taking the time to visit a small rural high school in southwestern Colorado! ”
Melonie Enstrom, Librarian, Nucla High School, Nucla, CO

“Simone was the best guest speaker we have ever had at our facility! Her comical nature and empathetic wisdom really spoke to the youth, who were engaged the entire time. She even stuck around for a bit, while the kids had lunch, and sat down with them for a chat. It was an experience we will all cherish for the rest of our lives! ”
Traci Schwarz, Language Arts/Special Education Teacher, Colorado Office of Children, Youth & Families

“What a pleasure it is to share details of our visit with Ms. Simone Elkeles! Simone blended warmth, enthusiasm, and inspiration in her presentation to our young aspiring writers at Washington State University. Our students are first-year, first-generation college scholars, many of which are looking for a pathway to a career, hope, and a college degree. The level of (audience) engagement Simone displays is remarkable, and it sort of made me wish some of her “lecturing-spirit” would rub-off on some of our professors, which would surely increase our student retention rates. Simone was impressive, and I am humbled by her obvious personal initiative to inspire people to embrace and pursue those things that fit your professional passion, and more importantly to development a sincere appreciation for the literary arts.”
James M. Bledsoe, Lead Retention Counselor/Success Coach, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

“Very outrageous and hilarious lady, I love her books! I  hope you keep on writing more books because they’re amazing!” – Gina
P.S.  you’re flawless
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“Loved her presentation, had me laughing throughout it all, very entertaining person and overall amazing writer, love her writing, her books are the first books I finished them all, keep writing more books please, your writing is awesome!” -Brenda:)
P.S.  wish I was as lucky to have those 3 good looking guys next to me and even have one say “hola sexy mamacita”
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL


“Very outrageous and hilarious lady, I love her books! I  hope you keep on writing more books because they’re amazing!” – Gina
P.S.  you’re flawless
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“Loved her presentation, had me laughing throughout it all, very entertaining person and overall amazing writer, love her writing, her books are the first books I finished them all, keep writing more books please, your writing is awesome!” -Brenda:)
P.S.  wish I was as lucky to have those 3 good looking guys next to me and even have one say “hola sexy mamacita”
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“Simone Elkeles’ presentation was amazing! I didn’t start reading her until the presentation was over. Let me tell you, I can’t put Perfect Chemistry down. I told my friends and family how funny she was and how much I want to read her books. I love the way she writes her books. I’m so glad I had a chance to listen to this amazing presentation!!”  -Veronica
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“Simone’s presentation was awesome. She was funny and genuine. I loved how she shared her life experiences and talked about how close she is with her fans. I can now say that I’m a huge fan of hers after going to her presentation and having read her book “Leaving Paradise” and I’m on the sequel. I’m so glad I got the chance to see her!”  -Paige
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“Simone Elkeles was perhaps the funniest person whom has ever presented at any school I have been in and I think that that is what made her presentation amazing. She shared a lot about her life and her books and very much so made me want to read them. I loved her presentation a lot and it was an amazing opportunity to hear a famous author speak”.- Christopher
student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
 
“I loved Simone. She’s very funny and open about her life issues. She was very kind while explaining her books to us. I’m so excited to start reading her more. I had a chance to read one but decided to read another (worst mistake ever!) I told everyone about how awesome she was when the presentation was over”.- Emily
Student, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL
  
“As for us here at Mundelein High School, we were so pleased with her ability to connect with all students and to get the entire audience laughing. She is honest, personable and knows teen lives. We couldn’t have been happier with her visit to Mundelein High School.”
Rebecca Plaza, Interim Librarian, Mundelein HS, Mundelein, IL


 “Simpson Academy for Young Women students in our Literature for All of Us program have read Simone’s books, Perfect Chemistry, and Chain Reaction. We were honored to have Ms. Elkeles spend part of an afternoon with us!  Not only is she an amazing author, but she’s also very giving, funny, and down to earth.  Our students were completely engaged and captivated by her presentation.  Her wit, humor, and genuine love for her craft as well as for her readers has created new life-long fans.  Students who had not had the pleasure of reading her books, were clamoring to read them, so much so, that our principal had to promise to purchase more copies of Simone’s books for our library.  We were thrilled to have her speak to us and answer our questions about what it’s like to be an author, where she gets her ideas from, and how she does research for her books.  Students were still talking about how much they enjoyed the event weeks afterward.  Ms. Elkeles not only inspires us to write our own stories, but encourages us to read books that matter to us.  A huge heartfelt thank you Ms. Elkeles for spending time with us!” 
• Genevieve Tueros, Teacher, Simpson Academy for Young Women HS, Chicago, IL

“Funny, kind, engaging, and energetic.  Each of these words describe’s Simone and her visit to WHS.  Holding Simone’s presentation during the last period on a Friday was risky, but Simone’s talk had 600 students sitting entranced for the entire period.  Her presentation was a perfect mix of video, humor, and information, and the students loved her.   What really sets Simone’s visit apart is her kindness to her fans.  Afterwards, she spent over an hour autographing books.  She also gave away free bookmarks, so if students did not have money for a book, they could still get their bookmarks signed.  Even more amazing, Simone agreed to go to our home football game that night after our football players invited her watch them.  We have hosted many authors at my school, but Simone’s presentation was the best.  I highly recommend inviting her to be a speaker.” 
• Kerri Smith, Librarian, Washington High School, Sioux Falls, SD

“Simone was beyond our wildest expectations with her visit.  The students absolutely loved her and enjoyed her presentations. The students were so excited to receive posters and have their books signed. What was really wonderful was she signed each and every book with encouraging words. She was amazing!” 
• Caryn Scimeca, Admistrative Assistant, Library Media Center, Addision Trail High School

“Atlantic Coast students are still talking about Simone Elkeles’ visit last month. Simone’s presentation was engaging, capturing the attention of students who had been just happy to be doing something different but were now fired up about something new. The guys are on wait lists for books they never thought they would read and students who rarely come to the library were in looking for her titles. I had to go out and buy even more titles to meet the demand! For some, the excitement started well before her arrival, with pop-fan like enthusiasm for the author’s visit. The students still believe themselves so lucky to have such an esteemed author of such exciting books come to see them.”
• Cindy Ashley, Media Specialist, Atlantic Coast High School, Jacksonville, FL

“Simone was absolutely amazing! She engaged the students and they were enthralled. Her books have the longest waiting list in my library (despite the 8 copies each we have)! At the end of her presentation, Simone was wonderful and signed books, posters, and took pictures with every student. The kids rushed the stage like she was a rockstar! It was incredible! Thanks Simone- the Tigers L-O-V-E you!”
• Joy Millam, Teacher Librarian, Valencia High School, Placentia, CA

“OMG Thanks for coming all that way just for us. It was like a dream come true for me and my friends. You are great! I love you sooo much, Simone. We all are looking forward to the Wild Card Series.” 
• KT, Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall resident

“The visit was terrific! The kids were so enthralled by the presentation, they didn’t hear the bell ring and stayed an extra 3 minutes after school until they figured out it was time to go home. Simone was so gracious, and stayed until every student who was in line had a chance to talk to her.” 
• Heather Gruenthal, Teacher Librarian, Western High School, Anaheim, CA

“Before Simone’s visit we did heavy promotion, and I had hundreds — yes, more than two hundred– copies of her books in constant circulation.  Her bookcase became empty the first week of school and it is still empty weeks after she came.  Why? The kids love the books, and word of mouth sustained the circulation. But now it is the power of her presence that will keep her books off the shelf.  Her delivery was spot-on, and each joke got a huge reaction from the kids.  By beginning with some book trailer clips that showed the action and sexiness of the stories, she engaged our very visual students from the start. She was able to weave stories about writing, research, and bad cover art throughout a narrative that also included details about the beautiful young people who starred in her trailers– and students listened with rapt attention. This “suburban housewife” had no trouble connecting to youth. They mobbed her like she was a rock-star after her presentation, and she took selfies, listened to personal stories, and generally treated her fans as VIPs. She did morning sessions at my school, and all day long staff was stopping me in the halls to tell me how they had heard from students how great she was. My principal came in to listen “for a few minutes” and sat down and stayed for the whole period– and then the next!  I have been privileged to have some really great authors at my school, some of whom could (barely) match her delivery, but I feel her connection with students was the most personal and authentic I have witnessed. Would have her back in a red hot minute!”
• Melissa Neace, Larkin High School, Elgin, IL 

“Thank you once again for visiting the Huntington Beach High School Library. The students really enjoyed you and we cannot keep your books on the shelves. Your encouragement to students to read and write was greatly appreciated. These students will always remember you and cherish your book. Too bad more authors don’t come and visit schools and encourage students to read and write.” 
Tonie Procter, Library Assistant, Huntington Beach High School, CA

“My students are in awe of Simone. They had been going crazy all week in anticipation for her visit. We planned for 400 students and the tickets were gone in a matter of minutes. When she finished her humorous and informative presentation, she took so much time with each of them to sign autographs, take pictures, and chat. Their excitement was contagious, and it spread throughout the entire school by the end of the day. I cracked up at some of my students who had Simone sign their arms. Bookmarks, posters, and paperbacks, okay. But body parts. Lol. One girl asked Simone to sign the back of her jean jacket. It looked awesome. One student was even in tears. It reminded me of a boy band concert. Haha. Simone definitely created readers out of so many students who would’ve never picked up a book before, but they saw the cover of Perfect Chemistry and were intrigued. She created a culture of reading on our campus long before she even arrived, and I’m sure many more will be joining in on the ready frenzy for months to come because of her positive, funny, honest, and meaningful talk. You would think the excitement would have dissipated a bit over the weekend, but the halls are still filled with talk about Simone’s visit, and many students have shared they have listed all of her books on their Christmas lists this year. How cute is that?”
Julie Prestater, Reading Teacher, Chaffey High School, Ontario, CA

“Simone Elkeles was the first best-selling author ever to visit our high school.  This visit helped to set up a rewarding collaboration between the high school and the alternative school by buying and reading Perfect Chemistry and inviting the students to listen and converse with her.  I must say my biggest surprise was how she grabbed the attention of our non-readers—especially the guys!  Her books are flying off our shelves and our holds list is still growing even months after her visit. Teens love her in-your-face honesty and she gave them that and more!”

• Becky Robinson, Library Media Specialist, Galesburg High School, Galesburg, IL

“Simone Elkeles was a very friendly and lively person. I could not have had anymore more fun speaking with her. Questions were asked and answered in a friendly manner that it was not a boring time at all. We were shown pictures, videos, and talked of what were the plans for the future of her incredible series, ‘Perfect Chemistry’. Most of us were shy when first walking into the library for the presentation, being fans of her series, but by the end of it we did not want to go back to class. I definitely wish all authors were like her. We also got new information regarding a new series the author is working on that we all look forward to reading. Listening to her stories and experiences were just an inspiring tale to listen to. I thank her very much for taking time to share a laugh with us and wish her the best of luck in everything.”

• Gladys Barriere, student, Sun Valley High School, Sun Valley, CA

“To showcase a young adult book for our Bensenville Reads! program was a bit of a risk but the reaction to Perfect Chemistry by all ages was fabulous. Better yet was the response to Simone Elkeles as she shared her passion for writing “real” stories with hundreds of students, and to an audience that ranged from 12 – 72 – a total hit!” 
Jill Rodriguez, Director, Bensenville Community Public Library, IL

“Thanks for such a great presentation! It was a combination of everything you’d want in an author visit. Simone was informative, engaging and funny! Students and teachers are still talking about it and the few books we had left in the library that weren’t checked out before the visit have flown off the shelves. A big thank you from the teachers, students and creative writing classes at WWSHS!”
Cathy Jaeger, Library Director, Wheaton-Warrenville High School, Wheaton-Warrenville, IL

 

<< back to the top >>

 

“Simone Elkeles is the 10th author I have had come to my high school on the Texas-Mexico border. Simone rocked the house! She had the 200 some odd kids in every session at my library eating out of the “pages of her books,” if you will. But what really set this visit apart for me, as the librarian, is the connection she made with one of our gang members. On the day of Simone’s visit we had a female gang member assigned to stay with us in the library to keep her from causing trouble (few of her fellow gang members were thought likely to find her in the library). Before Simone’s first session, I told her she could sit and listen if she wanted too. She cocked her head, raised one eye brow and shared a few “choice” words with me about how she wasn’t going to waste her time listening to that “gringa.” Ten minutes into Simone’s presentation, she must have changed her mind because she walked over, sat down in the audience and didn’t move from that spot for the rest of the day. She even had the courage to ask Simone for a copy of her books and a signed poster. Simone’s connection with that one girl made it a great day to be a librarian.” 
Renee Dyer, Librarian, Weslaco East High School, Weslaco, TX

“Author Day 2011 at Detroit Public Library was “slamming” this year! Ms. Elkeles came out with those totally cool videos to depict her books. The young adults were engaged, enthusiastic and wowed by the messages in the videos, on point and powerful. I heard statements like, “That’s the best Author Day presentation I’ve seen!”; “Perfect Chemistry is the best book I’ve ever read!” Yes, it was truly ‘perfect chemistry’ between Ms. Elkeles and the young adults of Detroit Public Schools! It was definitely a winning experience all around for students, teachers and Detroit Public Library. Thank you Simone Elkeles!” 
Linda Curvey-Brown, Author Day Chairwoman, 2011, Detroit Public Library

“Simone’s workshop created a buzz at WisRWA’s 2011 Write Touch Conference even before she finished speaking. Attendees were drawn in by her vivacious and energetic presentation – and pulled in by others from the hall with a “you can’t miss this” excitement. Simone’s raw candor and self-effacing tales of her own experience towards publication and hitting the NYT Bestseller list were a riveting and motivational rush for everyone in the audience. Definitely a huge recommendation to liven up any conference!” 
• Betsy Norman, WisRWA 2010/2011 Write Touch Conference Coordinator, “Love is Brewing in Milwaukee” wisrwa.org

“I want to thank you again for visiting our school and speaking to some of our students. Everyone enjoyed your presentation. All of your books have been in constant demand since your visit. There is a long waiting list for PERFECT CHEMISTY and LEAVING PARADISE. I have purchased extra copies to meet the demand. I’m afraid several of my copies have found new homes. You have a great talent for humor and the teenage mind.”  
Sandy Parker, Media Specialist, Fort Dorchester High School, North Charleston, SC

“Thanks for visiting our Fremdland’s Writers Week XV. You were one of the best visiting writers because you understand the teenage mind, and your jokes were chucklish. (And you inspired us to create new words!) PS. ¡Es un libro!  PPS. It’s a book!” 
Mr. Gary Anderson’s 4th Period English Class, William Fremd High School, Palatine, Illinois

“Thanks to you we have been receiving many compliments from those that attended our Literary Magazine Conference. Everyone enjoyed meeting you and had fun listening to your presentation. Thanks again!”
Dan O’Byrn, Alan B. Shepard High School, Palos Heights, IL

“When I heard that Simone Elkeles was coming to Ridgewood H.S., immediately my head was filled with all the questions I knew I wanted to ask. I had already read two of her amazing books, Leaving Paradise, and my personal favorite, Perfect Chemistry. I had fallen in love with her writing because it was so easy, fun, and relative to my life as the average American teenager. After her comical, eccentric, and rather creative presentation, I had a few words with the author myself, for I share the same passion for writing. All in all, my peers and I loved hearing from Simone as much as we love reading her books. I look forward to meeting Ms. Elkeles again someday as a writer myself.” 
Robert J. Quagliato, student, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, IL

“Thank you so much for helping make Focus 2009 a resounding success! Your presentation was a big hit with the students, not only for the passion and humor you brought along but also for drawing us such an honest and funny picture of the writer’s life.”   
Marie-Andree Laberge, Chair, Creative Writing Committee, Focus on the Arts 2009 at Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL

“Simone was a fantastic speaker and connected with the students at their level. At the same time, our staff and administration was also pleased with Simone’s ability to keep our students engaged and her adaptability between our two, age-defined campuses. The students were eager to hear her continue speaking even after the period ended (we went nearly ten minutes late before we realized it was the next period and the bell hadn’t rung in the auditorium!). They were energized and empowered by the presentation and still, one month later, only three of our thirteen copies of Perfect Chemistry and one of our four Wild Cards is available for checkout. We had a fantastic experience with Simone that made a lasting impression on our students and staff.”
 Jen Sutton, Teacher Librarian, Lake Park High School, Roselle, IL

 

<< back to the top >>

 

“Thank you…thank you…thank you…What a buzz we STILL have in the air here in South Carolina! Our students can’t say enough about your novels.  You left a lasting impression with our at-risk youth and made a difference here at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Wow – this new energy is powerful and amazing, especially when you see students pick up a book for the first time and really enjoy it page after page! Thank you again.”
Pamela Lynn Childress-Altman, Lead Teacher, SC Department of Juvenile Justice – Coastal Evaluation Center, Ridgeville, SC

“The presentation you gave has had an enormous impact on our students at the Coastal Evaluation Center. One of our reluctant readers announced during social studies that he finished the book on the evening following your visit. It is not often that an author will take the time to visit a juvenile correctional facility and spend the amount of time with at-risk students that you were willing to spend.  I believe that personal connection with our kids has made a lasting impression, and fostered a new willingness to read and complete a novel. Again, thank you for sharing your wit, knowledge, and concern for our at-risk students in South Carolina. Our students, teaching staff, and institutional staff appreciate your visit. It will not soon be forgotten.”
Michael “Tony” Martin, Teacher, SC Department of Juvenile Justice – Coastal Evaluation Center, Ridgeville, SC

“Simone Elkeles completely ROCKED two of the most challenging audiences any speaker will ever have to face. She came to Charleston , SC in January 2009 and spoke to over 100 incarcerated teens at the Department of Juvenile Justice – Coastal Evaluation Center and about 25 teens at the Carolina Youth Development Center. I have never seen them pay such rapt attention to anyone. I know she inspired more than one to start writing. These kids are in pretty tough situations, and she gave them exactly what they needed: a chance to laugh, extra attention, and hope. Oh, and by the way, she’s hilarious. I saw the presentation three times and was still laughing when it was over. When I say I was extremely impressed with her stage presence and comedic timing, you should probably also know that my degree is in Theatre Performance and I’m kind of a snob about it. Anyway, enough rambling. If you want a mind-blowingly awesome presentation for your teens, get Simone to come to your school or library as soon as possible! (If you want a boring presentation…find someone else.) What are you waiting for? Email her now!”
Melissa Hermann, Young Adult Services, Charleston County Public Library, Charleston, SC

“All of my afternoon classes wanted to talk about your presentation, and your books flew off the shelf once again. I had a teacher tell me she couldn’t believe how attentive the entire student body was while you were speaking as that rarely happens during an assembly. As far as the small group of students you spoke with in the library, well, what can I say, you really impacted their school experience in a unique and positive way. Thank you so much for having such a profound impact on our school.”
Amy Magnafichi-Lucas, English Department Chair, Midland High School, Varna, IL

“Thank you so very much for visiting Reilly school today!  I already have received several emails from 4th-8th grade teachers telling me how wonderful your presentation was and how excited their students were to hear you speak and how the students really want to read your books!  “
Erin E. Wengerhoff, Branch Librarian, Reilly Elementary School, Chicago, IL

“Simone Elkeles was the new student favorite at this year’s Write Now! Aspiring Author Workshop. Her levels of energy and enthusiasm were through the roof! She skillfully uses humor to reach students on their level and gives them concrete examples and real solutions for fiction writing and dialogue problems. Hurry and sign her up to come to your school any day except May 6, 2009; the CHS Write Now! student staff members already know she’ll be invited back next year!”
Charmaine Wierzbicki, Collage and Write Now! Sponsor, Calumet High School, Gary, IN

“Simone, a graduate from Gemini Junior High School, came back with a BANG! Warmly received by teachers and students, her gift to excite children and inspire teachers is a big boost to reading and language arts.”
John McLaughlin, Gemini Junior High School, Niles, IL

“We loved Simone’s presentation. Her talk was great for the teens (and the adults, too) – very humorous and engaging. Just fabulous!” 
Randi Carreno, Teen Librarian, Fountaindale Public Library District, Romeoville, IL

“Simone visited Harmony Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas and spoke with nearly 200 students. As their English teacher, I can say that she inspired our students to read and write. After hearing her speak, I too was inspired to write and have since begun my first novel. She is incredible!”
Brian Bolinger, English Teacher, Harmony Middle School , Overland Park, KS

“Simone’s energy and humor are contagious! She has a way of relating to the teens that I, as a teacher, envy! After her presentation all I heard from the students was “Wasn’t she fun!” and “I can’t wait to read her books!” 
Tracey Contino, English Teacher, Oswego High School, IL

 

<< back to the top >>

 

“What a wonderful day we all had! Both the teachers and students cannot stop raving about your presentation and your dynamic personality. This is really the first time we, as an English department, have done anything like this. Our principal was so pleased that he is asking what we are “plotting” next. (One of our special needs teachers brought all of her classes in the afternoon. She wanted me to let you know how great it was to have the special needs kids hear you too; they loved it.)
• Pam LeBlang, English Department, Springfield High School, IL

“Simone Elkeles gave a riveting presentation that not only held our creative student writers’ attention, but moved them to think outside the box in their own novel and poetry writing. An awesome session and one not to be missed.”
• Paulette Goodman, Librarian, Kennedy Junior High School, Naperville District #203, IL

“Energetic, interactive, and entertaining for high school students that are not easily entertained!”
• Rachel Lesinski, English teacher, Grayslake Central High School“Simone held the attention of over 150 junior high students! She has a gift for using humor and great stories to capture her audience. We would enjoy having her come again.”
• Amy Alessio, Young Adult Librarian, Schaumburg Public Library

“What a hit! The kids loved your presentation and I had students come and ask if you were speaking again later in the day because they heard it was so good!” 
• Sally Sigan, English teacher, Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, IL

“Simone led a lively discussion of her book Leaving Paradise and enthusiastically shared her thoughts on writing and the creative process with a group of nine teen boys from the Hulse Juvenile Detention Center in Vernon Hills. Like Caleb Becker in Leaving Paradise, these young men have had to deal with the serious consequences of their actions. It was remarkable to watch them share their opinions, feelings and ideas with Simone who put them at ease with her warmth and humor.” 
• Gina Sheade, Adult Services Librarian, Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire, IL 

“The students in our high school really enjoyed your presentation during Teen Read Week. You certainly stayed true to the theme, “LOL @ your library!” You were definitely prepared for your high-school audience and did a great job of connecting with them. Your books are flying off our shelves. Thank you.” 
• Yvonne Mullins, Director, Library Media Center, Hinsdale South High School, Darien, IL

“Lively and passionate, Simone easily entertained students and staff with her stories and photos. Her visit was a great way to bring her books to life. After hearing Simone speak, students couldn’t wait to check out her books. Leaving Paradise was an instant hit, we can’t keep it on our shelves.”
• Ellen Lawrence, Media Specialist, Hinsdale South High School, Darien, IL

“Simone is wonderfully witty and engaging. Our 7th and 8th graders were totally captivated for an hour. That is the ultimate approval!” 
• Renee Krauss, English teacher, Sinai Akiba Academy, Los Angeles, CA

“Our BBYO and Chai High students ate Simone up. Not only is she charming, hilarious, extremely accessible, and great in front of a crowd – she wrote a great book. I believe she is going to be one of the great YA writers of our time.”
• Micah Eckman, Director of Cultural Arts, Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio, TX

“Our 8th graders thoroughly enjoyed Simone Elkeles’ day with us. She has a special captivating talent, relating to her audience with humor and reality. Simone talks their language!”
(This is an email forwarded from one of the teachers at Fremont Middle School to the librarian: FYI- after school, I heard some 8th grade girls talking in the hall. They were commenting on how cool the author talk was. Good choice! Thanks for doing it.)
• Trudi Snavely, Librarian, Fremont Middle School, Mundelein, IL

 

<< back to the top >>

 

“Simone spoke to our entire classes about her books, the writing process, and her experiences which led to her novels. The kids loved her and want her back!”
• Laura Rushakoff, teacher, Solomon Schechter Day School, Northbrook, IL

“Simone spoke with 180 upper school students and they enjoyed her presentation because she has their dialogue, interests, and idiosyncrasies down pat. Simone is really in touch with her YA audience!” 
• Jennifer Burrell, Emery Weiner School, Houston, TX

“My creative writing English class really enjoyed her presentation on writing teen novels. It was both funny and educational.”
• Eliot Hurtig, English teacher, Deerfield High School, Deerfield, IL

“Thank you so much for the wonderful book discussion. Please send me some info in digital form that I can send out to my librarian friends because I want to spread the word to my colleagues about you and your books!” 
• Merrilee Andersen Kwielford, Maine East High School, Des Plaines, IL

“Simone, can you come back every year and speak to our students?” 
• Renee Fremond-Woods, English teacher, Aptakisic Jr. High School, Buffalo Grove, IL

“Simone gave a wonderful book talk at our school. She grabbed the attention of all our students with her interesting presentation. Comments from students were extremely positive. Simone receives an outstanding rating from me!” 
• Rita Dessner, Aptakisic Junior High 7th grade teacher, Buffalo Grove, IL

“Simone’s presentation was half book talk, half pep talk! The audience – comprised of freshmen through seniors (including some of our most reluctant readers) – laughed with Simone as she shared her personal story and the genesis of her heroine. This visit will be the catalyst for many to find their own voice and publish.” 
• Mary Howard, English teacher, Hinsdale South High School, Darien, IL

“Our students met and enjoyed Simone as her star is on the rise!” 
• Monica Tolva, Librarian, Vernon Hills High School, Vernon Hills, Illinois

“Simone’s presentation was as lively and personable as her writing. The students listened, laughed and responded with interest and questions. Better still, they continue to read, discuss and request her books.” 
• Kathleen Krepps, Library Director, Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, IL

“You are a real firecracker and presented so much information I filled three pages with notes!”
• Mary Beth Schewitz, Program coordinator, Off Campus Writers Workshop

“Simone is a generous, engaging speaker. We felt re-energized by her passion for the writing process, edified by her perspectives on the profession, and delighted by her joie de vivre. Her presentation was “edu-tainment” at its best. Don’t miss her talk!”
• Anne Lum and Ann Smitherman, Silicon Valley Romance Writers of America

“I remembered how much I loved writing when I first started, which had faded a bit when life’s distractions pulled at me. I learned so much at your workshop and got inspired to write all over again.”

“A LOT of useful info! I feel like I have goals for my writing now. Thanks, Simone!”

“Dynamic presenter with a ton of useful info. Loved it!”

“I learned more here than in the average year.”

“Simone should moonlight as a stand-up comedienne. She’s hilarious!”

 

 

<< back to the top >>

 

Comments are closed.