“To say Elly Swartz’s school visit was energizing and engaging would be an understatement.” —Jimmy Sapia, 6th Grade Individuals and Societies Teacher

ELLY SWARTZ is the author of acclaimed contemporary middle grade novels that spark discussion about mental health awareness. Her debut novel, Finding Perfect, was on the Iowa and Kansas state award master lists, named one of the best children’s books on mental health by the Children’s Mind Institute, and won a Nerdy Book Award. It is also a popular selection for school-wide reads. Smart Cookie was an ILA-CBC Children’s Choice and a Triple Crown Award Lamplighter nominee. School Library Journal said Give and Take “may provide comfort and support to readers who have trouble processing their own strong emotions.” Dear Student won the 2023-24 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Secondary Book Award, and was nominated for the 2023-34 Crown Award and Iowa Children’s Choice Award. Elly’s newest novel, Hidden Truths, was called “a warm testament to the healing power of mutual respect—and doughnuts” in a starred review from Kirkus.

Elly grew up in Yardley, Pennsylvania, where she lived a happy childhood filled with laughs, family dinners, and crooked birthday cakes. She studied psychology at Boston University and received a law degree from Georgetown University School of Law. The mother of two grown sons, Elly now lives in Massachusetts with her husband.


About the Visit

Elly loves connecting with kids, and that is never more evident than when she is spending time with them in their school. Her energizing presentations and writing & revising workshops for grades 3 up focus on bravery, identity, empathy, and individuality. Below is a sampling of her offerings, which she is happy to customize based on schools’ needs:

Bravery – Finding Your Inner Superhero: An assembly-style presentation on dreaming big, persevering, and what it truly means to be brave.

Finding Your Voice: An assembly-style presentation on how to find our voice and navigate our anxieties— featuring Elly’s newest book, Dear Student.

Who Are You?: A workshop on identity and empathy.

From an Author’s Notebook: A workshop on revising with purpose.

Let’s Get Real: A writing workshop on finding, creating, and embracing voice.

Whose Got My Back: A workshop on embracing your idiosyncrasies and finding your herd. (this workshop can also be adapted for older classrooms using hashtags, playlists, and/or poetry.)

Elly is also available for Author-in-Residence programs, educator conferences, professional development meetings, and other events.


“During her visit, you could feel her enthusiasm and appreciation. The authentic connections she made with my scholars, not only taking questions about our read aloud, Finding Perfect, but by sitting as a community on our carpet and reading a chapter from the book was appreciated by all students.”—Jimmy Sapia, 6th Grade Individuals and Societies Teacher, Rippowam Middle School, Stamford, CT

“You can tell that Elly loves what she does. You would think my students knew her forever! She was on their level and she truly related to them in person, on Skype, and through her books! We could sit and listen to her for hours! Honestly, one of the best author visits ever!”—Rhonda Jenkins, Library Media Center Director, Kendall Elementary School, Naperville, IL

“Elly Swartz’s message was so on-point for our young children who are experiencing more and more mental health challenges. We so appreciated her speaking openly and honestly about struggles that our kids face. Her messages were genuine, engaging and validating for many of our students and staff.”—Katie See, Principal, Wylie Elementary, Dexter, MI

“Elly’s energy and joy were contagious. She provided a perfect blend of interaction, advice, and stories. Our virtual interactive writing sessions are transforming the way we teach and learn. In our sessions every student was able to interact with Elly and lessons learned will surely stick with our students long after the year is over.”—Patricia Murphy, 5th Grade Teacher, Washington School, Millburn, NJ

“Elly Swartz’s infectious enthusiasm for literacy radiated throughout her presentations. My students were thrilled to hear her stories about books, writing, and life. It truly was an experience they will never forget!”—Nicole Mancini, New Jersey Literacy Association President and 5th Grade Teacher, Bedminster Township School, Bedminster, NJ

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