“Mary Casanova’s presentation included every element needed for a perfect school Author Day.” —Lori Dechert, Author Day Committee Chair

MARY CASANOVA is the author of picture books, chapter books, middle-grade, and historical YA novels. Once a reluctant reader, Mary is passionate about writing “stories that matter and books that kids can’t put down.” Her books frequently land on state reading lists and have earned many awards, including the ALA “Notable,” Aesop Accolades by the American Folklore Society, Parent’s Choice “Gold” Award, Booklist Editor’s Choice, and two Minnesota Book Awards.

Many of her books stem from her life on the Minnesota-Canadian border; yet some of her stories have taken her as far away as France, Norway, and Belize for research. The Dog Watch chapter book series is based on her northern Minnesota village where dogs are allowed to roam free—as long as they don’t get in trouble. Mary’s on-site research in Norway led to The Klipfish Code where young readers follow Marit, a 12-year-old Norwegian girl who finds a way to fight against the 5-year Nazi occupation of Norway.

When she’s not on the road for research or speaking, she loves exploring the outdoors in northern Minnesota with her husband, Charlie.


About the Visit

Mary has spoken at hundreds and hundreds of schools with glowing reviews. She believes in the inherent worth of every individual and believes everyone has stories to tell. Around the country and internationally, Mary makes meaningful connections with her audiences. Warm, approachable, and easy-going, Mary is passionate about reading and writing and puts 100% into every program, making each presentation engaging, educational, and fun.

An Author with Writing Tips Teachers LOVE! Mary illuminates the writing process by sharing: 1) the stories behind her stories; 2) writing from experience 3) research as a path to any topic 4) facing and overcoming writer’s block 5) using the five senses 6) creating strong beginnings 7) the necessity of revision . . . and more! When students leave her presentations, they often ask their teacher if they can start writing their own stories. Yes!

One Author for All Students! Mary inspires and motivates audiences of all learning styles and levels. She shares about growing up in a family of ten kids, not feeling heard, and how writing became her “voice.” She shares about her struggles as a can’t-sit-still-reader and how finding the right book made all the difference. She admits to hundreds of rejections along her path to getting published and the importance of working hard and never giving up.

Mary is also available for presentations at educator and librarian conferences.


“The breadth of Mary Casanova’s writing is surpassed only by her warm demeanor and genuine love of kids and teachers. We felt privileged when she agreed to speak at the Literacy in Motion conference … and the response from our audience made it clear she was an excellent choice!”—Steven Layne, PhD, Judson University, Elgin, IL

“The students were so ENGAGED, it was incredibly beneficial. Sometimes the messages we as teachers try to give aren’t received but having another voice (such as Mary’s) can sometimes resonate with our students. She did that yesterday.” —Shawn Bowles, Indus English Department, Indus School, Baudette, MN

“Mary’s ability to interactively engage the students was masterful. Her multi dimensional approach, using an overview of writing basics with an emphasis on the importance of incorporating personal experience and thorough research, was brilliant. Her superb presentation motivates children to develop their writing skills and will inspire them to have a life long love of reading.”—Lori Dechert, Author Day Committee Chair, Ridgeview Elementary School, Granite Bay, CA

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