Interacting with young writers in Arkansas

Signing the "Author Wall" at the Haggerty School, Cambridge, MA

A book store signing for The Sherlock Files

With Kristin Tubb at the Southern Festival of Books, before our historical-fiction panel

For Teachers and Media Specialists


Tracy Barrett was a pleasure to work with. Our students read The 100-Year-Old Secret as part of a One Book/​One School program. They were extremely excited to meet the author! Her assembly about the writing process gave students an idea on how to begin writing and how to keep writing, even when discouraged. She accommodated our every request and was very gracious throughout the process. We encourage anyone to have her visit their school—she is a wonderful author and a precious human being!
—Joanne Jachimiec, Nancy Young Elementary School, Aurora, IL


Resources and information

We all know that many readers turn into non-readers in middle school. Here are some tips to help keep them reading.

At St. Luke's School in Oviedo, Florida

I love to visit schools and libraries, and to speak at writers' conferences. For rates and availability, please write to me through the contact page. Information on how to find funding: here and here. Alexis O'Neill of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has excellent advice on how to prepare for a school or library visit, and here's some great advice from a librarian, including how to fund the visit and how to prepare the students.

Five Reasons Why Kids Should Meet One of Their Favorite Authors

Some easy ways to find an author or illustrator near you: the Speakers Bureau of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and author Kim Norman's state-by-state guide to children's authors who do presentations.

Kim Norman's terrific post "Tips for a successful author school visit" will help prepare everyone for a great day.

For further information on me and my books, a sample contract, book-order forms, and more, please write to me through the contact page.

Tracy Barrett['s] . . . program was delightful, as was her interaction with the students and staff.
There were approximately 250 4th and 5th graders in the large-group presentation, and Tracy held their attention beautifully. She also spent time autographing books and visiting classrooms to chat with students and teachers. She handled each setting and situation with flexibility, humor, and grace.
Tracy was very well-prepared, having carefully worked out the details of her visit with me ahead of time. It was a pleasure working with her. Her visit to our school was a truly memorable experience for our students and staff.
–Mrs. Susan Schulert, Librarian/​Media Specialist, Mt. Juliet Elementary School, Mt. Juliet, TN


With IRA co-panelists Rebecca Barnhouse and Ruta Sepetys at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL


Now available for virtual visits!

See this article in Education Week about the benefits and popularity of virtual school visits.

I enjoy communicating with my readers and answer all emails sent to me through the contact page. Minors must use a parent or guardian's email account. They may use their own only if a parent or guardian has access to it. (Please remind your kids that they should never communicate with an adult, even an author who has visited their school, without your knowledge and supervision!)

Most of my novels and some of my nonfiction works have been designated as AR books, and Lexile scores have been calculated for all my novels and one nonfiction book.

Our students had a wonderful author experience with Tracy. The school media specialist held a "book tasting" before Tracy’s visit, which helped familiarize the students with the author’s work and build excitement. After Tracy’s presentation, the students were eager to get their books signed and to take photos with her. She was very patient with everyone, and she answered all of the students' questions. Her kindness, talent, and capability made for a great event!
–Joanna Roberts, Teen Librarian, Nashville, TN Public Library


Materials for Teachers

I've created class activities (see downloads and links below) for most of my novels. This material is copyrighted, but teachers and media specialists may make enough copies for classroom use with students without permission. Please write to me via the contact page for permission to use it in any other way.

I would appreciate feedback and suggestions for more activities. Please note that I did not write, commission, or have any input into the curriculum guide or trivia quiz for Anna of Byzantium, or the materials about On Etruscan Time listed on that book's review page.



The Song of Orpheus


We are so fortunate in Nashville to live in such a literary town, and that includes local author Tracy Barrett! She came to speak about The Song of Orpheus to our 6th graders just as they were preparing to study Ancient Greece. They love myths, and I watched some students who were literally on the edge of their seats, Tracy was so engaging. The students were intrigued by the inspiration for the obscure myths included in the book as well as learning about her writing process. Tracy was so easy to work with and made herself accessible by being prepared with a writing activity and offering a followup Skype session with students. Grateful we had the opportunity to host her!
–Robin Coutras, Rose Park Elementary School, Nashville, TN

Researchers in the UK are investigating the benefits to children on the autism spectrum of studying ancient myths. Read about it here.



The Stepsister's Tale


Essay and project ideas for The Stepsister's Tale.



Dark of the Moon


A wealth of information about Classical Girls.

A short video 3D reconstruction of the Palace of Knossos, where Ariadne and the Minotaur lived. And a slightly longer one.

A short video showing an imaginative reconstruction of life in Minoan society, including bull-leaping and the explosion of the volcano-island of Thira.

Scholars think that ancient Greeks might have been inspired by two different locations on the island of Crete to come up with the idea of a labyrinth.

Did the ancient Greeks and their neighbors practice human sacrifice? Some evidence suggests they might have, and it might have been during a shamanistic ritual, as in Dark of the Moon.



King of Ithaka


A live-action trailer made by a film student!

Scholars debate about whether there ever was a Trojan War, and if so, when it took place. Some scientists use astronomy to find an answer.

Have archaeologists discovered remains of the palace of Odysseus? Some people think so!

Even some of the most fantastical parts of ancient epics often have some basis in fact. What could possible be fact-based about the witch Circe turning men into pigs, a famous episode in Homer's Odyssey? Find out here!

A fascinating article about the discovery and excavation of a Mycenean Greek tomb, from around the time in which the Iliad and the Odyssey are set, from Smithsonian.com. Long and detailed, but not hard to follow.

For the Greeks, few of whom-—like most ancient people—ever ventured far from home, the Trojan War must have seemed like a world war. Here's a map showing where the main characters mentioned in the Iliad came from.



Anna of Byzantium


A trivia quiz for Anna of Byzantium.

Also see the booktalk guide for Anna of Byzantium in Lucy Schall's Booktalks and More: Motivating Teens to Read, pp. 196-198.



The Sherlock Files


A very creative school-created video for The 100-Year-Old Secret, and another one from Xena's point of view.


A terrific workshop for young writers on writing mysteries by the great Joan Lowery Nixon.



Cold in Summer and On Etruscan Time


Selected works
Click on a title for reviews and more information!

Fiction
Marabel must make her own fate in this funny, heartfelt, and delightfully feminist romp through fantasy and fairy-tale conventions.
Ever since Clancy's mother died in a skydiving accident, her father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad's rules and her boyfriend's protectiveness, she's longing for an escape.
Sometimes you don't know what really happened until you hear the other side of the story.
This tale of love, faith, and betrayal retells the myth of the minotaur as never before.
Homer's Odyssey as told by Telemachos, the son of Odysseus
Book 1 of The Sherlock Files
Book 2 of The Sherlock Files
Book 3 of The Sherlock Files
Book 4 of The Sherlock Files
Will Hector be able to right an ancient wrong?
Is helping a mysterious new friend worth the risk?
Intrigue in the world of medieval Byzantium
Nonfiction
Seventeen little-known Greek myths, retold with humor, suspense, and authority
A lively history of the people, culture, and achievements of ancient Greece.