School visits
Kashmira at a school visit

Teacher and students dressed in
Indian clothes

I do school visits, present at teachers' and librarians' conferences, and participate on various panels to discuss different aspects of children's literature.

Since I write everything from picture books to young adult novels, I offer a variety of programs for school visits, using different books for different age groups.


Student letter and drawing of a heart

Grade: Kindergarten to Grade 3

Books: My Dadima Wears a Sari and Monsoon Afternoon


Grades: 4 to 8

Books: Blue Jasmine, Boys without Names, Keeping Corner and Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet

For all the programs, I will also discuss my work in progress. At this point I have two picture books under contract, one young adult novel I'm working on, and an early chapter book that has an offer from a publisher.


Here are some presentations that I have given at various teacher and librarian conferences in the past.



"NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION"

There exist many challenges in melding multiple cultural, linguistic, and historical backgrounds into one cohesive work. I will discuss the writing process I follow and the solutions I employ to meet this challenge and to create a story that resonates with readers.



school visits

Students from Corse Elementary, Burlington, Iowa

THE FIRST NOVEL, HOW I BEGAN

First novels are often autobiographical in nature. Blue Jasmine is a fictional tale with core emotions from my own journey. I will read from it and talk about how I have blended a young girl's story with my own.



IMPORTANCE OF GROWING DIVERSITY

Our country of immigrants is rich, unique, and quickly changing. Keeping in mind that the literature is a mirror as well as a critique of society, I will discuss my stories set in other cultures and time not only as exotic pieces but also as a reflection of every person's journey.



For availability and fees please email me at ksheth@tds.net with "school visit" in the subject.


The No-Dogs-Allowed Rule

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The No-Dogs-Allowed Rule

Teaching themes:

  • Read from the book
  • Talk about what Ishan desperately wants and how he tries to achieve that
  • Talk about pets and why we want them
  • Talk about how Ishan’s good ideas lead to troubles
  • Learn to count 1-10 in Hindi
  • Discuss getting ideas for stories, writing, and revising
  • Question and answer session

Location of setting: USA

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist:: Ishan Mehra, 8 years, male, Indian American

Age of other significant character: Brother (Sunil) 9 years, Mom, Dad, neighbors, Ishan's friend, Alex

Central themes: Family, pets, sibling relationship, culture, and immigration

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My Dadima Wears a Sari

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My Dadima Wears a Sari

Teaching themes:

  • Read from the book and talk about the illustrations
  • Talk about the special bond Rupa and Neha has with their dadima (grandmother)
  • Show a six-yard sari and other traditional Indian clothes
  • Demonstrate sari wrapping
  • Have half-saris for young girls and an outfit for boys to try on
  • Learn to count 1-10 in Hindi and/or Gujarati
  • Discuss getting ideas for stories, writing, and revising
  • Question and answer session

Location of setting: USA

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: (Name Rupa) 8 years, female, Indian American

Age of other significant character: sister 5 years
Grandmother, mother.

Central themes: Family, intergenerational relationship, culture, and immigration

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Monsoon Afternoon

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Monsoon Afternoon

Teaching themes:

  • Read from the book and talk about the illustrations
  • Talk about the little boy's adventure with his dadaji
  • Show three kinds of boat that are mentioned in the book
  • Teach students how to fold one of the boats
  • Talk about monsoon season in South East Asia
  • Discuss getting ideas, writing, and revising
  • Discuss special bond between grandparent and grandchildren
  • Question and answer session

Location of setting: India

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: 7 years, male, Indian

Age of other significant character: Grandfather and grandmother

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Blue Jasmine

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Blue Jasmine

Teaching themes:

  • Read an excerpt part from the book
  • Discuss how Seema feels about her move from one country to another, from one culture to another
  • Magic of turning a new place into home for Seema and the power of friendship
  • Talk about immigration, bullying, fitting in etc.
  • Talk about the process of writing, (story arc, character development, pacing, voice, metaphors) revising, rewriting, publishing, and jacket art etc.

Blue Jasmine Discussion Guide

Location of setting: Vishanagar, India and Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: Twelve-year old Seema Trivedi, Indian girl

Age of other significant character: Raju 12, Mukta 12, Mela 4

Central themes: Immigration, adjusting to new place, friendship, family, bullying

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Boys without Names

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Boys Without Names

Teaching themes:

  • Read an excerpt part from the book
  • Talk about Gopal and his life in the village verses his life in the city
  • Talk about the power of sharing stories in creating a bond between the boys
  • Talk about the title of the book
  • Discuss the cycle of poverty and the unfairness of child labor
  • Talk about research, writing, (story arc, character development, pacing, voice, bringing the place alive) revising, rewriting, publishing, and jacket art etc.

Boys without Names Discussion Guide

Location of setting: A small village and Mumbai, India

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: Eleven-year old Gopal, Indian boy

Age of other significant character: Naren and Sita, 6, Amar, Sahil, Kabir, Barish, and Roshan are between ages 7 to13

Central themes: Family, poverty, child labor, storytelling, friendship, trust

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Keeping Corner

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Keeping Corner

Teaching themes:

  • Read an excerpt part from the book
  • Discuss the historical aspect of the story (set in 1918) and life for Leela and other girls in that time period
  • Discuss the inequality and injustice that Leela has to endure
  • Talk about Gandhi and the Satayagrah movement and how it changed and inspired the entire nation and beyond
  • Talk about research, writing a historical fiction novel, (story arc, character development, pacing, voice, time-line) revising, rewriting, publishing, and jacket art etc.

Keeping Corner Discussion Guide

Location of setting: Jamlee, India

Time Period: 1917-1918

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: Twelve-year old Leela, Indian girl

Age of other significant character: Kanubhai 21, Saviben a teacher

Central themes: Coming-of-age, sibling relationship, education, tradition, widows, inequality, justice

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Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet

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Teaching themes:

  • Read an excerpt part from the book
  • Talk about Jeeta and her life in the city
  • Talk about the family relationships, especially between Jeeta and her mother and her sisters
  • Talk about the metaphors in the title and throughout the book
  • Discuss the tradition of arranged marriages
  • Talk about research, writing, (story arc, character development, pacing, voice, bringing the place alive) revising, rewriting, publishing, and jacket art etc.

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet Discussion Guide

Location of setting: Mumbai (Bombay), India

Time Period: Contemporary

Age, gender and ethnicity of protagonist: Sixteen-year old Jeeta Parekh, Indian girl

Age of other significant character: Mohini 19, Nimita 21 Sarina 16, Neel 17

Central themes: Coming-of-age, family, traditions, friendship, love, humor

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flower

For availability and fees please email me at ksheth@tds.net with "school visit" in the subject.


virtual visits

I also do Virtual Visits.



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