School Readings

I am available for school readings and book fair events. This is probably one of my favorite parts of this profession as I love to see the children’s faces light up when I read about Penelope and her adventures on the high seas.

The readings last about 30 minutes and include the following:

  • I come dressed up in my pirate gear which is always a hit as the children think they are meeting a real-life pirate!
  • I use several props such as Penelope’s magical coat tree and a basket of different costumes. I explain that whatever costume we place on the coat tree transforms us into that adventure. We then go through my basket of costumes and decide what Penelope needs if she is going on a pirate adventure.
  • Once we have our appropriate pirate gear on the coat tree, I then read the story. I prefer to use a monitor screen and can send the school the pdf file of the book beforehand. If there is not a monitor available, a simple reading from the book works as well.
  • Other props include a large treasure chest full of pirate booty and a small treasure chest that the children have to help me open. There are three magic words that we have to repeat three times in order to open the chest. The children get a kick out of this as the magic words are: Captain Funny Bones.
  • I can also use the iPad for the reading which has animation and sound effects such as the sea gulls singing and the coins in the treasure chest clinking.
  • After I am finished reading the story, we go through the discussion questions and fun facts at the end of the book. We talk about the story and I ask them questions about Penelope and her friends such as: Does Penelope take all the treasure? I then talk to them about the fun facts about each of the sea creatures in the story.


Lesson Plans according to Common Core Standards:

If teachers are looking conduct a lesson plan centered on the book and app, we have lesson plans that fit the Common Core Standards that were designed by a National Board Certified Teacher. Please see my section called Activities and look for the Parents/Teachers Guides. These four activities and lesson plans are centered on the App and Book and can be used for Grade Level(s): 1-3. These lesson plans cover subjects such as Language Arts, Social Studies and Science.

*This is a unique opportunity to incorporate technology in activity to align with Common Core Standards College and Career Readiness.

Some of the Educational Features include:

*Reading: Improves fluency with highlighted text that corresponds with audio.

*Discussion Questions: Created to increase higher level thinking skills with upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

*Cross Curricular: In addition to literacy, this app/book addresses science and social studies.

*Social Skills: Treating others with kindness and respect.


Book a Reading:

Please contact me if you are interested in a school reading! My rates for a school visit are very reasonable (enough to cover my basic expenses) and I would love to come visit your school. I do ask that the school advertise my visit at least one week to two weeks prior to the reading and send a flyer home with the children. We offer a discount on books ordered before the day of the reading. Here is a sample of the flyer we can provide the school. A Penelope banner and posters are also available to put around the school and a copy of the book will be
before the reading. I am available for book signings after the reading(s).

Melissa Northway has written a very engaging book in Penelope the Purple Pirate.  Melissa came dressed as a pirate and equipped with pirate gear.  The students were so engaged in the story telling and absolutely loved Penelope’s adventures.  We will definitely have her back again. I would highly recommend Penelope!

-Beth Vance, Stonegate Elementary Librarian

“Melissa Northway’s readings of Penelope and the Purple Pirate enchanted our students at Vista Verde.  Her props and costumes brought the adventure alive and left our children wanting for more Penelope.  We are looking forward to her next book in the series.”

-Katrina Terence, Librarian at Vista Verde Elementary School

We were so fortunate to have Melissa Northway personally read “Penelope the Purple Pirate” to our class at Woodland Elementary School.  Miss. Northway’s pirate costume, treasure chest and delightful interaction with the children was an experience they will never forget.  Just reading the children’s thank you cards to Miss. Northway and seeing their illustrations of “Penelope” and her adventures, tells me that it was an incredibly inspiring experience for them all! We look forward to more future visits from Miss. Northway and to many more of Penelope’s Adventures to come.
Thank you Miss. Northway for caring for our young authors and for giving them the hope and inspiration to open their minds, creativity and imaginations!
Gerrette Bitetti
Mother of Domino
Student at Woodland Elementary School

Here’s to a pirate adventure on the high seas!

Vista Verde Elementary School invited me to be their Featured Author for the lower grades during Dr. Seuss Read Across America Week. The children wore purple in honor of Penelope’s favorite color.


This is and example of the flyer we can provide your school for a Penelope reading.