When award-winning author, Darleen Bailey Beard, visits your school, your students and teachers will love it. She’s a fun and energetic, seasoned pro who will keep not only your students attention, but also your teachers’ and parents’ attention, as well. She works with students of all ages—pre-k through adult—and often does evening presentations for Title One “Family Reading Nights,” Teacher In-Services, and keynote speaking for association meetings all over the US.

   Darleen’s books include picture books, The Pumpkin Man from Piney Creek, and Twister. Her chapter books include The Flimflam Man, and Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover. Her novels include The Babbs Switch Story and Operation Clean Sweep.
   Darleen has a BA in Professional Writing, 1986, from the University of Oklahoma. Her books have received starred and boxed reviews, Junior Library Guild Selection, Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education, Amelia Bloomer Award, seven state nominations for children’s choice awards, Gamma State Author Award, and the Oklahoma Book Award.

   Her Flimflam Man has been featured on “Discover Oklahoma,” turned into a play by the La Jolla Playhouse in CA, and presented in schools throughout the San Diego area and at San Diego State University. Her Operation Clean Sweep is currently being turned into a play in Umatilla, OR.

   She is a longtime member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and helps with local conferences, both in judging and critiquing manuscripts and speaking. When she’s not on the road speaking or researching a book, she enjoys spending time with her two children, gardening, decorating, reading and traveling. Throughout her writing career, she has received hundreds of fan letters from students and one of her favorites is posted above her computer which simply says: Your heart flows with good stuff!

Selected Reviews of Darleen Bailey Beard’s Books

Operation Clean Sweep
Darleen Bailey Beard
   The year is 1916, and the women of Umatilla, Oregon have had enough–enough of the men that run the city government in Umatilla. Cornelius Sanwick and his pal Otis Gill uncover a plot by the women of Umatilla to secretly run for the city offices up for election. Women were given the right to vote just four years earlier. Cornelius and his pal Otis are caught in a dilemma. Should they tell their dads what the women are up to? Should they just sit by and watch? When Election Day finally arrives what will the boys do? Readers will enjoy the adventures of Cornelius and Otis as they decide what to do about their moms and the other ladies of the community–and their interest in politics. Fiction. Grades 3 and up. 2004, Farrar Straus Giroux, 151p., $16.00. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Jewell Fine (The Lorgnette – Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 17, No. 1)).

The Babbs Switch Story
Darleen Bailey Beard
   Twelve-year-old Ruthie finds that the simple life of 1924 Oklahoma is becoming more complicated by the minute. Although many of her experiences are typical of those who are coming of age, Ruthie’s life is made more complicated by having to deal with the antics of Daphne, her sixteen-year-old sister who has the developmental level of a young child. In this sensitively rendered text, Ruthie experiences conflicted feelings about “daffy Daphne.” Alternately, she recognizes Daphne’s kind spirit, and is embarrassed by her often inappropriate behaviors. When Daphne accidentally kills the pet kitten, and “attacks” a neighbor’s baby, the whole family experiences a sense of ostracism. Ruthie is horrified, and no longer knows how to cope with the challenges of a sister with special needs. It is not until the town faces an imminent tragedy, and Daphne’s life is in danger, that Ruthie recognizes the depth of the loving bond they share. The gentle story is set against the historical background of the tragic Babbs Switch schoolhouse fire, in which dozens of people lost their lives. Readers will empathize with the full range of emotions expressed by Ruthie, and will be challenged to look for a sense of hope, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Category: Dealing with Loss/Historical Fiction. YA–Young Adult. 2002, Farrar Straus Giroux, 166 pp., $16.00. Ages young adult. Reviewer: Patricia Crawford (The ALAN Review, Winter 2002 (Vol. 29, No. 2)).

Darleen Bailey Beard
   Twister is a fiction story that tells the reactions of two children to a storm. The author and illustrator both make the storm seen alive and very real, and the reactions of the characters to the storm make the reader feel that this is a very real event to these characters. The illustrations are very essential to the telling of the story. The colors and facial expressions relate the strong feeling that the storm brings. The book will be a good resource to help explain these storms and how to cope with storms to children. Fiction, Highly Recommended. Grades 2-6. 1999, Farrar Straus Giroux, Unpaged, $16.00. Ages 7 to 12. Reviewer: Janet Eaton (The Lorgnette – Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 12, No. 2)).

Program Details

Darleen will do three or four sessions per day, plus autograph her books. She also enjoys eating lunch with students and teachers, so if you want to host a special luncheon, please do. Her sessions can always be tailor-made just for your event.

  • Author Talks (For all ages 45-60 minutes, for pre-k and 1st grade 20-30 minutes): Darleen discusses her childhood, how terribly shy she used to be, her Band-Aide collection, and the special fifth-grade teacher who changed her life. She does a book talk, current works talk, Q&A, and a slide presentation which shows her personal life, the process a book goes through to become a published book, as well as the pictures she drew and the stories she wrote when she was in elementary school.
  • Hands-on Writing Workshops (For all ages 45-60 minutes. Workshops for teachers can be a half or whole day): Fun, kid-tested, hands-on writing workshops for not only students but teachers, as well. Approximately 30 workshops to choose from, many of which include props, silly costumes, music, and food. All workshops enforce the writing skills which students are required to master in their statewide writing tests: Narrative, Persuasive, Expository, and Descriptive.
  • In-depth Q & A with Poetry Writing (For 3rd grade – adults 20-60 minutes): Darleen answers in-depth questions about what it’s like to be an author–the ups and downs of getting published, how she gets her ideas, behind-the-scene stories about her books, money (you don’t want to be nosy, but you’d really like to know), and shows students how to submit their own writing and art to publishers.
  • Idea Files. How to Jumpstart Story Ideas (For upper elementary students – adults 45-60 minutes): Darleen opens her own personal “idea file” to show the newspapers, photos, travel brochures, magazines, cartoons, and even junk mail she uses to spark ideas for her award-winning books.


In-State (Oklahoma): $850/per day, $500/half-day

Out-of-State: $1,100/per day plus travel expenses.

Additional Information

To learn more about Darleen Bailey Beard and her publications please visit www.darleenbaileybeard.com.