History-Making Author Visits

With Revolutionary War author Selene Castrovilla

Selene Castrovilla Makes History Come Alive!

Make history your students' favorite subject when you invite award-winning nonfiction picture book author Selene Castrovilla to visit!

Just as the smash Broadway musical HAMILTON brings the American Revolution to life, Selene introduces the key players (as well as some of the hidden figures) and fleshes them out as real people---JUST LIKE US!

In honor of her new book REVOLUTIONARY ROGUES: John André and Benedict Arnold, Selene introduces this new revolutionary program!

Heroes, Villains, Humans:

Why the People in the American Revolution Were Just Like Us

It happened a long time ago, but the American Revolution is easily relatable when we look at the people of the revolution and their motives. We have inventions and technology they lacked, but inside we’re the same. What’s in our hearts never changes.

We will look at the characters and motives of:

George Washington: A man who would not give up. Suffering loss upon loss, he continually found ways to save his army–and ultimately, against all odds– win the war. We will explore lesser known facts and accomplishments of this great man, such as his spying abilities, and the rescuing of every single man from the disasterous Battle of Long Island (our first battle was almost our last!)

The Marquis de Lafayette: A teenager who defied the French king to cross the ocean and fight for us–even though we didn’t even want him! Ultimately, he brought the French in to help us, and he was responsible for the culminating confrontation of the revolution: The Battle of Yorktown. Lafayette was also George Washington's adopted son. We will explore how this unlikely bond occurred, and how it saved our nation.

Alexander Hamilton: He’s become an icon thanks to Broadway, but there’s more to learn about him! We’ll explore his up and down relationship with Washington, and learn about things the play doesn’t cover. You'll be surprised to learn these details!

The Culper Spy Ring: These unsung heroes were responsible for getting Washington the information he needed! Why did they do it? And what exactly did they do?

Benjamin Tallmadge: The most important person you never heard of. Not only the organizer of the Culper Spy Ring, but the man who realized that Benedict Arnold was a traitor. And so much more! We can learn so much about humanity and ourselves through the virtues and actions of this man.

Benedict Arnold: Possibly the most fascinating person in the revolution, because we continue to debate: How did our greatest soldier become our most notorious traitor? A hero and villain wrapped up in one body, Benedict Arnold is a case study in what defines humanity, and why we choose to be good or bad.

John André: Why did all of the Americans cry when this British major was hanged as a spy? The co-conspirator of Benedict Arnold is a tragic figure of the American Revolution, and an example of how our desires can lead to our downfall.

Your students will walk away with a new appreciation and deep understanding of the humanity inside the American Revolution–and they will relate with our history evermore.

Selene Castrovilla's Bio

Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books, young adult novels and women's fiction. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website: www.SeleneCastrovilla.com.

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"Selene Castrovilla is a passionate, engaging author and presenter known for her gripping YA, and informative historical based picture books. She has been referenced by the great Jackie Woodson as, "A writer to watch." I have had the pleasure of watching and learning from Selene at several events. Selene was a featured kid lit rock star at our nErDcampLI, kidlit palooza and at several book events such as Barnes and Noble Teen Festival, and Books of Wonder. Her presentations teach readers and writers of all ages the importance of marrying passion and process in one's writing. Adult learners, students, teachers, all who attend her sessions leave wanting to read and write more.

Selene is knowledgeable and has a sense of humor which together make for a wonderful combination for children. Selene shares her amazing talents and leads students through a variety of writing exercises. She is a mentor author who models and inspires writers of all ages.

The students who work with Selene absolutely adore her. I appreciate Selene sharing her time and talents with the Nerdy on LI community. I am grateful for her energy, humor, and expertise. Without hesitation I would recommend her as a visiting and connected kid lit rock star for students of any age.

JoEllen McCarthy
The Educational Collaborative Book Ambassador

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