Alyson is the author of critically acclaimed middle grade novels Braced, Focused, and Taking Up Space. She writes #ownvoices stories, which means that her books are based on her lived experience, wearing a back brace for 2.5 years to treat her scoliosis, having undiagnosed ADHD and now managing her disability, and struggling with food, body image, and self-worth.
Since Braced was published, Alyson has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at public and private schools around the country, at the URJ Biennial, the American Library Association conference, National Council of Teachers of English conference, as well as at JCCs, synagogues, hospitals, and nonprofits.
Her presentations are interactive and engaging, even when they are virtual. They are designed for adults of every age as well as kids 8 and up and people of all genders.
Alyson started writing as part of therapy. The first thing she wrote about was being seven and standing in her underwear while a team of orthopedic surgeons looked at her and talked about all the “problems” with her body. From there, she uncovered how her scoliosis, undiagnosed ADHD, and disordered eating made me feel like she had no value.
Alyson writes books for young readers, because kids today are in pain, too, like she was. They need to know they matter. She wants them to know they are not alone.
When adults take the time to read books that center kids in the story, they show young people that they matter and they’re important.
Her presentations will start important conversations. By modeling her own openness she shows kids and adults how they can self-advocate and be brave.
To schedule an author visit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“From start to finish, Alyson had the students on the edge of their seats. They were riveted by her and felt comfortable sharing their own personal experiences, journeys and struggles. By the time their program with Alyson was over, it was clear she’d helped them tap into a new level of personal empathy that will inform the way they treat others and themselves going forward. Parents and other visiting adults were inspired by her story and presence. Alyson is dynamic, sensitive, and more than capable of holding very inspirational and high-level discussions among students of all ages. We can’t wait to welcome her back to our school next year.” — Stephanie Tankel, Director of Education, Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C.
“Alyson’s visit mesmerized our middle school students. They could relate to her story, the challenges she faced, and how she eventually found her voice as a writer. Many of our students face their own learning challenges—Alyson’s presentation made them feel heard and respected. She inspired them to share their own stories and allow their challenges to become their strengths. We all enjoyed her visit at our school and look forward to reading more of Alyson’s books in the future. We highly recommend having her present at your school or institution.” — Ruta Puskorius, Digital Literacy Coordinator, McLean School
“Temple Shalom was thrilled to welcome author Alyson Gerber to our community. Alyson seamlessly understood the mindsets, challenges and sensitivities of our young people and created an inspiring and deep learning experience for them about friendship, inclusion, and difference. She created a safe environment for parents and young teens to share their challenges openly and honestly with one another. Alyson was a dynamic speaker, able to relate both to children and adults. By the end of her time with us, we were counting down to the release of her second book!” — Rabbi Allison Berry, Temple Shalom
“My 7th graders recently had a Skype visit with Alyson that I arranged so that they could talk to her about Braced for a marketing project they are doing on book covers, but as a result of Alyson’s warmth, humor and candor, the discussion quickly evolved into a dialogue about all facets of writing, revising and publishing. She engaged them with stories and observations about the writing process that made them feel a personal and genuine connection to her and her work and that elicited many gasps of insight as well as laughs. They have been talking about it ever since.” — Julie Ogden, The Pike School
Programs are available for students in third grade through high school as well as for families and adults. Alyson is comfortable speaking with groups of any size. Rates are available upon request.
Alyson is also available for keynote addresses, conference presentations, book festivals, and school visits.
For more information or to schedule an appearance, contact email@example.com.
Learn More about Scoliosis
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects an estimated seven million people in the United States. While girls are eight times more likely than boys to need treatment, this condition affects children of all genders, races, and social classes. Scoliosis impacts children with congenital and neuromuscular diseases, but it is most common in healthy children, where it usually has no known cause.
Listed here are places where you can find additional information about scoliosis and how it gets treated:
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. Help support scoliosis awareness, education, and early detection.
Learn More about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects people of every age, gender, IQ, race, religion, and socio-economic background. While boys are three times more likely to have ADHD and tend to be identified sooner than girls, early diagnosis and intervention are important for all kids with ADHD. When left untreated, adults with ADHD are at higher risk for a variety of mental health challenges and the disorder can have a significant impact on their education, employment, and relationships.
Listed here are a few resources where you can read more about ADHD:
Learn More about Disordered Eating
There isn’t just one type of person impacted by low self- esteem, negative body image, disordered eating, and eating disorders. These challenges impact people of every age, size, weight, gender, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. You also can’t look at someone and necessarily know if they’re healthy or not. This means that many, many people face high barriers to getting the help they deserve. Listed here are resources where you can learn more: