Writer’s Union Member. English. Historical Fiction In-person
Rates: $225. for one session, $400. for two sessions in the same school
Virtual Rates: $150. for one session, $125. for each additional session in the same school.
Sessions: 60 minutes (virtual visits only, at this time)
Heather is a retired teacher, mother, and grandmother. All these roles have made her a dedicated supporter of young readers through her writing, classroom visits, and community events.
Her first book, Amelia and Me, is a middle grade historical fiction, which was nominated for the 2015 Red Cedar Award. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, has been nominated for the 2021 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the 2021 Red Maple Award (YA).
After Heather retired, she began writing her family history. She found that the Ross’s of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland were involved in early transatlantic aviation. Then Amelia Earhart arrived in 1932 to make her own transatlantic flight. That’s when Heather’s family history turned into her first book, Amelia and Me. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, continues her Aunt Ginny’s adventures with Amelia in the newly-developing field of female pilots.
Here are a few suggestions for virtual classroom visits:
Invite Amelia Earhart into Your Classroom
(She will arrive in a full flying outfit, if desired)
Interview Amelia or ask her to describe:
- her time in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland before her flight- the secrecy, the other female pilots trying to beat her across the Atlantic, and those who helped her
- her actual flight- the problems, how she solved them, where she landed, her “staged” reception, and the world’s reaction
Other characters from, Amelia and Me, could be used in a similar manner. For example:
- interview Ginny Ross, the main character, or ask her to tell you about growing up in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and how difficult it was to follow her dream of becoming a pilot.
- interview Joseph Ross, Ginny’s grandfather, or ask him to describe the depression in Newfoundland in 1932 and how it affected store owners like him
- interview Rose Archibald (Ginny’s aunt) or ask her to tell you about the role of women in 1932
- interview Heather Stemp, the author, or ask her to describe how family stories can be turned into books, the writing process, the editing process, or why people write books
A similar approach can be used to explore Heather’s second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, which is set at Purdue University in 1936. Ginny Ross is enrolled there as a mechanical engineering student. Amelia Earhart is there as a part-time career counselor for women and aviation advisor. Characters from the book can be interviewed or asked to describe certain aspects of the story. This book is for young adults, grades seven and eight. The use of costumes with this age group can be discussed with the teacher before Heather arrives.
Curriculum connections are numerous in these STEM friendly historical novels so hands-on activities can be included in different content areas. The interests of the teacher and the students will define the visit.
Historical black and white photos, videos, and maps can be used, if desired.
Information on audience size limits, writing workshops, set-up requirements.
Virtual visits only, at this time. Best with one or two classes to allow Heather to interact with students. Larger groups negotiable.