What others say about Dori Jones Yang as a speaker:
Kathleen Dunbar Eastlake High School Librarian, Sammamish, WA:
“I have worked with Dori at two different schools and she can customize any author visit to the school’s unique needs. Her timing, content, and rapport with students of any age and background is outstanding. I highly recommend her for any age, school, or situation.”
Jane Shay, 6th Grade Humanities Teacher, The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, Bellevue, WA:
"For the past three years, my 6th grade students at the Jewish Day School have had the pleasure of meeting the author of one of our class novels, Daughter of Xanadu. We read the book as part of a Humanities unit about China. Dori brings the book, writing process, and history to life. Through a PowerPoint about the background of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan, and the great Mongolian Empire, students learn important information that provides context for the novel. The students love seeing the process and adventure that can go into historical fiction. I highly recommend Dori Jones Yang's presentation for middle school students!"
Kari Parker, Middle School Social Studies Teacher, Columbus School for Girls, Columbus, Ohio:
"I could not believe that Dori Jones Yang agreed to Skype with my class. Better yet, I was so pleased with how well she connected with my middle school students. They were engaged and interested as she spoke to them at their level. For the first time, they saw the importance of research outside of the social studies classroom, as it finally had a practical purpose. The talk inspired them to work harder on their own research assignments regarding the Mongols. I could not have asked a better way to make learning relevant."
Beth Abramovitz, Middle School Librarian, Columbus School for Girls:
"Not only did Dori Jones Yang bring the events of the Mongol Empire to life, she impressed our students with the quality and quantity of research that is required of a well-written historical fiction novel. Her willingness to Skype and personally share her knowledge substantially enriched our history unit. At the end of her author talk she showed several unusual artifacts that she collected while researching in Mongolia and encouraged our students to continue researching this fascinating period of history."
Toni Holmberg, Teacher, Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, Oregon:
"In Daughter of Xanadu, Dori Jones Yang brings history to life through the voices of Marco Polo and Emmajin, the fictitious granddaughter of Kublai Kahn. What’s even richer is to have Ms. Yang visit our school to discuss her eight-year sojourn in Asia working as a foreign correspondent – an adventure that in the end changed her life. Students benefited from the large group presentation, but loved the smaller classroom author talks. It was a special day – one we are anxious to repeat next year! We haven’t looked back since adopting Daughter of Xanadu for our 6th grade humanities program."
Charley Adams, Teacher, Oregon Episcopal School:
"The opportunity for our students to meet Dori in person was invaluable. She understands kids, and met them right where they are, intellectually and developmentally. Not only did she bring real Mongolian clothing, toys, and other trinkets for the students to try on, play with, and see, but she also discussed in depth how she came to be interested in the history of the Mongols specifically, and what it's like to be a professional writer in general. I particularly appreciated the attention she gave to the process of working with an editor, writing multiple drafts, revising, and re-writing.
"Furthermore, Dori's ability to calmly and humbly, yet passionately convey her depth of experience throughout the Far East ignited a spark of interest in students that would not have been possible otherwise. For them to have met someone who is well-traveled and inter-culturally sensitive, articulate, and dedicated to her craft provides them with an example of what can be possible through writing."
Patrick Fuller, Middle School Librarian, Oregon Episcopal School:
"A rock star. We should set aside the chair she sat in and not let anyone else sit in it ever. These were the sentiments of the students after Dori visited and gave another amazing talk on Daughter of Xanadu. Whether she is showing photos from her time in China or bringing in "props" to show the students a physical example of something they have visualized through her words, Dori comes prepared. Also, while some authors make a talk about themselves, Dori has a teacherly knack for asking the students questions as she moves along and engaging them in the conversation. She lets them know what it is like to be an author both in her explanation of what it means to be an author and by the way she presents herself."
Rebecca Crichton, Executive Director, Northwest Center for Creative Aging, Seattle, WA:
"At her recent presentation and discussion at Horizon House, Dori Jones Yang engaged and informed the audience with honesty and humor. She demonstrated the delicate balance of knowledge and respectful inquiry that is necessary for a group of elders. Asking some of the questions from her new book, Warm Cup of Wisdom, elicited a wide range of experience and wisdom from the audience. Those kinds of sharing experiences deepen community as well as increase learning."