Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Maxine Rose Schur


Region: California: San Francisco North and East Bay
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

Maxine Rose Schur is the author of several award-winning picture books, historical novels and biographies for young people. She has worked as a full-time children’s creative writer for Addison Wesley Publishing Company and has written story and play scripts for Scholastic, Houghton Mifflin, The Pleasant Company, Hampton Brown, Radio New Zealand, Cricket, Heinemann, and the BBC television show, PLAYSCHOOL.

   Ms. Schur teaches children’s writing at the San Francisco Writing Salon. Additionally, she was appointed the Baker-Nord Guest Lecturer on Children’s Literature in the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University and she was the Dan Stone Memorial Children’s Book Author.

Her most recent published work is the picture book, BRAVE WITH BEAUTY, the extraordinary true story of the 14th century Queen Goharshad who reigned over the Timurid Empire from her throne in Herat, Afghanstan and helped establish a cultural, and artistic renaissance that rivaled Florence.  

Also out in 2019 is THE WORD DANCER, an exciting middle-grade novel with a courageous heroine. 

Another recent picture book by Maxine is MARIELLE IN PARIS about an adventurous, fashion designing mouse. 

Other books by Maxine Rose Schur are the Junior Library Guild Selection, GULLIBLE GUS published by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin) and THERE'S A BABIRUSA IN MY BATHTUB! published by Dawn Publications. Also, THE STORY OF RUTH (picture book) Lerner Publications (2005) THE PEDDLER’S GIFT (picture book) Dial Books, Penguin-Putnam USA 1999 New York Public Library List: “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing” Smithsonian Notable Book of the Century Winner of the Year 2000 Sydney Taylor Award California Year 2000 Book 2000 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award Nominee 2000 Storytelling World Award Honor 2000 National Council of Social Studies Notable Trade Book SACRED SHADOWS (historical novel) Dial Books, Penguin-Putnam USA 1997 1997 National Jewish Book Award Finalist A 1998 Notable Book in the Field of Social Studies A 1998 Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association 1998 Society of School Librarians International Book Award, (Honor Book) 1998 Young Hoosiers Award Nominee WHEN I LEFT MY VILLAGE (historical book on Ethiopia) Dial Books, Penguin-Putnam USA 1996 A 1996 American Booksellers Pick of the Lists,” A 1996 Notable Book in Field of Social Studies Winner of the 1996 Sugarman Family Award Winner of the 1996 Sydney Taylor Award. THE MARVELOUS MAZE (picture book) Stemmer House 1996 DAY OF DELIGHT (picture book on Ethiopia) Dial Books, Penguin-Putnam USA 1994 A 1994 “American Booksellers Pick of the Lists” Winner of the 1994 Parent’s Choice Award A Sydney Taylor Award nominee A Smithsonian “Best Children’s Book of 1994” National Public Radio Selection read by Gregory Hines THE CIRCLEMAKER (historical novel) Dial Books, Penguin-Putnam USA, 1994 A 1994 American Booksellers “Pick of the Lists” A 1996-97 Mark Twain Award nominee Winner of the 1994 Louis B. Dessauer Award Winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers Work-in-Progress Grant. HANNAH SZENES: A SONG OF LIGHT (biography of World War II resistance fighter and poet) The Jewish Publication Society, 1987 & 1999. A 1987 Notable Book in the Field of Social Studies A 1987 National Jewish Book Award Finalist. SAMANTHA’S SURPRISE (book and audio tape and movie) The American Girls Collection, The Pleasant Company, 1986 THE WITCH AT THE WELLINGTON LIBRARY (picture book and audio tape) Viking/Seven Seas, New Zealand 1980 WEKA WON’T LEARN (picture book) Viking/Seven Seas, New Zealand 1979.

Maxine Rose Schur is a highly-entertaining speaker for both children and adults. More information about Maxine and her award-winning books is available at 

Presentation Description:
I do several different types of presentations.

For children aged 5-8, I read some of the poems from my book, There's a Babirusa in my Bathtub! and we talk (and sing!) about the funny habits of some of the world's strangest, little-known animals. The poems encourage word play and are humorous.  We have fun!

Also for 5-8 year olds, I love to read Marielle in Paris. This is the adventurous picture book tale of a mouse with Moxie! When the creative dress designer, Marielle loses all the gorgeous dresses she designed, she must overcome her fear of heights to fly above Paris and find them. A great book to launch talk about our fears and also to simply enjoy the humor and excitement of the story itself. The book, beautifully illustrated by Jeanne de Sainte Marie is also a gorgeous, whimsical homage to Paris.

For eight to 10 year olds, we explore the tall tale. What is a tall tale? What is a lie and what is exaggeration and why is it funny. This is an interactive session with lots of laughs and reading from my tall tale book, Gullible Gus, a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Also, for 8-10 year olds, we could delve into 14th century Afghanistan with my advanced picture book, Brave with Beauty that tells the true story of Queen Gowharshad who for a while ruled a vast empire and whom some historians now think was the one of the most powerful women in history. This is a fascinating story that's little known but with great contemporary relevance.

For middle grade readers, I will talk about my historical novel, The Circlemaker or my new adventure novel, The Word Dancer. For middle graders, the visits work best if the class has already read the book for we have lively in-depth discussions.

Lastly, for YA readers, we talk about my historical novel, Sacred Shadows, the craft of writing, creative inspiration, the power of listening and observation, writing tricks and tips, using family stories for fiction etc.

Also, for older students and for adults I talk about the craft and business of writing for children, the power of memory, fun ways to stimulate your creative juices etc.  I teach children's book writing at colleges and universities and through the San Francisco Writing Salon.  My presentation is highly encouraging and empowering for aspiring writers.