Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 166 traditionally published books. Debbie’s first book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, was co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones after a bad teaching day. They joked that if they grew ten feet tall, spouted horns and fangs the kids at their school could pay attention. That book grew into the long-running series, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids.

Debbie’s newest series is the STEM-friendly Mermaid Tales. As a former teacher and school librarian, Debbie enjoys visiting schools to encourage reading and writing. She has received awards including the Sunshine State Young Reader Award, ABC Best Book, and IRA Children’s Choice.

Debbie currently resides in Tennessee and her website is

Grades K-1

45-60 minutes

Debbie uses an interactive skit and puppet to bring the writing process alive for younger students. 

Grades 2-3
45-60 minutes

Debbie captures students attention with the story of how she began writing about a bad day. She shares where she gets ideas, how she works with a co-author, illustrators, and editors. She discusses what it is like to write stories with her children and her dogs.

Grades 4-5
45-60 minutes

Debbie explores where she gets ideas through brainstorming and how she uses those ideas to form a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Students will brainstorm with Debbie and be eager to write their own stories.

Conference and Festival Appearances

Dancing to Diversity

60 minutes

With titles like Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots and Slime Wars, Debbie Dadey began her quest for diversity in books when a little black girl told her, “I want a library book about a girl that looks just like me.” 

Debbie is a former first grade teacher and librarian and believes all children should be able to find themselves in a book. Join Debbie as she shares her experiences in building diverse characters in her 166 traditionally published books on her website and at

From Teacher to Writer

60 minutes

Debbie shares her writing journey from teacher to librarian to full-time author. 

Virtual Visits

Debbie does approximately four free Skype dates per year, including WRAD (World Read Aloud Day) in February). She chats briefly with groups that have read at least one of her books, reads a snippet, and answers some questions for a total of approximately 20 minutes. She is available via Skype, Facetime, and Facebook.

AV and Tech Needs for In-Person Visits

Requirements for all sessions: PowerPoint projector, screen, and microphone. Set-up guide, author visit checklist, and activity guide can be found on her website.


$1,800 plus expenses for up to three presentations per day.

Fees are negotiable for multi-day visits and for schools within driving distance.

As a former teacher and librarian, Debbie understands budget constraints and will try to work with any school’s budget.

Request a visit. 

Ordering Books

Schools and libraries may order books at a discounted rate by visiting The Scholastic Teacher Store or by calling 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.