Ms Tami lives in Roseville, MN, a suburb of St. Paul. She lives with her husband, Chad, her son Nicholas, 17, and her daughter Janine, 16. She also has two dogs: Fletcher, an 11-yr-old Yorkie-Poo and a 9-yr-old Italian Greyhound named Puck (as in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream–not hockey).She has a degree from the University of MN-Mpls in French Area Studies and a minor in Art History, specializing in 19th century French feminist art. She has also completed 2 years of post-graduate study at Augsburg College in Elementary Education, where she was able to truly explore and develop her passion for children’s literature. A dancer since high school and introduced to books, visual arts, music, live theatre, and classic movie musicals since she was very small, Ms Tami has spent most of her adult life trying to give the gift of the arts to students and audiences alike.
She has been working in theatre and education for more than 30 years. She taught French in an elementary school (pre-school through 5th grade) in a program whose curriculum she wrote. Her second grade French students performed her adaptation in French of Boucle d’Or et les Trois Ours (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) for the school community and the Catholic School Principals’ Conference.
She toured the five-state area as an Actor in Repertory, Supervising Stage Manager and Actor-Educator for a local children’s theatre. She also coached Varsity High School Dance Team at Eagan and Irondale High Schools.
She worked for ten years with SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development as one of their artists-in-residence teaching theatre, dance and violence prevention/intervention residencies throughout Minnesota. She also served as their Interim Education Coordinator and Summer Camps Coordinator and taught teacher workshops in an effort to provide teachers with tools and techniques for incorporating theatre arts into their daily classrooms.
She has worked with students ages 2 – 19 in all types of traditional and non-traditional education settings, as well as incredibly diverse cultural and socio-economic populations.
Currently she works as the Theatre Director & Choreographer at Lake Middle School in Woodbury, MN and as a freelance actor, director, choreographer and theatre educator in schools and the communities of the Twin Cities area, having worked with SteppingStone Theatre in St. Paul, MN, Stages Theatre in Hopkins, MN, Morris Park Players in Minneapolis, Woodbury Community Theatre and the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI.
Working with young people in Children’s Theatre, Ms Tami often uses children’s and young adult literature as a source for monologues, scenes, character development and subject matter in Acting and Audition Workshops, classes and rehearsals. She specializes in physical comedy and the Fractured Fairytale genre! She has loved reading since she began at age 3 and LOVES to talk books with family, friends, colleagues, students…and random people she meets at the library and bookstores!
From 2010 – 2016 she had the privilege of reading aloud in 3rd and 4th classrooms at Brimhall Elementary School in Roseville, MN. It originally began through the BookPALS Program, sponsored by the Screen Actors’ Guild. The premise of the program is that actors reading aloud to students can bring books alive to children in a way that motivates them to read independently.
When the Screen Actors Guild was forced in 2011, due to budget cuts, to discontinue their financial support of the MN chapter of the BookPALS program, Ms Tami was fortunate enough to be able to continue reading to her Brimhall students!
Many of the books reviewed here have been used as read-alouds in those classrooms. The goal of this site is to help students choose new books to read (and share the ones they have already read), offer ideas to classroom teachers for Unit Resources or read-alouds and to allow parents a quick insight into what their kids are (or are asking to or might enjoy) reading.
Ms Tami is always THRILLED to share books she loves, new ones she’s found and loves and books that others have found and recommended to her–and she has LOVED.
A NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK REVIEWS:
Please note that the book reviews are designed to be brief and easily accessible to students, teachers and parents. I try not to give away too many details–or the endings! They are always purely my own opinions. I always enjoying hearing other opinions about the same–or different–stories and books!