For Educators

I am excited to offer special incentives to educators who order Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe for their classroom libraries!

Please email theteam@goldleafliterarycom to let us know that you bought the book, and we will send you a signed poster for your classroom and a flowering plant fort kitYou will also be entered to win a Skype or in-person visit to your classroom. 

In order to schedule a school event, email and please put the name of your city and state in the subject line.

I am also happy to offer #goopen resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. Explore the links below for these free resources!

Jo Hackl was an absolute treat to have visit our school. As evidenced by her realistic portrayal of Cricket in Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, Jo completely gets the natural curiosity of our elementary students– her audience was enthralled with her storytelling, props, and relevant insights on the writing and editing process. My only regret of Jo’s visit to our school was not having enough time to have her work with students on some of her writing-specific presentations, like “using the power of poetry techniques to make your writing shine.” Students connected with Jo, not just because they love her book, but because they were respected as fellow writers, readers, and nature-lovers.

–Mollee Holloman, Manteo Elementary

Our kids can’t put the book down!

–Sarah Parsons, Westmoore Elementary

Jo Hackl’s presentation to our students about her book Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe was exceptional. Her presentation was full of tips for every step of the writing process, which clearly laid out her journey to becoming an author of a published book. Our students were impressed with the lengths she went to gain first-hand experiences such as taking survival classes and sleeping in the woods. If you are looking for an inspiring presentation that will fascinate teachers and students, I highly recommend inviting Jo Hackl to your school.

—Stephen Cook, Camperdown Academy

Jo Hackl’s presentation to my 7th grade English classes provided enriching, interesting, and important information about books, writing, and the writing process. She explained how she developed the concept of her book and how she researched, which was wonderful for my young writers to hear as they study historical fiction. Perhaps most beneficial was her advice about being curious, writing often, and ignoring spelling and grammar until one’s first draft is complete. How encouraging for my students to get a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of writing a book! I would highly recommend Jo Hackl as a guest speaker for any unit on writing.

—Allison O’Rear, CCES

League Academy Middle School students enjoyed a recent visit from….author of Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, Jo Hackl. Our students were inspired talking with Jo about writing and were captivated when she read the sequence of her main character Cricket’s heart stopping encounter with a copperhead snake! Students all want to know more and they cannot wait to read Smack Dab when it comes out in July!

—Regina Joseph, League Academy

Ms. Hackl’s recent author’s visit was fantastic. The students were engaged the entire time. She sparked their interest and made them think about the writing process in a whole new way. They have since made powerful connections from her presentation to their own work. Her book now has a long waiting list in our library!

Wendy Neisler, Highland Mill Montessori School

“We enjoyed every second of author Jo Hackl’s visit with us this week. It was a great time of interaction that fostered a love for writing and a grand discussion of her book, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe. We loved having the chance to talk about moments from the book and how she was able to create such authentic characters and scenery. She was able to share how she used her love for nature in her writing and tell us some of her favorite childhood experiences in Electric Mills, MS. Having Jo at any school would be special, but especially so since all of our students had just finished reading her book. Their excitement of meeting the creator of such a special story was so contagious and they bubbled over with questions and connections as the presentation rolled on. I felt like this was a tremendous opportunity for students to also learn about the writing process and many tips for becoming a writer. Jo was a wonderful encouragement to them to pursue their own writing, calling them her ‘fellow writers’.”

–Elizabeth Sistrunk, Brandon Elementary School

“We are incredibly grateful to Jo Hackl for creating and implementing a nature session at the 2019 Resnick Aspen Action Youth Forum!  At the conclusion of the session, our young leaders made personal action pledges on at least one way they intend to make nature more a part of their day, and Jo personally inscribed her book Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe to further inspire our participants. We appreciated Jo’s extraordinary talent and passion in cultivating such a meaningful experience, and we would highly recommend this program to other forums!”

– Christian Devers, Co-Director of the Resnick Aspen Action Youth Forum

Please consider donating to children in need. For less than $50, you can give the gift of reading to six children.


To contact Jo, please email