NEW: A Three-Part Video Series on Creative Writing



Read Aloud of the 1st Chapter of The Benefits of Being an Octopus


30-Second Book Talk on The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Q & A about The Benefits of Being an Octopus


The Inspiration Behind The Benefits of Being an Octopus




Get the Educator’s Guide

Download the Enhanced Educator’s Guide for The Benefits of Being an Octopus HERE!




School Visits and Workshops

NOTE: Ann’s school visit schedule is fully booked for the 2019-2020 school year. To book a visit for 2020-2021, email Andrea Cruise at Requests will be accepted through the winter and then the schedule will be finalized.

As a former middle school teacher and author, Ann brings together energy and an inspiring message of student empowerment and empathy.


“Ann Braden is a powerful, energetic force of love, joy, creativity, compassion, and inspiration.  She brings her heartwarming story of perseverance to life for her audiences, and she challenges them to find the superpower that exists in themselves and others.  She captivated and motivated over 550 7th and 8th graders with her enthusiastic approach.   

She personally reached out to the “Zoeys” in our school and empowered them with the desire to discover their individual voices.  This was a life-changing, emotional experience for me personally and for so many of our staff and students.”

  –Caradith Craven, Librarian in Oklahoma


Ann offers both large assemblies & smaller workshops. In her presentations she draws on the main character Zoey to discuss the steps for being on #TeamOctopus:

1) Recognize your own superpowers.

2) Name the obstacles in your path.

3) Find the courage to speak up.

4) Team up with allies who will listen and support you.

In the book, Zoey draws an octopus on her shoulder to remind herself of her inner strength, and at the end of the presentation, Ann gives each student a temporary octopus tattoo so they can remind themselves of their own inner strength.



Download a Flyer about Ann’s Author Visits HERE




Projects Inspired by The Benefits of Being an Octopus

#TeamOctopus Across the Country

Connect with Other Educators

Connect with other educators using The Benefits of Being An Octopus with students on the #TeamOctopus Forum!

  • Pair up with other classrooms reading OCTOPUS this year!
  • Get ideas for social action projects that connect to the book!
  • Pose questions to other teachers who have used OCTOPUS!
  • Enter giveaways, such as winning books and/or #TeamOctopus T-shirts for your students!


Check out the #TeamOctopus Flipgrid HERE!


Learn about the #KidsNeedBooks & #KidsNeedMentors movement HERE