School Visits and Workshops

Check out the video resources for the Flight of the Puffin Read Aloud!


NOTE: To book a virtual visit, email Andrea Cruise at

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


In Ann’s presentations about The Benefits of Being an Octopus 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 Ann’s presentations about Flight of the Puffin she talks about how she channels her anger into her writing so that instead of paralyzing her it can become a source of hope — and she discusses the real-life inspiration for the book.








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!





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