Suzanne Slade

award-winning author

Libertyville, IL USA

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of over 100 nonfiction books. Her picture books THE SODA BOTTLE SCHOOL (which shares the true story of how children in Guatemala built their school out of trash) and WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? (a rhyming story about the ways people are helping endangered animals) are especially popular with young ecologists. During school visits Suzanne explains how she became an author, divulges the secrets of what authors really do, and shares the process of how books are made. The Soda Bottle School is on the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) 2015 Multicultural Booklist and has a free teacher's guide.

Year(s) of participation: 2014, 2015, 2018

A4ED school visit photos & blurbs:

2018 at Johnsburg Elementary School in Johnsburg, IL USA

2015 at Fremont Elementary School in Mundelein, IL USA


Suzanne Slade with kids

At Fremont School, I met with over 700 students. Before my visit students read my book, The Soda Bottle School, made their own soda bottle school crafts, and wrote stories about how students in Guatemala built their school out of trash.

soda bottle school

During my visit I showed photos of the Guatemalan children working on their school and students tried stuffing bottles with plastic bags using sticks. Part of the proceeds from my visit are being sent to Hug-It-Forward, a nonprofit organization that funds more bottle schools.

student art
helping student


trash talk Pieace Corp volunteers
students in Guatemala stacking bottles to build their school walls

One week after Earth Day I visited with students at Prairie Crossing Charter School. Before I arrived students read my picture book THE SODA BOTTLE SCHOOL, which shares the true story of how students in Guatemala built their own school out of soda bottles and trash. During my presentation I showed photos of the Guatemalan students working hard during the school building project: collecting bottles, stuffing bottles (with over 250 plastic bags!), stacking bottles, plastering walls, and painting walls. Then students from Prairie Crossing school tried stuffing soda bottles with plastic bags using sticks to make eco-ladrillos (eco-bricks) just as the Guatemalan students had done. Money from book sales at Prairie Crossing along with an author donation was sent to Hug It Forward to fund more bottle schools.

Suzanne Slade A4ED event
Suzanne Slade up front during A4ED event

kids at Suzanne Slade Authors for Earth Day visit