Wakefield High School’s JUST THINK FIRST Program brings award winning, NY Times best-selling author, Ellen Hopkins, to campus on Thursday, September 4th.

For Immediate Release
August 22, 2104
Wakefield High School, Raleigh, NC

Wakefield High School’s JUST THINK FIRST Program brings award winning, NY Times best-selling author, Ellen Hopkins,to campus on Thursday, September 4th.

Ellen Hopkins is the award-winning author of twenty non-fiction titles and nine NY Times best-selling young adult novels-in-verse, plus two adult novels. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to wine-growing. Many readers are familiar with her recent books including Crank, which is based on her own daughter’s tale of addiction to crystal
meth. Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a regional adviser for the Nevada Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She is a regular speaker at schools, book festivals and writers’ conferences across the US, and now throughout the world.

In 2012, Ellen founded Ventana Sierra, Inc., a 501(3)(c) organization whose mission is to help disadvantaged youth gain safe housing and begin working toward career goals through higher education, vocational training and the arts. Ms. Hopkins has won many awards for her writing including the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, the Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award, and the Nevada Governor’s Arts Award. She has worked with numerous writer groups and her employment history is very diverse as it relates to the writing field. She has been a freelance writer, short story author, poet and journalist. She has also served as editor of the Northern Nevada Family Magazine.

Ellen was born March 26, 1955 in Long Beach, CA and adopted at birth by an older couple. Albert Wagner, her father, was 72 at the time; Valeria, her mother, was 42. She grew up in Palm Springs, in a neighborhood with movie stars and entertainment icons, including Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas and Arnold Palmer. She says her family was the “poor rich.” Her father made his
money in the steel industry in WWII and she remembers when he earned his first million dollars. As a poor immigrant child who was a self-made man with a 6th grade education, she says he couldn’t have been prouder.

Ellen learned from her father the value of hard work and honesty, and from her mother, she learned a love of language and reading. Her mother loved literature and read to her every day; she had Ellen reading chapter books before she entered kindergarten. Ellen was a straight A student in school and from the time she knew how to put words on paper, she was always writing something.

Ellen Hopkins will speak to Tony Calabria’s Young Adult Literature class at Wakefield HS in a closed setting from 8:45 – 9:45 on Thursday, September 4th. At 10:00 a.m. she will do a presentation and reading for students in the school media center, followed by a book signing. Her most popular books will be offered at a 20% discount during pre-sales prior to September 4th at Wakefield.

For more information on Ellen Hopkins’ visit to Wakefield High School contact:
Tony Calabria, teacher – acalabria@wcpss.net
William Kline, media coordinator – 919.562.3638 – wkline@wcpss.net
Dr. Vivian Wells, administrator – 919.562.3606 – vcwells@wcpss.net