menu
About MeI write fiction and nonfiction for kids and teens. Many of my books in the Orca Soundings and Orca Currents series deal with current youth-related issues such + read more as parent/child relations, anxiety, social media, drugs, sexual health and risk-taking. My latest work of nonfiction, Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia, is the first children's publication in the history of the Royal BC Museum, and is one of the museum's top sellers.

A former middle-grade teacher, I now travel to schools and speak with student audiences about themes that relate to my books, with a special emphasis on the topics of:

1. Anxiety — covers outcomes in Grade 10 Career Education/Planning and secondary Physical Education;
2. Social media/digital citizenship — touches on outcomes in personal responsibility and digital citizenship at all levels;
3. Invasive species and biodiversity — covers Science outcomes in every grade from K-12.

My presentations are interactive, lively and packed with information for students to take away. Teachers often tell me that while kids are sometimes deaf to the Big Messages their teachers and parents try to communicate, they'll often "hear" those messages from me, because of my special way of connecting with young people.
Show Less


My Work Speaker Info Contact Me
You May Know Me For:
    Literature Types
  • Chapter Books
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Middle Grade Nonfiction
  • YA Fiction
  • Educational & Information Books
  • Editorial Services

Published WorksFood Freak. Orca Book Publishers, 2017. (MG - food activism)

Dead Man’s Curve. Leap Books, 2016. (YA - horror)

Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Publishing, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7726-6853-0 (MG -nonfiction)

Chick: Lister. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Currents), 2015. ISBN 978-1-4598-1000-6 (MG - anxiety/obsessive-compulsive disorder)

Liam Hemsworth. Crabtree Publishing (Crabtree Superstars), 2015. (MG - biography)

Shallow Grave. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Soundings), 2012. 136 pages. ISBN 978-1-4598-0202-5 (YA - thriller/paranormal)

Oracle. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Currents), 2012. 128 pages. ISBN 978-1-4598-0132-5 (MG - social media)

Redline. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Soundings), 2011. 136 pages. ISBN 978-1-5546-9893-6 (YA - street racing)

Gravity Check. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Sports), 2011. 176 pages. ISBN 978-1-5546-9349-8 (MG - mountain biking)

Viral. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Soundings), 2011. 136 pages. ISBN 978-1-5546-9411-2 (YA - social media)

Dolores Huerta: Voice for the Working Poor. Crabtree Publishing, 2010. 112 pages. ISBN 978-0-7787-2545-9 (MG - biography)

Sonia Sotomayor: U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Crabtree Publishing, 2010. 112 pages. ISBN 978-0-7787-2537-4 (MG - biography)

Knifepoint. Orca Book Publishers (Orca Soundings), 2010. 128 pages. ISBN 978-1-5546-9305-4 (YA - thriller)

Speaking InformationLock in learning with an awesome, energized author visit—with Alex!

I love speaking with students, whether I’m talking about social media, anxiety + read more and mental health, or invasive species. As a former teacher, I’m experienced in holding an audience’s attention with an interactive approach — and I always use plenty of anecdotes to illustrate my points. Your students will be entertained and enlightened, but most importantly, they’ll be engaged in a memorable, authentic way. My slide shows ignite all sorts of conversations that carry over to the classroom, making for deep and meaningful learning.

Image-rich and full of fun, my presentations are available for students in grades K–12. You’ll find details about the content of my presentations on my website. Presentations are generally 50 minutes in length ($250 for one, or two back-to-back in a single morning or afternoon for $400).

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Drop me a line, and we’ll customize something that’s right for your group. Show Less


    I Will Travel To:
  • Vancouver
  • Coast
  • Lower Mainland
  • Gulf and Vancouver Islands
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • The Territories
  • Canada - beyond BC
  • USA
  • International

    I Present to Age Groups:
  • Primary School
  • Grades K-3
  • Grades 4-6
  • Grades 7-8
  • High School
  • College / University / Adult

Request Booking Info

TestimonialsRecently, Alex Van Tol visited our school and presented on her book Aliens Among Us and on The + read more Digital Footprint. She was knowledgeable, and presented the topics in an age-appropriate way for junior high students. The presentations kept students engaged and provided further opportunities for discussion. There was plenty of positive feedback from the staff and students who attended.

— E. MacConnell, teacher-librarian, Chilliwack Show Less

Awards and Recognition:
Knifepoint — TriState YA Review Group Book of Note 2012; YALSA Quick Picks 2011, OLA Best Bets + show more Honourable Mention 2011; Tristate YA Review Group Book of Note 2011

Gravity Check — Resource Links "The Year's Best" 2011

Oracle — YALSA Quick Picks nominee 2014; CCBC Best Books 2013

Redline — Resource Links "The Year's Best" 2011

Shallow Grave —YALSA Quick Picks 2013; CCBC Best Books 2013 Show Less

Latest Tweet