Alison O’Leary

author Alison OLeary 1

Alison O’Leary offers author visits to Massachusetts schools and libraries


Final Cover in 3D

So Close to Home

Author Alison O’Leary presents the true story of men and women pitted against the sea during World War II―an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit that will challenge your knowledge of the war. In a program which can be specially tailored to students’ grade levels, the author brings So Close To Home, co-authored with YAMA artist, author and historian Michael Tougias, to life. Alison describes the challenging post-Depression years of the early 1940s when an average family with two working parents decided to move to South America for a job opportunity, only to be caught in the crosshairs of a German submarine during their return trip. Her presentation includes:

  • A brief overview of the war, using world maps
  • Historical photos of the individuals involved
  • The perspective of the 8-year-old (boy) survivor
  • A balanced view of wartime aggression
  • Exciting moments during the shipwreck and survival
  • Background information on where the authors found their material for the story

Students will learn:

  • The “recipe” for a successful book
  • Each author’s strengths and contributions in the research and writing process
  • Reinforcement of fiction vs. nonfiction writing
  • An aspect of American history rarely taught in school

Target Grades: 4-12
Audience Limit: 250
Duration: 45 minutes

Alison O’Leary So Close Performance Requirements

Alison O’Leary Website

Single: $525 Double: $840 Triple: $1,103
Travel Fee: based upon mileage (calculate below)

Alison O’Leary is a longtime journalist and coauthor of two books. She has written for newspapers and magazines across the country and was editor of The Boston Parents’ Paper and Skirt! Boston magazines.  In 2017, she received the Charlie Award (silver) for history writing from the Florida Magazine Association. She has four grown daughters, requiring her to be, at various times, a Girl Scout leader, Destination Imagination coach, band mom, classroom volunteer, and step-mom to many class pets.

Have a question or ready to schedule? Click the “Scheduling Request” button below.

Mileage Rates
Note: Double the mileage calculated below to account for initial and return trips