YA Historical Author
Sarah Natale
Sarah Natale

Bernotas Middle School - Crystal Lake, IL

Are you an English, History, Biology, or Art teacher? The Kiss of Death may facilitate learning in your classroom!

Educator Guide

I have developed a comprehensive Educator Guide linking the discussion questions (included in the book) to Common Core Curriculum national education standards. My guide provides everything you need to incorporate The Kiss of Death into your lesson plan.

For a printed booklet, please contact me.


"When I learned about local author, Sarah Natale, being published at such a young age I immediately wanted to congratulate her. As a Language Arts teacher at Bernotas, I am always trying to tell my students that they don't have to wait to make their dreams come true. That they can start working to achieve them even when they are "just kids." When Sarah reached out and asked if I would like her to visit my classroom, I was happy to say yes. When she came in, she was so organized and prepared. She shared her journey from student to published writer. She gave tips on things the kids could do to become published, or even how to go about making good decisions that lead to accomplishing their life goals. Her novella, The Kiss of Death, would be a great book for Social Studies teachers to teach about medieval times and the plague. My students really enjoyed it, especially since we were reading Edgar Allen Poe, and it provided another perspective on how the plague impacted history."

-Belinda Strebel, Bernotas Middle School 7th grade LA/SS Teacher

"Sarah Natale's presentation was quite informative. My classes learned the need for precision in research prior to writing a story, as well as the perseverance required in order to get a book published. Sarah's passion for writing and her willingness to share her experience with classes is to be admired."

-Karen Fuesz, Heineman Middle School 8th grade Literacy Teacher

"I first came across author Sarah Natale and her book The Kiss of Death on social media. I knew right away she would be a perfect guest and role model for my eighth grade Literacy students as they started their own novels as part of National Novel Writing Month during the month of November. Her presentation right before we kicked off this narrative writing was quite inspiring for them, not to mention impressive. They learned about her experience as a young writer and realized that they are capable of using their own voices and skills to create and even publish their writing. Thank you to Sarah for sharing her joy and excitement for writing with my students!"

-Becky Sisler, Heineman Middle School 8th grade Literacy Teacher

"It was wonderful having Sarah come back to Crystal Lake Central to speak to my Creative Writing class. We enjoyed learning about her journey with writing and how she got to where she is today. It was beneficial for my students to learn about the writing and publishing process, but more importantly, they got to hear from a Central grad that made her dream a reality. Listening to her presentation was a good reminder for my students that hard work pays off, and anything is possible if you have the passion and drive to pursue your future goals."

-Shannon Schroeder, Crystal Lake Central High School Creative Writing Teacher

“Having Sarah come to my creative writing classroom was a great experience for my students. While I may be the ‘expert’ when it comes to some things, I find it extremely valuable to show the students a real world example of a published novelist. She provided some great tips about writing creatively that helped my students with the development of the plot and characters in their short stories.”

-Kristin Bernatz, Crystal Lake Central High School Creative Writing Teacher

"From inception to publication to promotion, Sarah details her journey with The Kiss of Death in an organized and informed presentation. My Creative Writing students enjoyed learning about both the product and the process. But Sarah is truly at her best when answering students' questions and sharing her own personal experiences."

-Craig Kingston, Crystal Lake Central High School Creative Writing Teacher

"Sarah's presentation is well organized and informative, but maybe more importantly, it was real. As we prepared for her visit, we read her story. My students were sparked to research and learn more about the time period. They were reading, researching, learning, discussing! Hearing of her personal journey from a class assignment to a published author was interesting and inspiring. Her genuine interest in the students and their questions was awesome. My class thoroughly enjoyed her visit."

-Tricia Baltzersen, Marlowe Middle School 6th grade Literacy Teacher

"The students enjoyed the presentation, it helped them understand the time and energy it takes to write a book. It also helped them in knowing the importance of organizing the plot and editing of their own children's book."

-Jennifer Martin, Marlowe Middle School 8th grade Literacy Teacher

"We enjoyed Sarah’s presentations in the Bernotas Library Media Center. It was such a great opportunity for us all, especially for the students to learn directly from an author about the process and challenges of writing. The group was engaged, and I think that many were touched by her story. I look forward to seeing more of her work."

-Kathy Blaseck, Bernotas Middle School Library Assistant

"We greatly enjoyed Sarah's visit, and I know many of my students who are aspiring writers were motivated and inspired. We are excited about getting copies of her book and using it for our class read aloud. We look forward to her next publication!"

-Nikki Rodio, Bernotas Middle School 7th grade LA/SS Teacher

"Thank you to Sarah for coming to Bernotas and sharing her amazing journey. I enjoyed the event so much. My students came back to the room asking when they could 'just write a story.' I especially appreciate how engaging she was with the kids during the question and answer portion."

-Peggy Boldwyn, Bernotas Middle School 7th grade LA/SS Teacher

"The 7th grade teachers and students truly appreciated Sarah’s visit with us here at Bernotas. Her presentation showed our students how to take something from their education experiences and make a dream come true. Throughout, our 7th graders were truly engaged as she walked them through her journey from student writer to published author. It was amazing to hear how her research and writing process were involved and showed our students the rewards of effort in their own writing process. Sarah’s answers to their many questions about the process and what it was like to get published connected to the entire audience. The students are really looking forward to reading her book and discussing all the topics Sarah covered in her visit."

-Ben Conrad, Bernotas Middle School Library Director

“Sarah’s story of how she made her dream a reality was such a great success story to share with our students. It showed them that even at a young age, nothing can stop you from accomplishing your goals if you keep at it! She was an inspiration to them...and to the teachers!”

-Tracie Connor, Marlowe Middle School 7th grade Literacy Teacher

“When the opportunity to have a young adult come in and share her experiences of the struggles and successes with aspiring writers arose, it was a unique opportunity for students to see real world writing. It was great for my students to see someone so young accomplish such a goal! After Sarah’s presentation it was clear the hard work that she had put into the research to make her story, and the students learned that research is an important part of the writing process. Sarah is an inspiration to those who have the desire to go out and make things happen. She is an excellent example that hard work and dedication can take you places.”

-Stephanie Johnson, Marlowe Middle School 7th grade Literacy Teacher

"Sarah Natale did a wonderful job speaking to the 7th grade class at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake. Her presentation was well organized and Sarah's professionalism was well beyond her years. For students to hear how someone so young was able to persevere to make her dream of being a published author come true was a great example of never giving up and believing in yourself. The teacher's guide that accompanies The Kiss of Death provides teachers with discussion questions as well as activity guides. The teachers and students can not wait to get their hands on copies of her book so that they can find out what happens Elizabeth."

-Erin Anderson, Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Director of Literacy and Social Studies

“Our students realized that age does not matter when it comes to writing. This inspired many students to pursue their own writing. Sarah's presentation showed students the hard work that it takes to publish a story as well as showing them that it is an achievable task for anyone who would like to share their work with the world. We wish Sarah the best in her writing career and look forward to seeing where she takes it.”

-Jonelle Geib and Jennifer Bezik, Bernotas Middle School 7th grade LA/SS Teachers

“Sarah’s path as a writer is an inspiring tale for young writers everywhere. Her dedication and passion to her craft is clear in her presentation and writing. The Educator Guide for The Kiss of Death is a great resource to help facilitate cross-curricular learning between Social Studies, Literacy, and even Science! These resources are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and is a great tool that teachers can easily use in their classroom.”

-Taya Pennington, Marlowe Middle School 7th grade Social Studies Teacher

Classroom Visits

It would be my pleasure to be a guest speaker for your class. Learn more about my presentation.

Why Education?

Go behind-the-scenes in this blog post: Teachers, Simplify Your Lesson Plan: The Story Behind My Educator Guide.