So Close To Home - History Author Visit - Alison O'Leary - Arts For Learning Massachusetts


So Close to Home/Attacked At Sea

Type: Performance|Remote
Art Form: Storytelling & ELA|History, Math, Science
Grade Level: 4 - 12
Scheduling Request

Award-winning author Alison O’Leary presents the unforgettable true story of an American family caught in the crossfire during World War II. She brings to life So Close To Home/Attacked At Sea (co-authored with Arts for Learning MA author and historian Michael Tougias) using a powerpoint of historic images and maps. Along with discussing aspects of the research and writing process, Alison describes the challenging post-Depression years of early 1940's American history, when an average family with two working parents decided to move to South America for a job opportunity, only to have their ship sunk by a German submarine during their return trip through the Gulf of Mexico. Attacked At Sea, the middle reader version of the story, is a Junior Library Guild pick with glowing reviews from School Library Journal and other outlets.

Program available in person, or live online.

Length: 45 Minutes
Audience Limit: 225
Curriculum Connection: World War II, Storytelling, Writing Process, Book Publication, History, American History

Single Performance: $550
Additional Performances: $440
Travel: $50 per day
Pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time
Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts

Remote (live online)
School sets up link for remote meeting and makes the artist a co-host. Screen share must be enabled. Artist may need to sign on 20-30 minutes prior to the meeting to check sound levels. A representative from the school must be on the call and mute students as needed. Please introduce them as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts artist.




  • 1 reserved parking space
  • Projector and screen (if needed, she will bring her own projector)
  • Laptop hook-ups for projector (she will bring her laptop)
  • 1 bottle of water

Arrival time before performance: 30 minutes

Strike time: 15 minutes

Time needed between performances: 15 minutes.

Teachers should play an active role in ensuring appropriate audience behavior and are requested to sit with their classes. Teachers are further requested not to correct papers during the program. It is distracting to the performers and, we believe, gives students the wrong message about audience courtesy.

Please introduce the performer as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts artist.