Raising Voices: Creating Youth Storytelling Groups and Troupes

by Judy Sima and Kevin Cordi

Anyone who wants to start a youth storytelling group or troupe will find a wealth of practical information and inspiration in this guide. Written by two veteran storytellers and storytelling group leaders, this book takes you step by step through the entire process of planning, starting, managing, and growing your storytelling group-even up through taking the show on the road. Complete instructions for teaching storytelling skills and performing are accompanied by dozens of reproducible activities and practical tips-from how to recruit members and how to adapt stories for telling to what to wear when performing, and fundraising ideas. Storytelling is a powerful teaching and learning tool. It increases literacy and language skills, builds creativity and imagination, instills confidence, encourages cooperation and collaboration-and it’s great fun for everyone! Share the gift of storytelling with young people and watch them grow. Grades 4-12.

To Order this publication, download an Order Form to purchase directly from Judy.

or Purchase from Amazon.

275 pages
ISBN 1-56308-919-X

*Storytelling World Award Honor Book
*Voice of Youth Advocates “Five Foot Bookshelf” selection
*Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award
*Starred Review: Library Media Connection


VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) “Extending the Five-Foot Bookshelf”
Download PDF of review

“Mounting evidence supports and recognizes that storytelling provides marvelous venues for the development of language skills among young people. Judy Sima and Kevin Cordi offer a reassuring blueprint, so librarians and teachers can avoid reinventing the wheel. Practical in its every suggestion, this book offers ideas for attracting kids to join a storytelling group, as well as organizational plans for both leaders and young participants. They incorporate activities to assist in learning stories, in presenting stories, and offer suggestions for raising funds. With this guide in, all who believe in story and its value for young storytellers will find them selves inspired and well on their way.” — Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award

“I love words and I love this book. What a title – “Raising Voices!”

Raising – as in growing, gathering, introducing, recruiting, rallying, reinforcing, awakening, developing, guiding, training, mobilizing, motivating, nourishing, increasing, intensifying, promoting, pulling, provoking, lifting, supporting, exalting, dignifying, evoking, stirring up, and sending thru the roof. R-A-I-S-I-N-G!

And not only raising, but raising Your Voice – articulate, call, cry, delivery, exclamation, inflection, intonation, modulation, murmur, mutter, roar, shout, song, sound, speech, statement, tone, vent, vocalize, yell, put into words, announce, articulate, assert, come out with, declare, deliver, divulge, emphasize, enunciate, give expression, inflect, intonate, present, proclaim, pronounce, recount, say, sound, speak, talk, vent, verbalize, vocalize and TELL.

Growing kids into speakers and speakers into thinkers and Raising Voices Loud enuf to be HEARD!And kids will be heard and not only heard but they will be more articulate.” — Carol Birch, Storyteller

“Written by two veteran storytellers, this guide not only provides a valuable rationale for storytelling by youth but also offers specific steps for organizing teller groups. The tone throughout is consistently respectful of youth developmental needs, talents, and energy. Besides the organizing tips, there is also a chapter on keeping the group motivated and attendance consistent, which provides a “behavior contract.” The resources list includes collections; stories; sources for props, instruments, and media; Web sites and organizations. For those teachers and librarians who believe in story and the value of storytelling with youth, this book is a must-purchase. … Sima offers a highly recommended purchase worth every penny for those seeking fun ways to program and facilitate skill-development.” — VOYA

“This is an excellent resource for a teacher or library media specialist working with any age group of storytellers. The reproductive forms, checklists, sample letters and the extensive bibliography or recommended books alone make this a worthwhile purchase. Highly Recommended.”  — Library Media Connection

“A unique and reliable blueprint for beginning and sustaining a successful group or troupe of storytellers …Raising Voices is the complete, and essential, handbook for this special group of storytellers.” — School Library Journal

“As a professional storyteller and story coach I know I will turn to this valuable resource again and again. It sparkles with insight, wisdom and every basic tool you could possibly need to nurture your own Storytelling Troupe. This concise and comprehensive hands-on guide is written with clarity and conviction. I predict it will become one of the bibles of storytelling, one which storytellers and teachers will turn to again and again. A must have for anyone interested in storytelling and passing on the ancient art of Oral Tradition!” — Karen Chace, East Freetown, MA

“How I wish I had this book when I was doing extended Oklahoma Arts Council residencies in the schools! I recommend this book highly to storytelling groups of ALL ages.” — Territorial Tattler