Cara Mentzel & Idina Menzel

Author Speakers

Saturday, June 24: 11:00AM―12:00PM, CT

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Author Speakers Idina-Menzel & Cara Mentzel, ALA Annual Chicago, June 22-27, 2023

Cara Mentzel

Cara Mentzel's debut memoir, "Voice Lessons: A Sisters Story," about her relationship with her superstar sister, Idina Menzel (yes, they spell their last names differently), was a Good Reads Choice Award nominee in 2017. Mentzel lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she and her husband raised their Brady Bunch of boys against the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. She has a master's degree in elementary education with an emphasis on children's literacy, and though she currently spends most of her time writing, she enjoyed teaching elementary school for well over a decade and can occasionally be found back in the classroom talking about books she loves.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel is a powerhouse: actor, singer-songwriter, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and now writer. She was Tony-nominated for her Broadway performances in Rent and If/Then, winning the prize for Wicked's green girl. People around the world know her as Elsa in Disney's Oscar-winning Frozen and Frozen 2. She has performed at the Oscars and the Super Bowl, and is the co-founder of A Broader Way Foundation, whose mission is leadership development to amplify young women's voices through the arts. "Loud Mouse" is Idina's latest endeavor to build on the message of empowerment and finding our voices. Idina's greatest gift is her son, Walker.

About the Session

The sisters will share the inspiration behind their new book, "Proud Mouse," available September 2023. A lyrical picture book about a proud sister learning to find her own way. Cara Lee is a proud mouse. She is proud of her big sister Dee. She is proud of her specially decorated journal. And now she’s proud to become what she’s always wanted to be: a student. But her first day of school is different than she imagined. Everyone keeps comparing her to Dee. But who is Cara Lee? When you have a big sister with such a LOUD talent, how can you find room to shine in your own way? Filled with humor and heart, "Proud Mouse" is a clever tale about celebrating the things that make you YOU and having the confidence to stand loud and proud.

John Schu Image

This session will be moderated by John Schu, author of "This Is a School," illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison; "This Is a Story," illustrated by Lauren Castillo; and "The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life." He is also a children’s librarian at Bookelicious and a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University. He was previously the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs and has worked as a classroom teacher and school librarian. He travels all over the world visiting schools and meeting with students, teachers, and administrators as he advocates for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, schools, and the libraries—and librarians—that connect them. 

Book cover for Proud Mouse, by Idina Menzel & Cara Mentzel



Disney Publishing