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Ocean Water


Children's Book Author & Writing Instructor



A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


★ "Traditional masculine stereotypes are defied by a gentle, attentive friendship between two boys . . . A lush backdrop and sweet characters facing complicated problems will keep readers hooked."Kirkus starred review

★ "A boy balances weighty responsibilities and complicated emotions in a poignant and reflective debut novel perfect for budding conservationists . . . Hand this charming ecological tale—a terrific pick for libraries—to readers who appreciate having their heartstrings tugged by books like Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot (2002)."Booklist starred review

"By turns heartbreaking and heart-healing, Manatee Summer is an empowering story about facing change with bravery, humor, and hope. Don’t miss this unforgettable middle grade debut by an exciting new voice."—Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One and Only Ivan


Cover art by Paddy Donnelly

SECRETS OF THE SEA: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist
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★ "An excellent purchase for elementary school collections because of the focus on an unsung female scientist paired with solid back matter and beautiful illustrations."—School Library Journal, starred review


"An appealing biography for children intrigued by sea creatures, and an inspiring choice for future marine biologists."—Booklist

"Griffith has applied years of editing experience to his debut picture book, selecting a career highpoint for his smoothly told narrative . . . An appealing introduction to a STEM trailblazer."—Kirkus

"An informative, well-paced narrative biography featuring a lesser-known historical figure who persevered."—Publishers Weekly

*See Secrets of the Sea featured on Story Time at Sea with the crew of the research ship E/V Nautilus!* 

*Hear Evan talk about Secrets of the Sea and all things writing on the Truer Words podcast.*

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Ocean Water


Evan Griffith is the author of the middle-grade novel Manatee Summer (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection) and the picture book biography Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine ScientistHis books have received multiple starred reviews and been recognized as Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, National Science Teachers Association Best Stem Books, and Chicago Public Library’s Best Informational Books for Younger Readers. His forthcoming titles include The Strange Wonder of Roots and Wild at Heart: The Story of Olaus and Mardy Murie, Defenders of Nature.

Evan studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MFA in Writing for Children at the Vermont College of Fine Arts where he now serves as faculty. He worked for several years as an editor at Workman Publishing in New York City, where he specialized in non-fiction for children and adults, and he continues to take on select editorial projects. He often teaches online writing classes and enjoys mentoring writers of all ages.

He lives in Austin, Texas with a mischievous tuxedo cat and several overflowing bookshelves.


Sam Bond Photography

Representation: Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC



I would love to meet your students! I am available for in-person and virtual school and library visits. As an experienced youth writing instructor, I can lead workshops in addition to sharing my own work. Below are sample presentations, which can be tailored for your audience. I can create custom presentations on request.


The Journey of a Book: I share how Manatee Summer grew from a poem to a short story to a novel, demonstrating how we never know where a piece of writing might lead us. I explore how I shaped childhood memories into fiction, inviting kids to see their own lives as wells of inspiration, and I share the themes that animate Manatee Summer and many of my stories: Animals and nature, friendship, and emotionality. I touch on the research that went into the book, as well, with STEM connections. (Grades 3-8)


Dive Into Secrets of the Sea: I read Secrets of the Sea and explore the true story behind the book: How a revolutionary seamstress-turned-marine-biologist took the scientific world by storm in the 19th century by inventing aquariums and solving a mystery that had baffled scientists for ages. (Grades K-6)


Writing Workshops: I lead generative writing workshops for grades 2 through 12. Workshop can be combined with author visits. Common lessons include worldbuilding, short stories, and writing based on memory. Custom workshops available on request.

"Evan's engaging presentation made a significant impact on our students. He authentically connected and shared his passion for science and animals. He clearly remembers how it feels to be a middle schooler and our students felt that. He answered all students' questions thoroughly and thoughtfully." - Anne Detwiler, Librarian, Ross A Lurgio Middle School

To inquire about a visit, use the contact form at the bottom of this page. Rates vary depending on location, length and number of presentations, and other factors. If you are an educator seeking funding for author visits, check out this fantastic blog post by author Donna Janell Bowman. If you are an educator in the Austin, TX area, you may be able to receive funding through Project WISE, a Writers’ League of Texas program.


Upcoming events are listed here. To inquire about booking me for a conference, festival, or other speaking engagement, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Ocean Water


I would love to hear from you! Use the form below to say hi, request an author visit, or leave me cryptic clues for a mystery that needs solving. Or say hi on Twitter:

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