Ocean Water


Children's Book Author / Editor / Writing Instructor


SECRETS OF THE SEA: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist
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How did a 19th-century dressmaker revolutionize science? 


Jeanne Power was creative: She wanted to learn about the creatures who swim beneath the ocean waves, so she built glass tanks and changed how we study underwater life forever.


Jeanne Power was groundbreaking: She solved mysteries of sea animals and published her findings at a time when few women’s contributions to science were acknowledged.


Jeanne Power was persistent: When records of her research lost, she set to work repeating her studies. And when men tried to take credit for her achievements, she stood firm and insisted on the recognition due to her.


This book celebrates the ingenuity and courage of a marine scientist whose legacy lives on in every aquarium.

★ "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 and offering more substance for slightly older readers in backmatter.... An appealing introduction to a STEM trailblazer."—Kirkus

"Griffith employs a candid tone to showcase the real-life story of Jeanne Power, who made groundbreaking marine discoveries after moving from Paris to Sicily in 1818.... This is an informative, well-paced narrative biography featuring a lesser-known historical figure who persevered."—Publishers Weekly

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

MANATEE SUMMER (Coming June 2022)

"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

Peter and his best friend, Tommy, have a goal for their last summer before middle school: finish their Discovery Journal, a catalog of the wildlife around their Florida town. When they spot a manatee in a canal, Peter knows they’ve found something special—and when the manatee is injured by a boat, something to protect!


As Peter joins the fight to save Florida manatees, he also finds himself taking care of his ailing grandfather and facing an unwelcome surprise that jeopardizes his friendship with Tommy. Soon Peter is adrift, navigating shifting tides and realizing that he has as much to discover about himself as he does about the world around him.  


“With humor and real emotion in satisfying balance, Griffith tells the story of a boy dealing with a lot of change—in his family, his friendships, and in himself. The mysterious power of the natural world and Peter’s relationship with it through Tommy and Papa brings additional dimension and beauty to this affecting novel.”Sara Zarr, author of National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl

“Transporting readers right to the Florida shore, Evan Griffith's gorgeous debut makes you appreciate how simultaneously beautiful and tumultuous caretaking for a family member can be, and how loving and caring for those you love knows no depths.”Nicole Melleby, author of How to Become a Planet

"Manatee Summer is an engaging debut novel about remaining compassionate in the face of adversity, standing strong when all is lost, and connecting to loved ones who seem to be an ocean away. I loved Peter’s connection to Zoe, and cheered for him to find his voice to speak up for himself and those who needed him most."Lynne Kelly, author of Song For a Whale

Ocean Water


Evan Griffith is the author of Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist (Clarion, 2021) and Manatee Summer, a middle-grade novel forthcoming from Quill Tree/Harper in 2022. He studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


He worked for several years as an editor at Workman Publishing, where he specialized in non-fiction for children and adults, and he continues to edit books on a freelance basis. Through his role as the youth programming specialist at The Writing Barn, a creative writing education center, he also teaches online writing classes for kids.

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


Representation: Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC



I teach online creative writing classes through The Writing Barn. I am also available for virtual school visits. Upcoming events and classes will be listed here. Feel free to get in touch via the contact form below if you would like to arrange an event or visit. 

Ocean Water


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