I love visiting schools and have developed an interactive presentation that combines my personal story of becoming a writer (no easy feat for me!) with insights into the writing and publishing process. I have also created a unique hands-on activity in which kids create stories using plot elements and characters that I provide. The hour-long presentation is best suited for students in grades fourth through sixth.
I did my presentation at the Norwalk Public Library, in Norwalk, CT. The event was attended by dozens of local children, and the mayor of Norwalk, who presented me with a beautiful “Norwalk Reads” poster emblazoned with my picture (not so beautiful, but very exciting!)
Nice words from nice librarians and teachers
"I'm always nervous before any author visit. Great authors don't necessarily make great presenters. But thankfully, I had nothing to fear with Lauren Tarshis! She was a smash hit with faculty and students alike at our school. So many teachers commented on how stunned they were to see how engaged and focused their students were even after an entire hour of Lauren's presentation. She was not only entertaining and witty, but she shared the compelling story of her childhood struggles with reading and how she overcame them to become the author she is today. Her books have always been popular in our library, but now they are literally flying out the door!"
LMS, Williamsburg Elementary
"The students at our school have had the opportunity to hear from many visiting authors over the years. Lauren's visit stood out as one of the best and most memorable. Her ability to connect with the students, relate her story to their own experiences, and produce a positive result exceeded our expectations. She is authentic, honest and sincere in spreading the importance of reading and learning. The students, teachers and parents who heard Lauren speak were all left with a meaningful and lasting memory."
Chair, Visiting Author Series
St. Joseph’s School, Bronxville, NY
"Our students look forward to an author visit each year, but this year the anticipation and excitement was palpable. Students couldn't believe I had been able to score a visit with Lauren Tarshis, author of the "I Survived" series and the Emma Jean Lazarus books. Lauren Tarshis is an amazing author AND presenter, not an easy feat. Lauren was personable, funny, candid, honest, and engaging in her presentation for students. We hosted a lunch with the author and the students who were chosen to participate were star struck. I cannot keep her books on the shelves and we have a waitlist for each as the students continue to devour Lauren's books. The lessons that were imparted in Lauren's presentation about her own experiences and difficulties with reading were lasting ones that won't soon fade. I was thoroughly impressed with Lauren's humorous and energetic presentation and hope to work with her again at some point in the future."
LMS, Pine Road School
Huntington Valley, PA
"It was clear that Lauren wowed the fifth grade and the many parents who attended her presentation, with her sincerity, her willingness to divulge the insecurities she felt as a middle schooler, and her enthusiastic approach to writing. She got the students up on stage, allowed them to analyze and critique characters and plot-lines that she developed, and most importantly, empowered them by stressing the need for each student to create their own work by manipulating the components she presented. Lauren’s passion, sense and humor, and expertise left a lasting impact on children and adults alike, and it is an experience I will not soon forget."
Fifth Grade teacher,
The Dalton School
New York City
"My students were transfixed by Lauren’s presentation, and touched by her personal anecdotes and life story. I can't keep Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree on the shelves. It is flying out of my Library Media Center. If you want an author who speaks to the issues that matter to students today, motivates them to find their inner "writer" and enlightens everyone in the audience about the power of achieving your own goals and dreams: it is Lauren Tarshis."
LMS, Greens Farms Elementary School
“Everyone raved about Lauren’s presentation at our school…it was a highlight of this year’s Book Fair. She is a terrific speaker, and gave the kids such a positive, inspiring message about overcoming obstacles and the power of positive thinking. We can’t wait to see her again!”
LMS, Farmingville Elementary School
“Lauren shares her own personal stories about struggling to read books, with an honesty, a warmth, and a great hope that transfers to the kids. She delighted and inspired our students and staff with her presentation! Her book, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, is absolutely flying off the shelf here, with a "waiting list" on hand!"
LMS, Newfield Elementary School
"Lauren was able to capture the attention and imagination of everyone in our audience from the children sitting in front of her to the parents seated in the back to the staff of the library who only meant to peek their heads in but ended up pulling up a chair to listen. Her presentation is beautifully done, and she gives a great message that all children and adults should hear, no matter who they are or what they want to be. I've heard only wonderful feedback from the librarians and children who attended, and all of them are wondering when they can hear her speak again."
LMS, Norwalk Public Library
“On a very warm spring day when there was no sign that we even had a ventilation system, our fourth graders were remarkably alert. In fact they were hanging on to every word that came out of Lauren Tarshis's mouth. A natural storyteller, Tarshis made them laugh with her comical account of the many set-backs she faced in her journey toward becoming a writer. She also tugged at their heartstrings with a touching and truthful description of the obstacles she faced, learning to be a reader. Not all visiting authors understand the importance of involving the audience in the presentation, but Tarshis - despite the fact that she's a new author - understands this implicitly. Our fourth graders loved selecting from a set of mix and match characters and problems, seeing first hand the ingredients that must go into any book. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree is already a West School favorite, and we hope our students will have a chance to work with Lauren Tarshis again.”
LMS, West School
New Canaan, Connecticut
My amazing trip to Chicago included visits to three area schools, and the pleasure of meeting reader and new friend Olivia, her brother Sawyer and their amazing mom Beth, who drove six hours so that we could meet. I’m very lucky!