Chris's in-person and virtual visits are completely booked for the 2018-2019 School Year
Contact his assistant, Latoya Sherron (contact@ChrisGrabenstein.com), to be placed on the waiting list for a virtual visit.
Because of his intense writing and touring schedule, Chris can only make a very limited number of select in-person school visits each year.
If your school will be studying one (or all!) of the Lemoncello Library books, The Island of Dr. Libris, or the Welcome to Wonderland series please contact Chris's assistant Latoya Sherron (contact@ChrisGrabenstein.com) with your proposal for an in-person appearance.
Priority will be given to schools planning a major event (such as a one-book, one-school project) around any Chris Grabenstein title.
Chris will waive his $2,500-per-day fee for schools that purchase at least 150 copies of any of his books. (Chris is happy to sign the books he has co-authored with James Patterson but those books will not count toward the 150 minimum.)
Chris encourages schools to work with their local bookstores whenever possible. Many of those stores offer schools discounts when they order mass quantities of a title. If that option is not available to you, Random House Children's Books offers schools a 40% discount on books purchased for an author visit.
Schools also need to pay reasonable transportation and, if out of the New York City metro area, lodging costs.
Because of his many writing deadlines, Chris can only visit schools that are reachable via train or airplane—modes of transportation where he can work on his laptop without causing a major traffic accident. For schools that cannot be reached by plane or train, please ask Latoya about Virtual Visits, which are also FEE FREE.
About Chris's In-person School Visits
What he does...
- Story structure
- How to use the techniques of improvisation to beat writer's block
- The importance of rewriting
- A simple story map
- Creating hooks to grab readers' attention
- The power of verbs
- "Show don't tell"
- More tricks of the trade
His goal is to reinforce your classroom work in a fun, funny, and interactive way that leaves students eager to do more writing (and reading) on their own!
Who is it for...
Designed for grades three through six, a typical session runs 45-60 minutes with time for questions.
Chris can do two assembly presentations plus one writer's workshop per day. He is also happy to do a lunch with students and/or faculty and, of course, do a book signing.
What he needs...
A room, auditorium, or gym full of eager, well-prepared students. An LCD projector (VGA or HDMI connection) and screen or ginormous TV screen/Smartboard. Computer speakers. A white board or flip chart with markers. An excellent microphone (no matter the size of the venue)—handheld is best (either corded or wireless). A bottle of water.
Some things to include in your proposal for an in-person visit:
- Will this be a "one book-one school" or similar major event?
- What grades would Chris be talking to?
- How many students are in each grade?
- Please confirm that you can meet Chris's AV requirements.
- How will the teachers incorporate Chris's Dr. Libris, Mr. Lemoncello, and Wonderland books into their classroom lesson plans prior to Chris's visit?
- How will the school notify parents of Chris's visit? Will order forms be sent home?
- Do you have a local bookseller that you work with for book orders when hosting authors? If so, what store? If you do not work with a local bookseller, what is the name of the nearest independent bookseller/Barnes & Noble/BAM in your area?
- Is it possible to get to your location via train or direct air flight?
- Will you have someone to pick him up and drop him off or will a car service be used?
Chris loves making virtual visits to classrooms that have read at least one of his books. If you're a teacher/librarian and your class/school has been reading something by Chris, just e-mail his assistant Latoya Sherron (contact@ChrisGrabenstein.com) to make all the arrangements. It's Fee Free! Skype sessions usually last about thirty minutes and work best when the students come prepared with questions.
When sending in your request, please let Latoya know
- Which of Chris's books will your classroom, school, or group have read prior to the visit?
- How many students will Chris be talking to? What grades will be represented?
Latoya can also provide you with a link to a FREE 32-minute video where Chris answers to The Top Ten Questions he is typically asked during Skype sessions.
Library Olympic Games! Chris has also created a second FREE video where he is the Lemoncello-esque "game show host" for some Library Olympics games that you can play in your library or classroom. Just click the link and let the games begin!
Praise for Chris Grabenstein's Author Visits
"I have been a teacher and principal for 35 years and I have seen many author presentations. Mr. Grabenstein's presentation was by far the best that I have ever seen. He truly engaged the students during the presentation and motivated them to read and write. His charm, wit and sincere joy emanated throughout the presentation. How could one not be captivated while listening to his stories and ideas?"
—Thomas Famulary, Interim Principal, Fairview Elementary School
"All I can say is WOW! Chris Grabenstein's presentation was fabulous. The kids are still (4 hours later) all abuzz about it. In my many years of being a librarian and having guest authors, this was by far the best. Thanks again."
—Annette Hilton, Hoover School, Palo Alto, CA
"Both the students and the teachers truly enjoyed your presentation. In fact, a few of the teachers even commented that it was the best author presentation that they had ever attended."
—Anne Snyder, Libararian, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, MI
"I have never received so many compliments from teachers, (in 7 years of doing 2-3 assemblies each year), who are also saying their students were enthralled by the assemblies. The real music to my ears, though, is from the not-so-enthusiastic young readers, who are stopping me to tell me, "I am already on chapter six in my book!" Could I have some of your magic, please? Aside from this, you are one of the nicest people I've ever met! Which is also what I'm hearing from everyone else!
Seriously, it's not just that everyone is SAYING you were wonderful...they are saying it with great, happy facial expressions, confessions of being inspired to write, and much thankfulness for a terrific experience. I am lucky to have stumbled upon whatever brought you to my attention!"
—Nancy Rodino, Somerset School, North Plainfield, NJ
"The students and teachers all raved about your presentation. 'Awesome!' 'Best author visit we ever had!'"
—Kathy Piscitello, Media Specialist, Highland School, Midland Park, NJ
"Thank you for the wonderful presentations today! I can't tell you how many students said, 'He was the best author visit yet!'"
—Mary Lovely, Librarian, The Episcopal School of Knoxville
"You held the audience captive with your insights, instructions, suggestions and your talent. As I said before, if you choose to embark on another career, teaching would be blessed by your presence."
—Alice Ingle Krug, The Baylor School
Classroom Study Guides
Ten Tips for a Perfect Author Visit by Michael Shoulders, courtesy of the Nerdy Book Club blog
Order books for the visit from your local Independent Bookstore, many of which offer discounts to schools.
School Visit Poster Template (this is an enormous file; be patient!)
For some great tips on planning a successful school visit please visit the Random House Teachers page.