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I'd love to visit your lit/reading class, youth group, teen book club & b'nai mitzvah program - or work with you to plan a grade/school assembly...or even a synagogue/community intergenerational evening!

Q & A + Reading: 45 MINUTES

What’s the story behind Turtle Boy? How can we turn difficult chapters from our lives into creative work? 


I’ll share the key adventure from my life which inspired Turtle Boy, invite some student responses on the same topic, and then orient students to the themes of Turtle Boy: making your dreams come true, the importance of sharing your dreams with others, and more. After reading a chapter, we’ll take student questions. 


One step beyond, I can meet with teachers in advance to review the themes and topics students are learning about in their classes! This allows me to amplify themes from students’ formal coursework, and also provides teachers with material for post-presentation reflection in class.

Other themes I can focus on:

  • Writing about Jewish culture / growing up as a minority

  • Growing up different - and learning to yourself for who you are: physically, culturally, emotionally

  • Fiction and real-life and the relationship between them

  • Writing/editing as a “human-growing” activity: not giving up, making friends with vulnerability, sharing and trusting others, being honest with yourself, and more.


  • A 45 minute Zoom event is $300.

  • A 60-90 minute live author visit in San Francisco/Marin is $450 or $500 for greater Bay Area.


The Power of the Bucket List

What is the value of listening to one’s own inner dreamer? Why is it so important to write down our dreams and share them with the people we trust? How do we work past anxiety and fear to make our dreams come true?

Students dive deeper into the themes of Turtle Boy -- articulating and sharing their own ideas, building concepts, exploring new ideas. The interactive presentation can be for any group size, and includes graphics/visuals, partner/group sharing, a facilitated discussion, short reading, and Q&A. 

Compared to the frontal Q&A, however, this interactive format allows for more discussion, exploration and generation of new, collaborative ideas.


  • A 60-90 minute "Power of the Bucket List" Zoom event is $450.

  • A 60-90 minute live author visit in San Francisco/Marin is $450 or $500 for greater Bay Area.



Custom Program

A 60-90 minute interactive presentation can be tailored to amplify and explore themes from students’ coursework. This is especially powerful when I work with teachers in advance to discuss the learning goals and to build an exciting program. Costs for custom programs depend on the scope of the program -- let's design something that will dovetail with your academic needs and fit your budget.




Multi-Session Units & Community-Wide Events

I can work with your school, synagogue or youth group to produce and run a special program - from "guest teaching" a 4 session unit to an evening of intergenerational grandparent-parent-student bonding.

I love to collaborate and find ways to help your community learn and bond together. Let's discuss your goals!

"Our entire Middle School has been absolutely buzzing about the visit! Evan took the time to really connect with our students...He was the most considerate, compassionate, and energized author visit ever! Outstanding!"

-Ms. Fritz, WI


“Evan connected with individuals and with the class as a whole through the use of engaging presentation, insightful conversation, and interactive slides. Students connected with one another in breakout rooms where they collaborated and processed their thoughts with peers. Mr. Wolkenstein not only kept their attention and participation, but their energy elevated throughout each session. Engaging and thoughtfully created lessons!"

-Ms. Goodman, CA


"Evan Wolkenstein is an amazing story teller and creates a magical setting and realistic characters.  He uses his voice to imitate the sound of beating drums and the audience just can’t help but tap along too."



"Evan engages the audience by talking about their own bucket lists and their dreams.  This sparks what students are passionate about.  It’s what unleashes their energy and joy, gives their life purpose and focus, and allows them to make their own unique contribution to the world."

-Ms. Freitas, CA



"All I can say is WOW! Evan is a dynamic reader, bringing energy, fun, and life to my Zoom room. The students were engaged, interested in the story, and curious about Evan's writing process. He was the perfect addition to our reading week, reenergizing the students about their own reading and writing."

-Ms. Schwartz, CA


"Evan helped guide our community through a meaningful conversation about healing, kindness and resilience as individuals and as a community. He brought his expertise as an educator and also his experience as a resilient and compassionate soul who has navigated the sacred messiness and suffering in his own life. "

-Rabbi Shields, FLA

Turtle Boy: 1 Minute - read by author M. Evan Wolkenstein (Random House, 2020)

Turtle Boy: 1 Minute - read by author M. Evan Wolkenstein (Random House, 2020)

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