Below is the complete list of Jim’s presentations.

All presentations marked with an *asterisk are the most requested/popular presentations.

Unless otherwise noted, talks can be assemblies or class visits and can be adjusted for any age group, but students of similar ages should be presented to together.

Be Persuasive*

Using ONE WORD FROM SOPHIA, we explore the meaning and technique of persuasive writing, a common core requirement. Students create their own persuasive arguments backing opinions using facts with a specific audience in mind.


A session about writing, in particular writing suspense. All about the draft and revision process, components of suspense, plotting and keeping track. Uses my book A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT and film clips from the Alfred Hitchcock and today's films and relates it to children's literature. (Grades 4 and up.)

A Long Walk*

As the illustrator of Linda Sue Park's A LONG WALK TO WATER, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer specializing in water projects, I discuss the journey of Salva Dut, a real life "lost boy of Sudan," the creation of this bestselling novel, and the provision of clean water in Africa.

Reading Pictures*

For the youngest students. Jim will reads from a selection of his books, emphasizing with students how pictures and words each tell a story, then finishes by teaching the class, with the help of student artists, how to draw characters using shape, color and expression. (Recommended for K-1)

Seeds (New)

Using my book TREVOR, the students and I learn the components of social emotional learning - self awareness and regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Making Makers (New)

Before I wrote children's books I was a civil engineer. Using TWO PROBLEMS FOR SOPHIA, I discuss design thinking and creation process with students. All about how to identify problems and solve them.

Into Africa

A cross cultural experience. Using my book THE MARKET BOWL as a focus I speak about my experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Africa. A strong emphasis is placed on cultural understanding and dispelling misconceptions about Africa, in the context of showing kids there are real life adventures just waiting for them.

Picture This

A session about visual story telling, for picture books, graphic novels, films, etc. All about the interaction of words and images to create setting, character, plot & emotion. Includes reading from my books, short films and other media. (Recommended for grades 4 and up.)

Draw, Partner

An illustration workshop. All about how I create my characters, the revision of drawings, expression and emotion. Followed with a hands-on creation of characters by students with given prompts. (Groups of 40 or less, only.)


I spend time with students, either class to class with a guide, or at lunch, to answer questions.