School Visits

I’d love to come to your elementary or middle school this year for an author visit! I’ve worked with students at over 60 schools throughout Virginia for book clubs, classroom visits, school-wide reading events, libraries, and tutoring sites. Sessions are flexible, usually 45 minutes in length, and can be tailored based on school or teacher needs. I’m also available via Skype for classrooms around the globe.

The historical themes in the series make excellent reinforcement to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade social studies curriculum about  Jamestown, the American Revolution, Civil War, and the early 1900’s. Books contain strong story elements and facts from places like St. John’s Church, Hollywood Cemetery, Colonial Williamsburg, The Jefferson hotel, Maymont, Tredegar Iron Works, and  Jamestown, as well as key figures like Patrick Henry, George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, James and Sallie Dooley, Lewis Ginter, Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, and more. Kids from all over have loved the chance to learn about history in the context of an exciting adventure!

Presentations and discussions often include topics like:

  • writing workshop / writing a story
  • group discussion of one of my books
  • what makes a good story
  • the use of adjectives
  • being an author
  • the history tied into my books
  • answering lots and lots of questions!

New for 2017: As a result of many librarian requests, The Virginia Mysteries are now available in hardcover!

Discounts available for school/student book orders 

Please contact me ( for more information, to bulk order discounted books, or to schedule a visit! Books are also available at, and several local Richmond area bookstores.

“Our school used Summer of the Woods, as our ‘One School, One Book’ title this year. Kids and parents alike loved the sweet adventure story of the two brothers and the mystery that results in an unexpected discovery. The local history connection provided additional learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Steve’s willingness to come in and do writers’ workshops and book chats elevated the reading experience to a whole new level. Steve worked with us every step of the way from making the purchase process easy to providing daily trivia questions for the school to read on the morning announcements.” – Kristen Hebert, Bettie Weaver Elementary parent and PTA President

We had a great author visit with Steven K. Smith at my school. He visited for an evening with my Family Book Club that included students from grades 2-5. Both students and adults were delighted to hear him talk about his books. He gave insights into his writing process, details about researching his books, and thoughts about creating his characters. I was most impressed with how he was able to include so many of the students and parents in the discussion of his book. I even had a student chose to do his next book report on his second book! His books are engaging and have just enough suspense and mystery to keep you guessing while having a plot that flows along quickly and is enjoyed across many reading levels. The books work well as a read aloud as well as for independent reading. I’d highly recommend having Steven for an author visit. His fees are reasonable, his presentation is satisfying, and your students will want to read more of his books! –Mary Jo Krufka, Librarian, Linkhorne Elementary

“As a teacher I find it challenging to find an adventure book for students that is both engaging and suitable to share at the elementary level. Summer of the Woods is a keeper. The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and the characters are accessible to young readers. My entire class thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced and well-conceived novel by Mr. Smith. Both boys and girls clamored for the next book in the series, which is a huge score for any teacher or parent. We were so fortunate to have Mr. Smith come speak to our school in small groups. He captivated the students and gave them great advice on crafting their own stories. It was evident that he respects the insights and ingenuity of children, which I imagine is why his books are so enchanting. If you can manage to have him speak to your group, you will be find the audience enthralled by his humor and earnest love for writing for children. If that is not possible, read the book; it may just inspire you to look for your own adventure.” — Heather White, 4th Grade Teacher, Jackson Davis Elementary

“It’s hard to find historical fiction that is engaging for 3rd-5th graders, which is what initially drew me to Steven Smith’s books. The response was really exciting. I even had some students beg their parents to bring them to Williamsburg and Church Hill so they could see these places in person. In addition, I love that the reading level of his books match the 4th grade Social Studies standards on the SOLs. Students were able to draw connections between what they were learning in the classroom and what they were reading. This, in turn, helped students develop a deeper understanding of Virginia’s History. We also invited Steven to attend one of our Book and Breakfast meetings.  About 30 students read “Mystery on Church Hill” and then I surprised them with an author visit on the morning of our meeting!  They were starstruck as he took turns at each table discussing his story with them. Having a local author that is accessible and willing to share his craft with students can be a valuable experience for students learning what it means to be a writer.  We know we will be asking him to come visit every year!” –Sarah Takacs, Librarian, Ecoff Elementary

“Mr. Smith’s student presentation was engaging and instructional.  Students were excited to not only learn about his wonderful VA mystery books but to also delve deeper into the writing process.  Mr. Smith gave students tips on how to improve their own writing.  Students learned how to add descriptive words to enrich their stories.  His excitement for historical places around Richmond and Virginia was contagious.  Following his visit students and teachers have been inspired to read more books in the VA mystery series and visit Richmond historical sites.  Students and teachers are eagerly awaiting the publication of the fifth book in the series.
– Diane Strait, Librarian, Springfield Park Elementary