Bruce Hale

Bruce Hale

  • Author of over 35 books for young readers
  • Has performed extensively on stage and television
  • Won the Little d Award for humorous juvenile literature
  • Won a Fulbright Grant to teach storytelling and study folklore in Thailand

Travels from California

Contact Forte Speakers for presentation fee

What do you want in an author visit?

Someone who delivers content relevant to your students and curriculum. Someone entertaining who knows how to talk to kids. That’s what Bruce can provide you. As a professional speaker and member of the National Speakers Association (the premier organization for professional speakers), he’s all about making your visit day a success — and a fun one!

As the author of over 35 books for young readers, Bruce has traveled nationally and internationally, speaking at schools, libraries, and conferences. And as an actor and storyteller, he knows how to keep audiences engaged.

Bruce Hale is an award-winning author, illustrator, storyteller, and Fulbright Fellow. He has written or illustrated over 35 books for young readers, including Clark the Shark and the popular Chet Gecko Mysteries. The Malted Falcon was nominated for an Edgar Award, and Murder, My Tweet won the Little d Award for humorous juvenile literature. His newest series are School for S.P.I.E.S. and The Monstertown Mysteries.

Raised by wolves just outside Los Angeles, Bruce began his career as a writer while living in Tokyo, and continued it when he moved to Hawaii. He worked as a magazine editor, gardener, deejay, actor, and corporate lackey before publishing his first children’s book in 1989.

Besides his writing and illustrating, Bruce has performed extensively on stage and television. He has appeared in numerous plays and musicals, TV commercials, and in an independent film called “The Ride,” where he plays a surfer’s agent.

Bruce is a popular speaker and storyteller, both with adults and children. In 1998, he won a Fulbright Grant to teach storytelling and study folklore in Thailand. He has also been a featured storyteller at Honolulu’s annual “Talk Story” festival and the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

As a presenter, Bruce has spoken at national and regional conferences of booksellers, educators, and writers — including the International Reading Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, the Maui Writers Conference, and others. He has visited schools both nationally and internationally, and has taught writing workshops at colleges and universities.

In his spare time, Bruce enjoys playing and performing jazz and salsa music, as well as bicycling, hiking, and kickboxing.

Author Day Visit (grades K-6)

Have Bruce come visit your school and inspire kids to write, read, and be creative! A one-day visit includes three 50-minute presentations which may be customized to meet the school’s needs. The school can choose between assemblies and writing workshops for its three sessions.

Author Assembly (for grades K-6)

A blend of character education, stand-up comedy, and pro-literacy message, this highly interactive assembly includes:

  • Storytelling from one of Bruce’s books;
  • Audiovisual presentation about his journey from reluctant reader to author;
  • Question-and-answer session with the audience; and
  • A brief cartooning lesson.

Although the basic presentation remains similar, Bruce will alter it for different grades to be age-specific. No limits on the number of students in an assembly.

Story Power Workshop (grades 3-6 — for groups of 100 or less)

Energize your writing program by introducing your students to the fundamentals of story writing in a fun, lively format. Session includes storytelling, the creative process, basic story elements, and the creation of a group story right on the spot.

Workshop is a 50-minute, interactive session – for no more than 100 students. Student and teacher workbooks are available for photocopying by school. For more information on Story Power workshop content, visit

Note: Bruce is open to the possibility of a brief stop-in visit to kindergartners, if desired.

For those students and staff purchasing books, Bruce will gladly autograph them on the day of the visit, separate from the presentations. If your PTA is interested in earning some additional revenue by acting as the “bookseller,” please ask Bruce about this.


If you’d like the positive impact of the author visit to last, consider doing follow-up Skype sessions with Bruce. These half-hour sessions can be customized to support the school’s goals. Topics include: 1) Quick Draw, a cartooning workshop; 2) Story Power Junior, a condensed writing workshop; and 3) Self-Editing Secrets, a follow-up to the Story Power workshop that helps student writers understand how and why to edit their work.


  • Reimbursement for breakfast and a casual lunch on the day of the visit. Either a vegetarian or fish meal would be fine. (And Bruce is glad to dine with the teachers, staff, or selected kids.)
  • An honorarium in the agreed-upon amount, delivered on the day of the school visit.
  • A microphone, bottled water, small table, chalkboard and chalk (or white board/flip-chart and pens), and a LCD digital slide projector with speaker hook-up for the presentation.
  • A presentation schedule that allows at least 10-15 minutes between sessions (for recovery time).

IMPORTANT: The key to a successful author visit lies in familiarizing students with the author’s work before the event. Please let Bruce know if you need copies of his books for this purpose; they will be provided at a scholastic discount.


Bruce’s Chet Gecko Mysteries and Snoring Beauty can be obtained directly from your local bookstore, or from the publisher, Harcourt Inc. (1-800-543-1918). His Underwhere series and Clark the Shark can be obtained from HarperCollins, while the School for S.P.I.E.S. and Monstertown Mysteries series come from Disney-Hyperion. To purchase the Hawaiian picture book series at a scholastic discount, contact Bruce directly.


Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz, makes a great faculty resource. Clear guidelines for a wonderful author visit and much more. Available from: Libraries Unlimited – 1-800-237-6124.

Entertaining for Grownups, too!

Bruce also enjoys speaking with educators’ groups, writers’ groups, and at family literacy nights — as well as teaching business storytelling to individuals and companies. For information on Business Storytelling visit his site. Please contact Forte Speakers for other ideas on storytelling programs for your group.



“For over two decades I have been hosting author visits, and Bruce Hale’s is first rate! Students agree. The consensus is that he’s the best, and the most used word to describe him was “fun”! Bruce’s dynamic Story Power presentation was the most successful workshop in creative writing for children that I have ever participated in. His visit has inspired even my most reluctant writers to begin creating their own stories.”  Claudette Brown, Librarian, Echo Horizon School, California

“It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Bruce Hale as a speaker, workshop leader, visiting writer, or any other role remotely related!”  Diane Mark, Creative Writing Program Coordinator, University of Hawaii at Manoa

“After the Skype, ALL of the kiddos said they want to be an author/illustrator just like you! They were gluing pieces of paper together to make a book, they began sketching, coloring, cutting, talking about main characters…it was great to see them so excited!” Rebecca Bowling, Library Media Specialist, Dorton Elementary, Kentucky

“Everyone has been raving about the visit and how beneficial and fruitful your visit has been. In a few words by some teachers in our school, “Best author visit ever!!! And I have seen quite a few.” Lamiya Bharmal, Primary Librarian, Stonehill International School, Bangalore, India

“The students LOVED you!  I think everyone of your books has at least 5 to 10 students waiting for it!”  April Vegas, Library Clerk, Del Rio Elementary School, California

“Thank you for the wonderful presentation yesterday.  In addition to being entertaining, I appreciate the focus on some important character traits, especially persistence.  This is right in line with our belief in a growth mindset and that ‘effort grows ability’”. Bill Grimm, Principal, Calvin Leete School, Connecticut

“Mr. Hale conveyed the importance of fulfilling dreams despite challenges and obstacles. As a result of his humorous perspective, the students were engaged and inspired to pursue dreams with passion, persistence, and practice.“ Faye Yamasaki,  St. Andrew’s Priory, Hawaii

“Bruce gave our students a day they will never forget!  He inspired all of us to find the joy of writing and sharing your story through books. Two solid thumbs up for Bruce Hale.” Jeff Sipos, Principal, Grapeland Elementary School, California

“My students loved learning about how you write and why, not to mention all the personal touches you gave us! Thank you again and know you have made my students even more successful at reading!” Neil Bennington, Fort Lee School #3, New Jersey

“You were well organized and prepared, and you made planning the author visit feel practically effortless. I was particularly pleased with the rapport you had with the students during the book signing. Thank you again for making this an author visit to remember.” Jodi Hink, Librarian, Highview Elementary, New York

“Bruce Hale’s presentation was certainly a highlight of our BIG READ program. He is a delightful, exciting speaker who not only enthralled his audience with his words but also with his dramatic, musical, and artistic ability.” Grace Ernst, Librarian, Churchill County Public Library, Nevada

“The highest compliment I heard today was that you spoke to the kids at their level without ‘talking down’ to them. My students were talking about it all day long.” Kristen Valenzuela, Librarian, DeAnza Elementary School, California

“The dramatic storytelling Bruce uses within his presentations resulted in students heading to the library to check out as many of his books as possible.  If you’re looking for a highly motivating speaker (especially for your reluctant readers), mystery solved – Bruce is your guy!” Lisa Feldner, Burleigh Elementary School, Wisconsin

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with you on our Author-In-Residence program. Everyone loved you!  I got tons of compliments from our teaching staff and we know that you inspired our students in so many ways.  My son, Michael, commented last night that he wishes you were his uncle!!” Debbie Samel, Big Springs Elementary, California

“Our circulation department informed us yesterday that they received a lot of new customers over the weekend because of you!!!  You have really made an impact, and we are so grateful to you for sharing your inspiration with these kids!” Rebecca Willhite, Librarian, Walmart Children’s Library, Arkansas

“On behalf of the Libraries United Conference Committee, thank you for making our conference such a success. People loved your programs — the storytelling and writing workshops especially got rave reviews! They wanted more! We’d love to have you back to Maine for a future conference.” Stephanie Zurinski, President, Maine Library Association, Maine

“Bruce was extremely easy to work with during the organization and implementation of authors’ week. The students and teachers absolutely adored him; they enjoyed his sessions because they were energetic, funny and educational.” Ronna Zigmand, ES Librarian, American Embassy School, New Delhi, India

“Your impact on our students’ reading is seen every day here — kids carrying your books around and READING them!” Ava White, Librarian, Louisburg Elementary, Kansas

“Bruce is very easy to work with and has a wonderful personality for school visits. He is a great storyteller and easily holds the children’s attention. After the Author’s Faire, a special day student connected with him enough to go back to her room and reproduce all of his artwork, a gifted fifth grader spent the afternoon playing with language, and all over our neighborhood, children spent the weekend reading Bruce’s books.” Donna Nasielski, Author’s Faire Chairperson, Adobe Bluffs Elementary, California

“Just a quick note to tell you I need hundreds of copies of your books! The kids and teachers are crazy about you and LOVED meeting you. Thank you so much for stopping by to see us! It was the highlight of our week!” Nancy Klein, Librarian, St. Edward’s Lower School, Florida

“The [Battle of the Books] kick-off this year was fantastic, thanks to you. We had our best attendance ever, and for weeks afterwards people would tell me how wonderful your program was. It’s no surprise that for two weeks following your presentation, we were unable to keep Chet Gecko books on our shelves!” Monica Anderson, Youth Services Librarian, Grace Dow Memorial Library, Michigan

“Our students have been much more excited about reading since his presentation, and our librarian can’t keep Bruce’s books on the shelves. Our students have also become very excited about creating their own stories. Bruce’s talk has created many budding writers and illustrators. Overall, it was a wonderful experience for our whole school district, and I highly recommend Bruce Hale as a speaker.” Krista Kegerreis, Reading Specialist, Northampton School District, Pennsylvania

“I wanted to thank you again for such a great visit…. I want to tell anyone considering having you speak at their school, they should definitely do it. You are wonderful with the students. If you remember, as you were leaving one student even begged you not to go!” Beth Roberts, Treasurer, Hillcrest Elementary PTA, East Moline, Illinois

“You were such a pleasure to work with — accommodating, organized, and always available to help. Many thanks for making my role in this so easy.” Kirsten Pert, Our Savior’s Lutheran School PTA, San Clemente, California

“Bruce was an outstanding presenter and inspired our students with his message. If you are considering having Mr. Hale visit your school, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do so.” Stephen Shepperd, Principal, Sunnyside Elementary School, Idaho


Bruce has written and/or illustrated over 35 seriously funny books for young readers. From picture books to fiction, his motto is, “If it’s not fun, why read it?” Here you’ll find something for every taste, from fractured fairy tales to suspenseful mysteries, graphic novels, and more.