Alumna publishes ‘The Tender Turtle’ children’s book series

Amy Silvester draws inspiration from her own life experiences into her writing


Taylor Stinson

Oakland University ’96 graduate Amy Silvester gets “The Tender Turtle” short story series published. (Disclaimer: She is not the woman in the photo)

Finding the right book for a child can be difficult. Families have their differences, children need relatable books pertaining to their life situations.

Amy Silvester, an Oakland University alumna of 1996, is on a mission to write children’s books covering these personal life experiences.

“Going through all these books with my kids growing up, there’s a lot of topics that don’t get discussed,” she said. “I really wanted stories that could be fun, but also have a message.”

Silvester has two books published in her “The Tender Turtle” series: “The Tender Turtle” and “The Tender Turtle Needs Glasses.” A third book, “All in a Day with Momma,” is expected to be released by the end of March.

“The Tender Turtle” series are short stories inspired by Silvester’s youngest son, Liam. Through his daily life experiences of kindness, love and lessons to be learned, he is the muse for the main character, Toby the turtle.

“The turtle is inspired by my little guy because he is one tough little guy,” she said. “You see a turtle, and they’ll fall, and they never really get hurt, you just flip them back over and they’re good. That’s kind of like how my little guy is.”

The first book in the series introduces Toby’s blended family and the big age gap between him and his siblings. “The Tender Turtle Needs Glasses” is about change and visiting the doctor. “All in a Day with Momma” will be about taking care of yourself and your family. 

“It’s a very simple message, to the point, so that kids can recall,” Silvester said. “That’s the biggest thing, so they can read it and work on comprehension.”

Silvester self-publishes her books because it allows her to control the number of books that are printed and gives her freedom over the topics she writes about.

“I am a blended family, so my books get to talk about subjects difficult to talk about when you don’t do self-publishing,” she said. “By self-publishing, I can talk about the fact that my family is different, and I can introduce different characters that you don’t see a lot in books.

Silvester also illustrates the books. Her drawings are a representation that everything has flaws.

“That’s why I draw childlike and like a child did it, because it doesn’t have to be perfect,” she said. “The other thing I would love for people to walk away with is, you don’t have to be perfect in this life.”

Aside from writing, Silvester does public speaking events at elementary schools. She wants to inspire kids to read and write. She struggled with reading comprehension as a child, which inspired her to write shorter stories.

Her current focuses are promoting her books, talking at schools and inspiring children to dream big.

She took her own advice when taking the chance to follow her dream of publishing books.

“The Tender Turtle” series are targeted toward children up to the fourth-grade reading level. Her books are $8.50 each and can be purchased from Amazon, Kindle and CreateSpace.

For more information about “The Tender Turtle” and Silvester, visit her website at