Mentor Monday

So sorry to have been absent for so long! 2018 has not gotten off to a great start.  Between traveling to Houston twice for my father’s surgery, an ice storm  trapping in us in the hospital and the flu/strep/pneumonia hitting everyone in my household it’s been one heck of a ride!

But, I’m jumping back on the wagon and working on revisions and researching a new nonfiction topic that I think will be quite fun. I’ve got several debut authors lined up for some interviews and giveaways, so make sure you subscribe to the blog!. You can also be on the lookout for my #50PreciousWords challenge (you can se my previous entry here) entry over at author Vivian Kirkfield’s web site.  If you aren’t familiar with Vivian, please go visit her blog. She not only writes fabulous books but has tons of activities for kids and writers alike.

I’ve been trying to find more nonfiction books to evaluate since I prefer to write nonfiction, but today’s book is  fiction with a twist. Wilma Rudolph was the fastest woman in the world in 1960. This lovely story of friendship revolves quickestkidinclarksvillearound two girls who think they are the quickest girls in Clarksville, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph’s hometown.

So, I present, Pat Zietlow Miller’s The Quickest Kid in Clarksville.

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville  Mentor Study Worksheet

Remember, you can find a blank copy of the Mentor Study Worksheet here.

Also, do an author a favor, if you read a book, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Till next time!

J

 

Master Study Monday – Mighty Mac the Bridge That Michigan Built

Back on January 10, I was lucky enough to help author Jacquie Sewell celebrate the debut of her nonfiction picture book Mighty Mac the Bridge That Michigan Built. coverfinal_2_origIf you missed my interview with her, please hop over and learn about her process and how Mighty Mac came to be.  It’s a great story!

Today, I am using Might Mac for our Master Study Monday.  I haven’t’ used the  form on a nonfiction story before and I’m thinking I may need to create one specifically for the elements of nonfiction. More on that at a later date!

At first glance, Might Mac is a traditional nonfiction story. It tells us about how the idea for the bridge grew, to bridge construction, the people involved in its construction and types of bridges.  Jacquie covers it all in an interesting and well-researched manner.

The photographs of the construction are interesting and show the readers what bridge construction was like during the time period.  And can I just say that those guys were fearless! No safety harnesses, or any type of safety measures are visible!

At the top of each page, is a fun play on “The House That Jack Built” nursery rhyme.  The first page begins with,

“This is the man, daring and wise, who said, “Yes we can!” and believed in the bridge that Michigan built.”

This is a creative way for readers to learn about an important event in Michigan history.

 

Mighty Mac Master Study Worksheet

Master Studies Blank Form

 

If you read Might Mac, please help Jacquie out and leave your review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. You can learn more about Jacquie at her website jacquiesewell.com  .

If you have any books you would like to see mapped out for a MSM, please leave me a comment.

If you or someone you know will have a debut book in 2018, please let them know about my offer to help promote their book.

Much love,

Julie

 

Mentor Monday-After the Fall

Welcome to another Mentor Monday! I am very excited to review and study this week’s book AFTER THE FALL:HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN by Dan Santat.

This well crafted picture book quickly became my favorite of 2017. Dan Santat took a well loved nursery rhyme, difficult subjects (depression, fear and overcoming obstacles) and made it kid friendly. His accompanying artwork not only adds to the story but TELLS part of the story.

Told in first person, Humpty explains what happens to him after his great fall. What makes this story so poignant is that he wrote this in response to something he was personally going through with his wife. He tells about it in a podcast interview on All The Wonders.

This book is the perfect choice as a mentor. The page turns are impeccable, the plot is perfectly crafted and the ending is a beautiful conclusion to Humpty’s tale. This book is due to become a classic! If you don’t already have a copy, I urge you to get one for your shelves!

Now, here is the breakdown on  Humpty Dumpty After the Fall.

Remember, you can download your copy of a blank worksheet here.

Till next time,

Julie

Master Study Monday- Your Alien Returns

Happy Monday!

I thought today’s book would be perfect for Halloween!  Living within driving distance of Roswell, New Mexico, we embrace all things space alien!

WHEN YOUR ALIEN RETURNS is one of my favorite books. Of course, I love anything written by Tammi Sauer!  She has the ability to use humor in order to demonstrate the heart of a character.  your alien returns

I love the emotion that is conveyed in the illustrations and the caring that these two unlikely friends show for one another. If only life were a picture book!

 

I hope you find my MSM’s helpful.  They definitely help me dissect the heart of a story and my writing is getting better for it.

Here is my MS sheet for Your Alien Returns  and don’t forget, you can pick up a copy of a blank form here.

I’ll see you later this week with a review of HELLO GOODBYE DOG.  I was lucky enough to win a copy and LOVE the story!

~J

Leaping Lemmings

A lemming is a small, cute, little rodent that is found on the tundra in the Arctic. So what does the lemming have to do with writing you ask?   Quite a bit, if you follow along with my crazy thread!

Please hear me out before you quit following my blog.

As writers, we may see a trend in what is being published. and it is natural to want to ride that trend.  For example, the very successful Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. When “the boy sorcerer” hit the shelves, it was an instant success.  What followed in the publishing industry?  Everyone was searching for their Harry Potter.  A gazillion other variations on the theme came to life.  Were any of these of the caliber of Rowling’s creation?  In my humble opinion, NO.  These authors (I’m sure they are fabulous writers) were overshadowed by Harry Potter. 

lemmingg

Isn’t he cute!

So what does this have to do with lemmings, Julie? 

We’ve all heard the stories of lemmings leaping off of the cliff as they blindly follow their migrating group. My point is, don’t be a lemming.  Do pick a trend and write to it.  Once your story gets out there, the trend will be over and something else will be on the top of the charts. 

As writers, we HAVE to be true to ourselves.  Write what you love.  Write what you know.  Your heart and passion will show through. If it’s good and you’ve put in the work necessary, it will show.

So, don’t follow the trend over the cliff like a lemming. 

(BTW, did you know that lemmings really DON’T leap off of cliffs and commit mass suicide?  It’s a total misconception that was faked in a documentary by Disney in the 1950’s!)

Here is a darling story featuring Lemmings. One lemming just doesn’t fit in and follow the crowd. This week’s Master Study is of LEAPING LEMMINGS by John Briggs and illustrated by Nicola Slater.

Leaping Lemmings

You can find a blank Master Study form here.

See you on the shelves!

Julie

I’m Back!

I apologize for being MIA for the last month or so.  Things in the LaCombe Maison (house) have been wild.

It all started with school getting out in May.  Who can work with 2 teen girls demanding your attention?  I must admit though, I love having them home.  They have turned into pretty cool human beings and we did have some fun.

June found us meeting up with family in San Antonio.   I literally had my last stand at the Alamo.  I tripped off of the curb and fractured my ankle.  BUT, being the martyr I am, I pushed on and walked the River Walk and Market and was OK until I sat down and it had time to swell.  Here we are, two months later, and my ankle still hurts.  I should have listened to my smart hubby and gone to the doctor sooner.

July found me traveling with my girls to Houston for my father’s heart surgery.  Thankfully it was a minor procedure (as minor as them placing something in your heart can be) and he was home in 24 hours and is continuing to do well.

Here we are now at the beginning of August and school is back in sight.  I’m sad that my girls will be heading back to school, but am looking forward to having some uninterrupted time to devote to my writing and blog.

So, for my first post back, I’m leaving you with the review and master study of a book that I picked up in Houston.  Noah Webster’s Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer is a funny and educational peek at how the famous dictionary came to be.  I give this noah websterpicture book two thumbs up.  If I were still teaching American History, I’d use this in my classroom, even the eighth graders would love it.  It has a great hook and Mr. Noah Webster himself  leaves comments.  It is thoroughly researched and has a full bibliography.

From Lerner Publishing:

Noah Webster, famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language as spoken in the United States, was known in his day for his bold ideas and strong opinions about, well, everything. Spelling, politics, laws, you name it—he had something to say about it. He even commented on his own opinions! With a red pencil in hand, Noah often marked up work that he had already published. So who edited this book? It certainly looks like the ghost of the great American author and patriot picked up a pencil once again to comment on his own biography!

Here’s a link to my Master Study sheet for Noah Webster’s Fighting Words.

Noah Webster fighting words