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Miss E's October Novel

On a different note, Miss E selected her novel for the month of October yesterday. This month it's mysteries. She had told me she hates mysteries, but I reminded her that she's very fond of Scooby-Doo stories. I suggested that she look for one with animals in the pile offered, as there weren't likely to be any Scooby-Doo's. She selected one from a series of mysteries set around the planet, this one about Antarctica. So it includes penguins, one of her favorite topics. And very little spirituality, though Miss E informed me that the characters prayed the ice floe wouldn't break early in the book when their plane landed on it. I told her that was understandable under those circumstances.

The Dude and I checked the book out and it's night and day to last month's book. This book is clearly 4th grade reading level, it's listed as 4.8. It has some complexity regarding scientists and place names, but not relationships. It will build her vocabulary, but not with words like 'depression' and 'divorce.' Instead with a word like 'adamant,' something Miss E already knows how to be. SAT vocabulary words and various activities are listed helpfully in the back of the book.

I did find myself wondering where the heck the school library gets all these self-published books, though. I'm not knocking whether this is good, mind you. I'm just in awe that the library seems to have such a large collection of them. How does one market this stuff to school libraries? It's almost like there's such a dearth of basic material so they will buy anything if it's cheap enough. Get yourself a formula, be a bit clever with the execution, find yourself some school libraries. Voila. Career.

Frog Out



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, penguins have been on her brain since she saw March of the Penguins at age 5. Her latest passion is manatees. She wants to save some when we next go to Florida, or at least try to visit a rescue mission.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
One does wonder, doesn't one? Of course, if they donated all the copies, I don't know how they'd make any money at it. I hesitate to say 'vanity.' Small press? But this one is clearly a corporate venture where the author is also the publisher. And apparently she's been doing this for 30 years. So maybe at some school librarians' conference, the word gets around. I thought all the added bells and whistles and marginal illustrations were nice touches in this latest series. The other one is clearly written for a Christian market, of which there are plenty, but was seriously miscast as appropriate for Miss E. I'd much rather a word like adamant got into her vocabulary than depression or divorce. Not to mention 'snotsicles' which is not likely to be on an SAT.
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
I wish I knew how anybody markets things to school libraries. If they can be interested in penguins in Antarctica, they can be interested in fairies in New York.

Ah, well. It's a mystery, surely.
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I tried to DONATE Sarah P's "The Magic Thief" to them and they acted like it was somehow not appropriate. However, as that's now to be a scholastic (SBS) selection, it will have a stamp of approval.

What's your age range? This is K-5. It may be that I should donate your work to 6-8?

And, oh, wouldn't it be special to have you come down to VA to read and talk? From DC to Purcellville, there should be some schools interested, one would think.
Oct. 8th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
The book says 10 and up on it. 8th graders tend to look down their noses at it, but that's in New York. 4th graders like it, but unless they're enthusiastic readers, it has to be read to them. The Golden Age for New York Between seems to be 5th and 6th grades, with 7th graders who can get past the distinctly middle-grade covers.

And I'd love to talk in VA. I'm going to be teaching children's lit at Hollins in 2010 (yeah, I know), so will be in the neighborhood. And I should be on the edge of having a new book out then. We'll talk.
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Oh good, I hope she enjoys the new book.
Oct. 8th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
So far, she's enjoying it. Almost halfway through and it's not due for 3 weeks. I think the activities will take her some time to do, though.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )