Archive for the 'children’s books' Category

We’re in the News

February 22nd, 2012

A film crew from our school district visited our classroom two weeks ago for our book release party. They created this great video about our children’s book project that is now posted on YouTube and I’m embedding here.

Zoe’s Post on The Nerdy Book Club

February 14th, 2012

Nerdy Book Club Logo

Zoe, one of my 8th grade students, wrote a post about our new book, Transitions, over on The Nerdy Book Club Blog. Zoe was the main writer of Wake Up, one of the children’s stories in Transitions. She also wrote the forward for our book. If you get a chance, head over to The Nerdy Book Club and check out her post. Even better, leave her a comment.

Nice job Zoe!

Transitions: Now Available on Amazon!

January 8th, 2012

TransitionsCover400w

Our children’s book is all done and now available on Amazon.com for $15.00. The book is a collection of seven original children’s stories all based on true life experiences. The theme of the book is transitions, so all the stories have something to do with an important transitional period. For example, one group created a story about  a character, Ned the Noodle, who experiences his parents getting a divorce. All the kids in this group have experienced this themselves.

Another group created a story inspired by their experiences of immigrating to the US. The stories went through a series of revisions until they were just right. The students edited their stories very carefully because they knew they were going to be published.

Through a mini-grant from our school PTSA and money we raise each year at our annual film festival, we were able to bring in local community artist, Arturo Ho, to work directly with the students on their illustrations. Arturo did an excellent job helping the students fine tune their illustrations. It was a real pleasure working with him.

This was a tough project but everyone seems happy with the way it all turned out.

Children’s Book Project

November 10th, 2011


My media literacy class has been very busy creating children’s books over the last month. We’ve been fortunate enough to bring in local visual artist Arturo Ho to work with students on their illustrations. Like most big projects, it’s taking a bit longer than we expected. However, all the hard work and extra time is definitely paying off.

All the stories have a common theme of transitions. Students first did a series of writing activities where they explored different transitions in their lives. Everyone eventually divided up into groups based on their shared experiences. For example, we have one group doing a story about experiencing their parents getting a divorce. Another group is creating their story about moving to the United States from another country and the hardships that ensue. The stories are all metaphorical, but inspired by these shared life experiences.

Arturo is a real pro at getting students to create their best possible work. Not only is he a talented artist, he’s also a really nice guy. It’s been great having him in our classroom during this project. We plan to publish all our stories as a collection via the self-publishing site blurb.com. We’re also creating digital movies of the stories complete with narration, sound effects, and music.

Stay tuned…

Special Classroom Guests

October 2nd, 2011

Illustration from The Shiny ShellTomorrow, we have some special guests visiting our 4th period media literacy class. David Hubbard and Marcie Wolf-Hubbard recently published their own children’s book, The Shiny Shell.  David wrote the story, and Marcie did all the illustrations. Since we’re gearing up for our own children’s book project, I thought it would be a good idea to invite a guest children’s book author (or authors in this case) to come in and talk with us.

I just got my copy of The Shiny Shell a few days ago. It’s a very engaging story about a young boy named Orion. One afternoon, he is swimming around in his backyard pool, when he suddenly finds himself in a new underwater world. He meets a friendly dolphin named Sleek, and Orion’s adventure begins. Sleek takes Orion on a strange trip in a “travel bubble” to “The Gathering.” Here, Orion meets a series of bizarre and beautiful sea creatures. The antagonist of the story is a shark-like creature named Snark. He has “two arms with three frog-like fingers,” and a “rotor-like tail which spins rapidly to propel it forward giving it the appearance of some misshapen torpedo.”

Throughout the story, Orion learns about the growing threat of pollution to the world’s oceans. There’s a reference to the island of garbage currently floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I actually had never heard of this so I quickly Googled it to see if it was true. Unfortunately, it is:


All the illustrations in The Shiny Shell have this beautiful dream-like quality. They are slightly hazy, but yet still clear enough to make out the characters and the actions. It will be interesting to hear how David and Marcie came up with their story, and how they decided what illustrations to create.

Visit theshinyshell.com to learn more about this children’s book and to download the ebook version.