With publishers sending out catalogs of so many books, who has time to investigate all the smaller publishers and self-publishers’ offerings? Fortunately for you, I have found one that I’m sure you’ll want to order multiple copies for your elementary collection. If you don’t believe me, accept a free copy and judge for yourself.
Free book offer to elementary school librarians of Poster Girl by Anne Emerick and illustrated by Laura Petrisin. Why is Anne Emerick giving away 100 copies of Poster Girl to elementary school librarians? She states on her website "School librarians are experts on children’s books and I need your valuable feedback." You should go to her website to read the long answer to that question because she recognizes "School librarians are essential in connecting young readers and books."
Poster Girl is an easy to read chapter book written from a third graders point of view. Read this paragraph and tell me you don’t recall a child saying this:
I haven’t even started my science poster. No big deal though. I’m not worried about getting a late start. My poster will be better than Cynthia’s. Lots better.
As our main character goes home to begin her science poster that is due the NEXT morning, we read how she thinks about her project, plans her presentation, solves problems with the media, searches the internet with parental guidance, and uses Ask Jeeves to find sciencemadesimple.com. I appreciate the fact that Mom is reluctant to print out information because she wants Paula to write her own information. When Paula insists the teacher said it was okay to just include the facts, Mom ensures she cites her source.
This is not simply a story of a science project, but it is also a tale of friendship and rivalry. Misunderstandings occur and motives are misconstrued. Characters learn and change. The reader can identify with several of the characters in the story as people are presented as a third grader would perceive them. This is the first in a series Friends Along the Way so I’m sure you’ll have more opportunities to explore relationships.
Poster Girl would make an excellent read-aloud introduction to researching and presenting. By not attempting to cover all steps of research, the author has given teachers and librarians the opportunity to discuss and expand upon the research process. Students can make judgments on "how" Paula and Cynthia created their science posters, then explore the website Science Made Simple to view other science fair ideas.
This is an excellent discussion starter for research. Let the guidance counselor read this to a class to talk about friendship. Then the librarian can discuss the pro’s and con’s of Paula’s research process. The teacher can join in outlining expectations and the students can begin a simple project.
The author’s website has free coloring pages, a word find puzzle, and a crossword puzzle to print. Anne Emerick is also the author of Could You, Should You Self-Publish a Children’s Picture Book?
Let me know if you have discovered other self-published books that should be receiving more recognition. Librarians are asking for books with a research process. I’ll be reviewing James Cross Giblin’s "Did Fleming Rescue Churchill?" next and you’ve read my two recent posts on The Sherlock Files. Keep those books coming authors. We need this wide variety of approaches. Mysteries, historical fiction, contemporary realistic fiction all genres need to incorporate a research process so we have a variety of choices to include when working with students.