I just read my first pile of books as a Cybils judge this year. I spent over an hour reading the above books to my 8 year old son. I read until my throat hurt, taking note of the books he liked, and the books I liked. I marveled at our difference in taste. I noticed the pacing, the page turns, the plot and the word choice. I payed attention to when my mind wandered or when I was completely surprised.
Carrie Charley Brown founded the Reading for Research challenge because of her experience as a Cybils judge. Reading many stellar and NOT so stellar books in a short period of time made her realize that other writers would also benefit from extracting story elements and analyzing their impact.
After 4 years of Cybils judging, I have 5 questions that I like to ask when analyzing mentor texts. This also helps me improve my own stories.
1. What makes this book compelling?
2. How does the first page catch my attention?
3. What makes this book fresh and unique?
4. What makes the ending satisfying and surprising, yet inevitable?
5. How can I infuse my own stories with these qualities?
The Cybils Award is still open for nominations! Please nominate 2018 mentor texts for the award! I can't wait to read them!
Which 2018 picture books do you feel pack the model mentor punch?