Monday, March 2, 2020

ReFoReMo Day 1: Founders Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call Round Up Mentor Texts for Personalized Projects

By Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call

During ReFoReMo, we feature a list of books that are recommended by our presenters. The plan is to analyze these from many different perspectives. Does that mean that you should ONLY look at the books from this list? Absolutely not! Our challenge is about learning how to analyze mentor texts from many angles, but most importantly how to learn from them while you research your current works-in-progress. That means personalizing your pile. What are your needs? What are your weaknesses? Where are you stuck? What new elements are you applying to your writing?

How does that look, you say?

A Personal Example from Carrie


The cumulative structure of This is the House that Jack Built is a classic. Knowing that I wanted to fracture a cumulative structure, but still find ways to show repetition, I paid careful attention to how others authors maneuvered the cumulative format. This process began after I had written a a few drafts of my own story and I desired to learn more as I revised.

Some authors used the structure in a straight-forward simple way. This was especially apparent in Simms Taback's version of the tale.










Others utilized intricate, poetic language, but still repeated each line verbatim as the story built.










And as I had hoped, some fractured the structure and wove in a huge dose of heart. I studied where and why that structure was fractured in relation to the plot.









After researching the cumulative approach that many different ‘...built’ books utilized (9 books), I now turn my eyes to other concepts that gradually build with variations of repetition.

Having already read Penny Parker Klostermann’s story, I learned about the importance of read-aloud-ability and reliance on predictability.










This is also true of the original There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly series by Lucille Colandro. But, I also love the way that Penny’s story introduces a fracture of the classic fly concept.









I will continue to study her craft approaches in relation to the cumulative structure itself, and add Jomike Tejido’s story and others to my study pile. Will a fractured concept turn into a fractured structure? I am excited to research additional picture books that inform and teach varied approaches to the cumulative structure.







“Mentor-texting”, or the practice of learning from mentor texts can branch off in many directions. My research also included picture books that feature the same type of character and setting that I have. Being intentional with research is key. What will help your story specifically? Are you always willing to learn more? Are you willing to dig deep into revision by researching?

A Personal Example from Kirsti       

Next spring, my book COW SAYS MEOW comes out with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The story breaks the 4th wall and has a narrator who uses wordplay and idioms to comment on the mixed up onomatopoeia. Here are several books where the narrator and the characters in the story disagree. Although I wrote COW before any of these books came out, they are stellar mentor texts that helped shape my revisions of the story.



SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR DID NOT ASK TO BE IN THIS BOOK, Julie Falatko and Tim Miller

This funny book’s interchange between the narrator and Snappsy is a rollicking read that ends with a surprising yet satisfying twist.







IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, Josh Funk and Edwardian Talor

In this comical book the narrator and Jack disagree about almost every aspect of the story. In the end, Jack takes charge and completely changes the story in a way that satisfies the narrator and the readers.






NORMAL NORMAN, Tara Lazar and S. Brit

In this book, the little girl narrator has a tough time dealing with Norman and his abnormalities. As she tries to prove how normal he is, Norman proves otherwise. Another book filled with surprises and humor!




CHLOE AND THE LION, Mac Barnett and Adam Rex

This story is a rambunctious meta story of Mac as the narrator and writer, Adam as the illustrator and their main character, Chloe. The conflict begins when Mac says a lion comes out of the forest, but Adam draws a dragon instead. Filled with humor and chaos, this is the kind of story that surprises and delights all ages.





Z IS FOR MOOSE, Kelly Bingham and Paul Zalinsky

“Moose does not start with D. You are on the wrong page.” This hilarious story stars Moose who can not wait for his turn in the alphabet book! He interrupts, ruins and makes a mess of every page until the end when his friend Zebra makes a kind choice.





My mentor-texting always involves two questions:
1. What do I love about this story?
2. How can incorporate what I love into my manuscripts?


How will you personalize your reading list?


Carrie and Kirsti are giving away a 15-minute Google Hangout to one lucky winner. Discuss mentor texts or pick our brains about picture books! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 2, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.


Carrie Charley Brown is the founder and co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She eats, sleeps, and breathes picture books as a writer, professional critique mentor, and elementary educator. Carrie serves as a 12 x 12 Critique Ninja, and contributed as a 2014/2015 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist and regional advisor for SCBWI North Texas. She enjoys blogging, reviewing books, and spreading mentor text love to students and adult writers. Her publications include ghostwritten projects and teacher resources. Carrie holds a masters of education in School Library Media, with an endorsement in Literacy.

Kirsti Call is the co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She reads, reviews, revises and critiques every day as a 12x12 elf, a blogger for Writer's Rumpus, and a member of critique groups. She's judged the CYBILS award for fiction picture books since 2015. Kirsti's picture book, MOOTILITA'S BAD MOOD (Little Bee) debuts fall 2020.  COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) release in 2021. Kirsti is represented by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency.


196 comments:

  1. Loved the way you shared how you used mentor texts in a variety of ways to revise your own books. thanks!

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  2. Thanks for giving us an example of how you each use mentor texts in your writing. Congratulations on your book, Kirsti. It sounds really cute. Thank you both for all the work you do for ReFoReMo.

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  3. These are great examples of the cumulative story and narraqctor/character disagreement. Another book that tweaks the cumulative structure of the HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT is Susanna Leonard Hill's THE ROAD THE TRUCKS BUILT. I echo the thanks Carrie & Kristi for all you do to make ReFoReMo so wonderful.

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  4. “'Mentor-texting”, or the practice of learning from mentor texts can branch off in many directions." This is a great point and thanks for the reminder. You can use mentor texts for many things. I was working on a monster story and wrote down vocabulary used in other monster stories to help with my word choices.
    -Ashley Congdon

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    1. Carrie and Kristi, what a great way to begin ReFoReMo! Thank you for giving us a peek at how you use mentor texts to help with your own writing, and for providing examples of fracturing fairy tales.

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    2. You are welcome, Ashley! Analyzing vocab choices from mentor texts is a great way to know which choices have been used and overused...in short, it will also tell you what hasn't been used. That will lead you to the start of something fresh.

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  5. This was super helpful! Thank you! I'm off to look at my WIPs in a whole new way.

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  6. Thank you for showing us how you can use the cumulative and narrator/character disagreement approaches. Now I'm going to reread each of these books to study how it's done and how I can use the same or different technique in one of my stories.

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  7. Carrie and Kirsti, thank you both for sharing your approaches to researching mentor texts. I love your examples, and they will help me get more out of my research. Short of asking others for recommendations, I sometimes struggle to find the right texts to study. How do you find your mentor texts?

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    1. we have lists of mentor texts in the facebook group, Robin. Those are always helpful. And sometimes just asking people for recommendations in the facebook group helps us find the right fit.

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    2. I watch award lists and see which books are receiving starred reviews. But overall, it's really just a willingness to explore. Visiting the libraries and bookstore to see the new things on the shelf, or just pulling book titles that appeal to me. Many of the PB writing (craft) books or educational blog posts and podcasts will also offer recommendations.

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  8. Thanks for helping all of us hone our craft each Spring with REFOREMO. While I have learned so much each year, I have not personalized my reading as Carrie suggests in years past. I look forward to focusing my REFOREMO!

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  9. Appreciated these examples, Carrie and Kirsti. Thanks for all you do for ReFoReMo - this is my second year and I love it. Can't wait to read MOOTILITA'S BAD MOOD and COW SAYS MEOW!

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  10. Yes! I actually set a goal for myself to read just ONE mentor text a day. I chose some books I wanted to study in a deep way. I am going to read ONE. If I love that one, I'll type up the text. If it's something I want to try out, I'll try it out. Instead of volume this year, I'm going for depth. My bag of mentor texts is packed for the week. There are only 5--one per day.

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    1. I love this idea! While I'm enjoying reading all of the books I've gotten out of the library so far, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and wondered how I would keep up.

      I'm now going to be more strategic about what I put on reserve. I am trying to apply this research to a story I'm currently working on, so I like the idea of making more specific choices that might apply to this piece.

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  11. This was a wonderful start to help us learn from mentor texts - seeing how you do it. Thanks!

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  12. Love how you personalized your lists. FYI if you can't locate one of the books through your library see if someone has read the story on YouTube.

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    1. Just be careful that it is a publisher sponsored video. Complete video readings break copyright laws. The Epic digital platform and other other similar resources are free. There is a thread in our FB group that has other suggestions on how to obtain books legally.

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  13. It's great to see how you both used mentor texts in your revision process. I admit I found It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk a little hard to follow! It made me wonder how I would read it aloud to kids-maybe with different voices! I have been working on a rhyming bedtime story and have read books like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Bitty Bot to study how authors have used subject-specific vocab, fun verbs, and a unique setting to freshen up a classic genre. Great start to the month!

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  14. Let the research begin! Thank you, Carrie and Kirsti for your dedication to the craft and sharing your examples. You inspire!

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  15. I see the benefit of collecting mentor texts concerning a single focus of study. Thank you

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  16. Finding the right mentor text is sometimes the tricky part and where having a kidlit community that can help is so important!

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  17. Ladies, so glad you came out of the gate with how you personalized ReFo for yourselves. That's what I plan to do this year, beginning with a specific publisher. Love this advice, "Being intentional with research is key."

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  18. Glad to be here this year. Excited to get started

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  19. Looking forward to a great month. The first two posts have really helped me narrow down how I will use ReFoReMo this year. Thanks for sharing how to utilize great mentor texts. This post really gave me some direction.

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  20. These mentor texts couldn't have come at a better time. I am brainstorming a cumulative manuscript and drafting one with a disagreeing narrator/characters. Thanks for offering up some new pb's I hadn't yet read!

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  21. I made a list of good characteristics in a cumulative format book as I read through your comments today. These will be helpful a I read other books and work on a similar story of my own.

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  22. I'm looking forward to this year's ReFoReMo! I know it's going to be a whirlwind month, but after reading this first post and having seen this year's list of mentor texts, I know it's going to be amazing. Thanks for all you both do!

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  23. This helps so much every year, thank you for doing this!

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  24. A great sampling of books to show this format. A few I really wondered if I could pull off such a change to format being a pre-published author-I'd love to know the background of a few of the authors to see what they went through to publish their books. Thanks for the post!

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  25. Hi Carrie and Kirsti - thanks for a great beginning and for sharing how you each use mentor texts! Love your examples. Looking forward to a fantastic month of learning and sharing!

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  26. Such fun examples, thank you Carrie and Kirsti! I have used more than one of them as inspiration. I was able to make a Moldilocks and the Three Scares from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so we''ll see what happens. I can't wait to see if something comes of it! But either way it was fun, a learning process and stepping stone on my path! Thanks again!

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  27. Thank you for being so consistent with ReFoReMo. I learn a lot every year and read so many books that I would not automatically pick up. Looking forward to learning more.

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  28. Thank you for sharing your specific examples of how you used mentor texts to help you revise and shape your WIPs. And thank you for organizing this event!

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  29. Thank you, Carrie and Kirsti. What a great start! Looking forward to a month of learning.

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  30. Thanks for the examples of how you use mentor texts--very helpful!

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  31. Thank you for another challenging month.

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  32. It's so helpful to see how you used each different mentor text in the context of writing/revising a cumulative story. Looking forward to a month of big learning. Thank you!

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  33. Thank you for the great examples- and for the month of challenges!

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  34. Off to a good start with good examples of fracturing a fairy tale.

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  35. Thank you for organizing this and for the inspiration. I enjoyed reading/rereading all of these texts with my 7 year old. We especially loved the books involving conflict with the narrator.

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  36. Great examples! I really loved the clever words and interactions of characters. I've recently been searching for good mentor texts for a story I'm refined...Always room for more fine tuning! Thank you!

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  37. I love metafiction, and Z is for Moose and Snappsy the Alligator are two of my favorites! One thing I'm trying to focus on while going through mentor texts is finding the heart of a story, and learning how to shape a meaningful story around a small idea.

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  38. The mentor texts and examples you listed and explained are such clever books. I have already read a few of these--humorous books are my favorite and a goal of mine to always include humor in my own work.

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  39. I appreciate your personalizing projects perspective. I want to find picture books where relationships are important and, also, setting. Any suggestions,
    anyone?

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    1. Our Facebook group is the perfect place for you to gather lots of feedback from others. We may already have a list that deals with character and heart, and I know we have one on sibling relationships.

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  40. Thank you for these practical examples.

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  41. Great tips! Let the research begin...

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  42. I love the different ways of approaching your mentor texts. I'm going to check out the Facebook group for a mentor text for my latest PB manuscript.

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  43. Thank you for the personal examples! Looking forward to reading today's books with this in mind.

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  44. Thanks for the tips today. I found Chloe and the Lion challenging, especially for a Mac Barnett book. I felt the same way about Snappsy. Perhaps I just don't want that 4th wall broken, but I like the way Barnett keeps the story loop tight. That is instructive and perhaps is why I prefer Chloe over Snappsy.

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  45. Quick question - how do I post a question on the Facebook page? I don't see any box "What's on your mind".

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    1. At the top of the page there is a box that says "Write something..."

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  46. After I read the books, I've been typing them up, adding word count, publisher and copyright so I could refer back later. I've also typed the jacket flap copy for most of them. I've already identified a few that could potential comp titles for one of my WIPs.

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  47. Thank you! What an inspiring and informative post!

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  48. I have read most of these books and I liked it but found Chloe and the Lion odd? I see the ideas in the rest of the stories but still don't understand the "breaking the 4th wall idea." I'll do some more research on that. Thanks for suggesting these new and older reads.

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    1. This might help, Sheri: https://www.marcieatkins.com/2015/01/20/mentor-texts-for-writers-carrie-charley-brown-breaks-the-4th-wall/

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  49. A great way to start off the challenge with two focused questions.

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  50. Thank you for this! While I constantly read PBs as mentor texts generally, I tend to feel a sense of urgency around revising (once I get around to it). Because of that, I don't take the time to explore mentor texts as a meaningful part of the revision process. This is a great reminder, and these are helpful examples, of how to do that.

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  51. thank you. I never know what to "get" from a mentor text and your examples and the reminder to focus on one or two items I want to improve give me a plan that I can use.

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  52. Thanks for the great ideas and examples.

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  53. Thank you. I especially appreciate the suggestion to consider weaknesses and areas of being stuck as drivers of research and study.

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  54. This is my first time doing Reforemo. Thank you to Carrie and Kirsti for such great examples. I am currently working on two stories that break the 4th wall and one with a cumulative structure so the examples are very helpful for me. I love the characters and the heart in Normal Norman. I also love that Norman has a stuffed animal because it is so funny and so applicable to young kids.

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  55. I am noticing that my comment identifies me as unknown. My name is Jennifer Odom. I'm not sure how to correct that issue. Also, I have made several attempts to join the FB page. Whenever I try, it says "pending" for a little while but never allows me to see any activity on the page. If anyone has suggestions on either of these issues, I would welcome the help. Thank you.

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    1. Our Facebook administrator has attempted to message you several times. It's good to know that this is you. If you comment using your email it could help or a different browser might connect better. We looked through the registrations and did not see your name. You are still welcome to use Unknown, but you may want to add your name to the end of your comments. I will let our FB admin that you left a comment here.

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  56. I am looking forward to learning a lot! Thank you for starting with some great examples on studying structure.

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  57. Wow, this day's blog was written just for me! I'm trying to put my latest WIP in cumulative structure. You've given me lots of book suggestions. Just gotta read, read, read!!!Thanks. How can I tell if I'm registered? I do get the daily emails

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    1. Did you place your name on the registration post? If so, you are registered.

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  58. Thanks for these mentor text examples and thanks for hosting ReFoReMo again!

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  59. I'm so thankful that you shared your search for mentor texts--I also have a cumulative manuscript and am excited to have found a couple of texts that are new to me. :)

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  60. Thank you for hosting this event. Enjoy the concentration of study,

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  61. So much to learn. Every day, something new. Thank you

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  62. I'm excited to participate in ReFoReMo for the first time! Thanks for hosting this event and showing how using mentor texts can improve our picture book manuscripts. :-)

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  63. oops...I'm coming up as 'unknown', also. I'm LouAnn Silva and just posted the last comment. :-)

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  64. Thank you both for sharing!

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  65. 'That means personalizing your pile.'

    Every pile I pick up from the library is like this! :)

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  66. Thank you so much for sharing the ways that you use mentor texts as you think about revisions. I am still establishing a mentor book strategy that works for me and I'm very excited to read the posts this month. Thank you!

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  67. I like the thought of deconstructing text to give a story a different twist.

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  68. Thanks so much for the examples and for discussing how you'll use your mentor texts. I learn from this challenge every year and continue to use mentor texts extensively! Thanks for the time you give to this challenge!

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    1. Hi Penny! You are welcome! Thanks for writing one of the mentor texts that is currently teaching me!

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  69. I think another great question to ask is WHY? Why did this text resonate with me (or why not)? Quite often, this helps me dig deeper into the mentor texts and uncover the layers that weave certain stories directly into my heart.

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    1. This is a great question to ask when researching generally. :)

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  70. Terrific examples and books. Thanks for the wonderful kick off to ReFoReMo!

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  71. Thank you, Carrie and Kirsti, for these fine examples and discussion of mentor texts. Because of you, I read mentor texts all year long. You ladies ROCK!

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  72. Thank you Carrie and Kirsti -- I'm new to ReFoReMo, sitting in my city library surrounded by books and figuring out next steps. Thanks for this series of examples of mentor texts and how to use them.

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  73. Thank you for the great list of books!

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  74. This was a very interesting selection of books, from the cumulative to the breaking the 4th wall. At first, I wasn't a big fan of "Chloe & the Lion" but as the story progressed, I enjoyed it more and more. IMO, not for young readers & possibly, written more for both the adult readers & an older child. Very original, that's for sure!

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  75. I choose my books solely based on whatever aspect I want to learn more on whether it's a specific theme, plot line, voice, POV. In the end it could be almost any aspect I want to know more about. My challenge is keeping track of books I read and tagging them in a way I can easily look back and find it when I need a book of a certain type.

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    1. You've got mentor-texting exactly right! As for the tagging, I use Goodreads to help me tag and find books later.

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  76. Thanks for sharing. I just returned from my library with a book bag full of holds.

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  77. Thank you for the great list of mentor texts and your explanation of how you use them.

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  78. First day of mentor texts in the books. Sorry, not sorry ;)

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  79. I'm ready to get started! Thank you for this first how-to-post!

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    1. There are lots of ways to personalize research...it just depends on what you need to study. :)

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  80. Thank you both for sharing your mentor texts!

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  81. I'm new to picture books, and your resource is amazing. Thank you.

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  82. Carrie and Kirsti, the specific ways you use mentor texts to help you when revising your own work is quite helpful.
    I have been searching for animal stories written in first person point of view with good usage of onomatopoeia. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    This month, I look forward to hearing how others keep track of helpful mentor texts. I appreciate Darshana’s comment as this is a challenge for me, too.

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    1. Try the Facebook group files (I know we have a 1st person file) and also put a post out to get more suggestions from our FB community. You'll get more responses there.

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  83. Thanks for featuring your personalized formula!

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  84. What a wonderful way to start day one. I am super excited to learn the various ways to look at mentor text.

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  85. I appreciated the examples explaining how you both personalize using mentor texts. Carrie's advice to be intentional and Kristi's advice to focus on what you love about a text and how to incorporate it into your own work were both quite helpful. Thanks to both of you for organizing ReFoReMo again this year. Congrats too on your upcoming publications!

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  86. Such an excellent start to the 2020 ReFoReMo.

    Thank you, Carrie and Kristi, for sharing how you use mentor texts to support your writing.

    Suzy Leopold

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  87. I'm so glad to be part of ReFoReMo 2020! Thanks for the clear explanations about how you use mentor texts in your work. An added bonus for me today was that I read and learned from several books that I probably would not have gravitated toward on my own. Thank you!

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  88. thanks for the examples. Such fun books!

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  89. Great books today. I have always loved fourth wall and didn't know there was a name for it. I am super excited to learn new stuff this month.

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  90. Carrie and Kristi: THANK YOU for giving personal examples of how to make THE MOST out of our INDIVIDUAL REFOREMO experience! I especially appreciate the INSPIRATION to make REFOREMO work FOR US in our own writing lives; seeing how we can apply the different methods, books, guidance from blog writers and fellow REFOREMOers. I am SO EXCITED to be doing this again. I missed signing up last year by ONE DAY--and was SO BUMBED. I think this is my fourth year, and EVERY year has TRULY helped REV UP my research and get down to business. THANK YOU both--and Cindi!!!--for ALL THE HARD WORK you put into making this happen!!! And Kristi: CONGRATS on "COW SAYS MEOW"!!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU, and SO EXCITED to read it!!!

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    1. You are welcome! And if you ever miss registration again, you know that you can still participate, right? Registration just helps you with the prize eligibility.

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  91. A great way to begin the month. I'll remember to ask myself the two questions at the end of the post. Thank you!

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  92. Thank you for sharing personal experiences of using mentor texts in very detailed and specific ways. I loved how "The Prairie That Nature Built" uses familiar repetition to share nonfiction information with young readers.

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  93. I love all these mentor texts to study. Thank you, Kirstie and Carrie! You two are are great!

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  94. Thanks for posting these great books! I read the cumulative ones this morning and thought I could never write one, and then while I was driving to a meeting, in that slightly removed way one is in a car by oneself (sort of like walking the dog), a connection went off in my head between a recent idea I had for a picture book and Stone Soup, which isn't really cumulative, but there you go. Tonight I dug into the other books and was struck by how the characters or narrators resemble kids I've met - how they one way or another insist on being themselves and not defined by the adult author. After just watching Mac Barnett in a webinar, I see him so clearly as the kid in his book wanting to break out. He's quite delightful!

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  95. One of my WIPs is a cumulative book, so these mentor texts could not have hit at a better time!

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  96. This post is such a help to show how to analyze mentor texts--going beyond just readings. Your examples and thoughts definitely show patterns that can be learned from as we write our own stories. Thanks so much for demonstrating how to analyze mentor texts from many angles, while reminding us how to personalize it for our own writing goals.

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  97. What a great start to the month! Thanks for this list. Some new ones in there for me, for sure. (And Carrie, good to connect with you again!)

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  98. This is my first foray into REFOREMO but I’m thrilled to discover this is something I’ve been doing for years to a certain extent. As an elementary school teacher I collect picture books and organize by theme, author or subject. So I’m always comparing different versions of the same story and exploring entire genres. I’m so excited to learn new ways to look at my books! Thank you for all of the work you put into this!

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  99. Thank you for the inspiration and helpful tips!

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  101. Writing down the first and last lines remind me of an Oreo cookie..the middle holds the cookie together. The mentoring text format, as presented, has spurred ideas and thoughts to ramble through my mind as I read the stories. The main character/narrator dialogue in It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk created a desire to respond as the reader. Thank you for your time in compiling the book list.

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  102. Thank you for some great examples on how to use mentor texts

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  103. This is my first time with Reforemo. Thank you! It is interesting that one of the first issues to study is how the narrator's voice works. I think that a play in the narrating voice is the trickiest device that can make or break a text. It is e x t r e m e l y difficult to keep a pace that a child can follow through - a n d amazing page turns - when the narrator's voice in not linear. Amazing books we shared!

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  104. Thank you for a great list of books! I've read many of these but I like how you included questions to deepen my thinking about what I can learn from these stories to apply to my own manuscripts.

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  105. Thanks for showing us how you use mentor texts. Congrats on your forthcoming book!

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  106. I commented last night but am not seeing it this morning. :(
    Thank you so much for the examples. I appreciate learning how different processes work for different people. :)

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  107. I love the questions you ask before starting your "mentor-texting". Thanks!

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  108. I love your concrete examples. Like you mention, too, I often find a book published while I'm revising a manuscript that helps me solve a problem. Reading, and rereading, mentor texts is always so helpful!

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  109. Thanks, everyone. Feel free to add to the CUMULATIVE TEXT doc here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/reforemo/cumulative-structure-mentor-texts/2653913338186337/

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  110. Thanks, everyone. Feel free to add to the META FICTION doc here:
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/reforemo/metafiction-mentor-texts/2005148956396115/

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  111. I like the humor in these books.

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  112. I love how you led us through the process of using multiple mentor texts together to help with a revision. Thank you!

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  113. This was so helpful, you two amazing women! I once had a template for analyzing picture books and quit using it after about 5 or 6. I needed more depth. ReFoReMo gives me that!

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  114. I think looking at so many different mentor texts brings a very unique analogy to our own plot and story ideas! And to have a group critique it with you is invaluable from the unique perspective standpoint.

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  115. Great examples of how to apply the texts to our own WIP s.
    Thx for sharing your perspectives!

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  116. I enjoyed the cumulative texts and was impressed by how the authors changed the text to make their own book unique.

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  117. I loved all the characters arguing with the narrators! Since I write nonfiction, or at least informational fiction, I tend to read a lot of books on a particular topic to see how they approach it. Right now, I need to to look up a bunch of layered texts and play with that a bit for one of my projects!

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  118. What a great list! Thank you for sharing these examples of structure and your process of using mentor texts!

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  119. Thank you Carrie & Kirsti for all your work organizing ReFoReMo. Have already discovered new mentor texts that speak to me, and I'm spending more time on them, figuring out why I love them, and how I can relate that to revisions on my current WIPs.

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  120. I'm so glad you shared these cumulative books. I've been working on one and these mentor texts are really helpful. Great start to a fun month!

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  121. Snappsy is a favorite in our household. And I'm a fan of Josh Funk but have not read this one. Looking forward to diving in.

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  122. Yeah! I'm a little behind since I got back from Costa Rica at 2am yesterday but am ready w/ about 20 PB's from the list, my notebook and pen. I usually study the 1st and last lines of the books and see what I like and don't like about the examples. Always read aloud so I can taste the rhythm.

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  123. I'm working on a picture book biography of a little known female activist, so I'm reading a lot of PB biographies with an eye on how authors create scenes when there isn't a lot information available about their subject.

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  124. I don't think my earlier comment posted. If not, I just wanted to be sure I am actively participating. I was saying how this post inspired me to try and write in a different structure than what I am generally used to. I am here this year to try and get inspired to write even more new stories, so this was a good start for something different!

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  125. I love seeing how you both use mentor texts in your own writing. Thank you for sharing some titles I was not familiar with.

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  126. Love your examples of how you use mentor texts. Thanks!

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  127. Kirsti, thank you for a guiding principle I can follow all month:
    two questions:
    1. What do I love about this story?
    2. How can incorporate what I love into my manuscripts?

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  128. Love all of these examples!!! Sure wish I lived near a bigger library though. 😉

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  129. Thank you for showing us how to use mentor texts when writing and revising our own books :-).

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  130. I loved all these books which play with the reader's expectations and make the reader think about what exactly a picture book is! Definitely lots of food for thought here - thank you!

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  131. I'm so excited that you guys make ReFoReMo happen! Love filling my library request cart with the books from the posts!

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  132. These examples really demonstrate how studying mentor texts helps the writer! Thanks a bunch!

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  133. Thank you both for a peek inside your process and your use of mentor texts. I just checked plowed my way through a stack of fractured nursery rhymes and my wheels are turning!

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  134. Thank you for sharing such great examples.

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  135. Thank you for including the titles related to breaking the fourth wall. Generally speaking I am not a fan of this technique, but "Chloe and the Lion" made me feeling differently.

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  136. Thank you again for hosting ReFoReMo. It is so helpful and introduces me to new books shelved and not noticed at my local bookstores or libraries. Thank you. Thank you. This post was particularly helpful. I always enjoy personal reading and writing experiences of fellow authors.

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  137. So insightful - thank you for another great ReFoReMo month of mentor texts; it has really helped me become a better writer and has made me accountable to reading as many PB texts with a writer's eye. I read with a purpose and I really benefit from studying the text. It's so helpful!

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  138. Thanks for your fantastic intro to this year's ReFoReMo! Excited to expand on my mentor-texting skill set!

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  139. Thank you for these terrific suggestions. Adding several of these to my personal collection.

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  140. Thank you for sharing the specific ways you use mentor texts and for giving such great examples. I particularly liked The Prairie that Nature Built and Chloe and the Lion in the other group.

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  141. As I was going through some Caldecott books to choose one to read to my students, I came across another example of cumulative text, The House in the Night, by Susan Marie Swanson. The author used the nursery rhyme "This is the key of the kingdom" as found in The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, as a mentor text. A sweet book!

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  142. I'll be happy to come back to this list at various points this year; I've been wanting to write a cumulative PB for some time, to use my strengths in rhyme and stretch my legs on the fun and re-readability of refrains!

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  143. Such helpful ideas on how to think about ways to use mentor texts to inform our own stories! You two rock!

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  144. These are great examples ladies - thank you in advance for the month ahead!

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  145. Great examples for each--thank you! Here's to another great ReFoReMo!

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  146. I loved how you shared your process of analyzing mentor texts to help build your own stories. I’m excited to read on (hopefully more regularly than a bunch on the weekends!).

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  147. This is my first time doing ReFoReMo. Appreciate the thought and attention you're giving to helping others think about their mentor texts!

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  148. I love the idea of choosing a few books and going intently into to them.

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  149. Thank you for taking us into your process of why you select mentor texts and how you apply them. Very illuminating.

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  150. As usual, I wrote down many books on my to read this, plus I recognized some of my favorites. Thanks for doing this!

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  151. Thanks for getting this launched again! I hope to keep up!

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  152. I commented on day one on the computer but it didn’t show it. I loved all these books. They were fun reads and my son loved them also.

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  153. I always think about what I love in mentor texts and any book I read, but I don't always make that next step to think about how I can apply what I love about the book into my writing. Thanks!

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  154. I love this structure. Will compare and see if it works for any of my ideas.

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  155. You both included such great choices here! Three cheers for mentor texts! Thank you for this month of awesome learning!

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  156. I love how you each focused on a specific topic and gave loads of relevant examples. Thanks for all you both do to make ReFoReMo such an exceptional, inspiring resource for PB writers.

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  157. Thank you for a wonderful start to ReFoReMo 2020!! The mentor texts you chose are wonderful, and I'm already inspired to take a new look at my stories!

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  158. Carrie and Kirsti, thanks again for running this. So interesting to have this insight and all the great examples. My favorite cumulative story was THE NAPPING HOUSE. Together with the soft dreamy illustrations, it was a go to book to read over and over again. I think the key is the anticipation... and that the child knows whats coming in rereads. Maybe one of my ideas can be used in this format. Thanks!

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  159. Thank you for this first post and sharing part of your process! Lots of great examples!

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  160. Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen! And thanks for sharing how you each use mentor texts in developing your stories!

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  161. I love when characters break the 4th wall -- and these are some great examples! Also really dig the retellings. I think we forget that we can use traditional, public domain stories/rhymes as a jumping off point to fuel a new adventure. I've been reading "There was an Old Dragon" to my kids for some time -- Did not even think about how it could influence my writing!

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  162. I have been a bit behind and am finally able to take a look at some of the books suggested. I appreciate all of the examples (fun choices!) and the discussions that go with them. It certainly gives me a bit more to think about. I will use this as I move forward with my writing. :)

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  163. You've presented so many wonderful examples of different types of Mentor Texts. Thank you.

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  164. Thanks you both for sharing your process.

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  165. All of this is very helpful. I especially love your two questions at the end.
    Thank you!

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  166. Love the way you grouped the themes together. I added a lot of great books to my read list today. Thanks!

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  167. Just checking in to make sure all of my comments loaded on the posts for the month- I wanted to say thanks so much for the hard work you put in to the content each year. We all appreciate you so much!

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  168. I love the way you approach mentor texts - thanks so much for such a great set of books to examine more closely.

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  169. These are all fabulous examples, most staples at our house. Thank you ladies!

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  170. THANK YOU! Several of these mentor texts jump-started a fun, new manuscript for me this month! Looking forward to diving deeper into the lessons to be learned from the whole list!

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