Monday, March 15, 2021

ReFoReMo Day 11: Literary Agent/Author Joyce Sweeney Opens the Wider World for Young Readers

My love affair with picture books began when I was four. A family friend had enrolled me in a program where I got a new Little Golden Book every month.  I was so excited for those deliveries. As an only child living in a remote, rural area, those picture books began to expand my world and experience tremendously. I saw much more of the wider world that way than from television. So, for this piece, I wanted to salute some recent favorite picture books that in various ways, open new perspectives for our youngest readers.

Connecting to the Past

Shannon Hitchcock’s SAVING GRANDADDY’S STORIES (Reycraft 2020) is the biography of Ray Hicks, an Appalachian storyteller who perpetuated the culture of oral history, and adapted traditional Irish stories to American Mountain culture. Sophie Page’s scrapbook-like illustrations add to the antique feel.



Contributing to Social Awareness

V IS FOR VOTING, written by Kate Farrell and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald (Holt 2020) is a charming, rhyming alphabet book which offers inspiring, fun ways to practice citizenship at any age. It provides a great sense that anyone, at any age, can begin to participate in our democracy and make a difference. 




Celebrating Diversity

SELENA, QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC by Sylvia Lopez, illustrated by Paola Escobar (Little Bee 2020) puts a Tex-Mex spin on biographies of performers. Selena Quintanilla’s rise from child performer in a family band to sparkly superstar strikes a great balance between showing the hard work and sacrifice but also saying a true star knows herself and must stand up for her vision. 




Considering Options

LILLYBELLE A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS, written by Joana Pastro and illustrated by Jhon Ortiz (Boyds Mills Press 2020) presents us with LillyBelle, a damsel in training who struggles with rules that just don’t fit who she is. A simple but powerful message of politely refusing to let others define us.



Coping with Tough Times

COUNTING THE DAYS, written and illustrated by Janeen Mason (Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, 2019) is the touching story of a father-daughter team waiting for Mom to return from military service. Lots of great techniques for surviving hard times are offered, but there is also space made for just feeling the feelings and knowing they are okay. The happy ending reminds us also that bad times are not forever and there is always hope.


Joyce is giving away one copy of Plotting Your Novel with the Plot Clock by Joyce Sweeney, Jamie Morris, and Tia Levings to one lucky winner! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 1, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.


Joyce Sweeney has worn a lot of hats. She is the author of fourteen novels for young adults, and two chapbooks of poetry. She created and managed a local theater company in South Florida for ten years, mentoring local playwrights, producing and directing their plays. For the past twenty-five years, she has taught creative writing, both in person and online, and has mentored over sixty of her students to traditional publishing contracts. She has edited countless manuscripts and will be the quintessential ‘editorial agent’. Most of all, she is a champion for writers and her newest role as an agent at The Seymour Agency is a great chance to take that to a higher level. You can read more about Joyce’s wish list at http://www.theseymouragency.com and her novels at http://www.joycesweeney.com.

186 comments:

  1. Thanks for opening our eyes to this list of mentor texts!

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  2. These titles were all new to me (well, I guess based on the publishing years, new in general). Even as a longer bio, SELENA, QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC was really engaging and I thought her tragic death was handled with a light and sensitive touch. V IS FOR VOTING is one I can see sharing with younger children although there are lot of spots where I would want to pause and explain more.

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  3. Great group of PBs! Joyce I am looking forward to reading Saving Grandaddy's Stories, when it gets back to my library. Good thing is it's getting read. Love the books you chose. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you for sharing these wonderful mentor texts, Joyce! I especially loved the biography SAVING GRANDDADDY'S STORIES. The text and illustrations were delightful.

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  5. Looking forward to seeing these titles show up on my HOLDS shelf at the library. Thank you for suggesting them. COUNTING DAYS sounds like the PB I need to read for myself. Best wishes at your new job!

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  6. Thanks for the recommendations. I haven't heard of any of these and I'm already in love with the idea of two of them and can't wait to read them.

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  7. These titles are all new to me & I’m looking forward to reading all of them!

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  8. These titles are all new to me & I’m looking forward to reading all of them!

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  9. These titles are all new to me & I’m looking forward to reading all of them!

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  10. Thank you, Joyce. I love the story of your exposure early on to picture books. Little Golden Books played a role in so many lives, and still do. I'm eager to read these books. I'm especially looking forward to reading the rhyming alphabet book and to seeing the art in SAVING GRANDADDY'S STORIES. Happy writing and thanks for bringing books into children's worlds.

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  11. Ty, Joyce, as writers we must remember to open the doors to our youngest readers and open their worlds. Good mentor texts!

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  12. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites and offering your thoughts on how they expand our world, Joyce.

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  13. Thanks for sharing these mentor texts. I have a personal copy of Lillybelle, A Damsel Not in Distress and await copies of the others titles from my local library.

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  14. Thanks for sharing these eye opening books with us. I'm really interested in reading SAVING GRANDADDY’S STORIES and see the scrapbook-like art.

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  15. I loved my Little Golden Books too, Joyce! Thanks for sharing this great list of mentor texts!

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  16. Thank you, I look forward to reading these!

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  17. I agree about books being a way for children to explore the world. This is especially true during these pandemic times where we can't travel and experience as much as we'd like. Thank you, Joyce!

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  18. Thank you for introducing us to these great texts!

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  19. Thanks for an interesting list of titles. Some of these are new to me.

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  20. These are all lovely books, but I have an extra soft spot for SELENA, QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC by Sylvia Lopez, illustrated by Paola Escobar.

    I was blown away at the amount of back matter. And the way her death was written about was so easy for a child to understand. I felt like I had just finished an informative 2 hour documentary. With stunning imagery.

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  21. COUNTING THE DAYS seems appropriate for now in so many ways. Military, hospital, teachers, or just plain waiting for the vaccinations to arrive for everyone. V is for Voting was one that actually came in at the library before this post. It's a great introduction to our voting process. Thank you!

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  22. These titles spoke volumes in such a short span! Thank you for offering up these lovely books! I was blown away by the Selena book, the images were captivating!

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  23. Such heart in these books! Love the Damsel NOT in Distress. Thanks.

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  24. This looks like a great list of books, thank you. My library didn't have any, so I will have to further pursue them but am excited to do so. SAVING GRANDDADDY'S STORIES sounds wonderful.

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  25. Joyce, I, too, remember special Golden Books that made an impression on me as a child. Thank you for this stellar selection of recent titles.

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  26. What a beautiful story of how you first fell in love with picture books, Joyce! Thank you for a wonderful list of mentor texts.

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  27. What a beautiful story of how you first fell in love with picture books, Joyce! Thank you for a wonderful list of mentor texts.

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  28. Thanks for sharing these wonderful books,Joyce!

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  29. Great list of reading books for today. SAVING GRANDDADDY'S STORIES was one of my favorites...the illustrations were cool. Silvia Lopez has written many different books centered around culture...I also read another written by her called JUST RIGHT FAMILY....a very well written book to read to children, especially a child whose going to be a big brother or sister....thanks again for some good reading!

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  30. Thank you so much, Joyce! I appreciate you sharing your story and can't wait to add these titles to my reading list.

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  31. Joyce, thank you for sharing your awesome list of mentor texts that open up perspectives for authors as well as young readers. These books and Golden Books are golden doors to a wider world, just as you have described. Silvia Lopez has even written some new Golden Books about Frida Kahlo (Jan. 2021) and Sonia Sotomayor (scheduled for release in 2022).

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  32. Thank you for sharing these titles. Still trying to track down a few of them, but I look forward to reading.

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  33. Nothing more exciting for me as a new reader than earning a new Little Golden Book from the grocery store! Glad you shared that too Joyce.

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  34. Thanks for this post, Joyce! What a wonderful program you were in at age four! I love my Little Golden Book collection.

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  35. Great mentor texts, Joyce. I also loved Little Golden Books as a young child. I liked how V is for Voting explains many concepts in easy to understand language for young readers.

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  36. Great list. My first introduction to Selena was the movie with Jennifer Lopez. Such a beautiful but tragic story. The picture book is wonderful. And V is for Voting is outstanding. Hoping to get my hands on the rest of your recommendations. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. Thanks so much for the insightful post, Joyce! I haven't read most of these books and can't wait to check them out. Also, like you, I LOVED my Little Golden Books. Most of the books I read as a kid were from the library, so getting these in the mail was like pure gold.

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  38. Thanks for sharing these great books!

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  39. I haven't been able to find these at my library, but I'll definitely keep the list and look for them in a bookstore when I'm able to go. Books are so important for opening readers of all ages to new perspectives and the wider world -- that's one of the many benefits of reading the books shared through ReFeReMo. Thank you!

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  40. Thank you for these interesting titles, ridiculously hard to find here but I enjoyed Lillybelle and her spunk. I like spunky characters. Keep opening our eyes to new titles to compare and contrast and find new books.

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  41. Thanks for sharing these mentor text suggestions with us!

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  42. Thank you for the list of mentor texts. I really enjoyed LillyBelle: A Damsel NOT in Distress.

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  43. Great mentor texts. Thanks for sharing. I can also still remember those books that opened up my perspective and gave me a feeling for someone else's life.

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  44. Nice selection covering many intriguing themes. Thanks for compiling these with your comments, Joyce. Happy reading, everyone.

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  45. Thank you Joyce. I just got these from the library. I find the Appalachian story telling interesting.

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  46. Thanks for sharing these titles, and for touching on the way picture books open up new worlds. I recently tracked down a childhood favorite of my own (Ginnie and the Cooking Contest) and can't wait to re-read it. How wonderful that you have mentored all those writers to publishing contracts. You'll make a dream agent!

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  47. Thank you Joyce for sharing these titles with us. Counting the Days was eye opening. More stories need to be told of the military families or just families where parents aren't there as much and what can be done to help pass the time. Happy Monday! Glad to be back.

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  48. I remember Golden Books. What a treasure. Joyce, thank you for also sharing these other new titles.

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  49. Great suggestions! I love thinking about picture books that give us new perspectives and open the world just a little bit more with each reading. Thank you!

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  50. Thank you for your list of books! I also loved Little Golden books. I still have some of my old favorites!

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  51. JOYCE: I LOVE the story of your early connection to Little Golden Books, and how they opened a wider view of the world to you. OH, HOW I ALSO LOVE those SHINY, GOLDEN spines--they are a TRUE TREASURE! The different topics and mentor books you have suggested illustrate how books in various forms can open a window--and sometimes a door!--into a WHOLE NEW WORLD for young (and old!) readers. THANK YOU for the reminder that our job as writers is TRULY IMPORTANT. Our words can be WORLDS--KEYS to opening those doors. THANK YOU!!!

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  52. Thanks for your suggestions! I too grew up on Golden Books!

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  53. Interesting posts learned a several new books. Thank you!

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  54. I love the idea of a book subscription, but many that I have seen advertised don't look very interesting. I wonder if anyone knows of a high quality book subscription?

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  55. I really enjoyed this group of mentor texts. Saving Grandaddy's Stories by Shannon Hitchcock and Sophie Page was the story of a boy who listened to his grandfather's stories growing up and then went on to become an award winning storyteller himself. I loved that this book highlighted the art of story telling and the importance of passing on family stories. It made me want to consider some of our family's stories for future manuscripts. V is for Voting by Kate Farrell and Caitlin Kuhwald was a successful rhyming alphabet book that highlights democratic principles, activism and social justice. It stresses the importance of every vote. This is a great book to encourage patriotism at an early age. I especially liked "m is for matters we should never forget!" Selena Queen of Tejano by Sylvia Lopez and Paola Escobar is an excellent biography of this famous texmex singer who started singing at age six and went on to become an award winning artist of the people. I certainly had heard of Selena and her untimely death and heard some of her music. However I was totally engaged in the story of her determination, pride in her heritage, generous nature and strong family values. I know kids who read this book will find it very inspiring as well. Lillybelle, a Damsel not in Distress by Joana Pastro and John Ortiz is a delightful twist on damsels waiting to be saved by knights in shining armour. This damsel loved being a damsel but was intent on saving herself. It is a great modern tale of girl power and accepting differences. Made me look at traditional stories in a whole new way. Counting the Days by Janeen Mason is an important book for kids who have a deployed loved one.I loved some of the techniques that Hunter, the girl in the story used to pass the time until her mom came home- making a paper chain, drawing pictures of things that happened, wearing her mom's favorite sweater for storytime. These were great tools for anyone in that same situation. This was a wonderful group of books. I was not familiar with the titles but would definitely recommend them now.

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    1. Saving Grandaddy's Stories is another book I need to check out. When I lived in Kyrgyzstan, the local also passed down stories orally. Once, I heard a boy reciting an oral story for hours. It was the most impressive thing I ever saw. To think that I thought it was tough to recite a short poem and this boy did it so smoothly and didn't stumble once.

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  56. As cliche as it is, I so agree that books are the doorway to other worlds! I love these stories that are glimpses into the lives of others while still sharing meaning so many can relate to!

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  57. You were a lucky girl to have a new book coming to your house every month. What joy those arrivals must have been. thanks for sharing your list.

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  58. It's great to connect with new books, thank you.

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  59. I remember getting the occasional cast off books from a family friend and how special those were. But other than that, my books were few and far between. How awesome to be gifted a golden book every month! I've had several of your recs on my library hold list...waiting waiting..

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  60. Thanks for this round up. We loved Little Golden books in our house too. And thanks for showing that reading the world can be about so many things - people and animals and history.

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  61. Loved the book about Selena - so informative. I had forgotten her story and there were background details I never knew. I also liked Saving Granddaddys Stories and it reminded me of the storytelling that goes on in my talkative story telling family. Thank you

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  62. Thank you! Thank you! I like this diverse list. A little something for everyone.

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  63. Thank you. I love hopeful stories!

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  64. Thank you for introducing me to some new books.

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  65. I liked how "V For Voting" gave readers an easy way to become familiar with terminology they might not otherwise be exposed to. But my favorite read was "Saving Granddaddy's Stories". I live not far from the area the main character lived and the storytelling way of life is also celebrated where I live as well...;-)

    Great post!

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  66. Thank you Joyce! I haven't read a lot of these (and look forward to doing so!). I did just read Lillybelle - A Damsel Not in Distress and loved how the cliche was flipped on its head and told through a totally new perspective!

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  67. Thanks for the post, Joyce. I am waiting for V Is for Voting. Sounds like an inspired combo of ABC concept book and important message about making a difference.

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  68. Thanks so much for sharing these titles! I really enjoyed V is for Voting and Selena especially!

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  69. I was a Golden Books fan too. (: Almost all of these were new to me. Thank you for another great batch of titles. I was only able to find a preview of LillyBelle, but she is a delightful damsel! All the stories have such important messages beautifully conveyed. V is for Voting is so timely.

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  70. I own an ARC copy of Saving Granddaddy's Stories and I agree that the art adds so much texture and depth to this book.

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  71. I loved those Little Golden Books when I was growing up! Wonderful list of books! Thanks for sharing!

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  72. I love books that offer new perspectives. Thanks for sharing this list.

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  73. What a lovely idea. One golden book every month to read over and over. I, too, loved golden books and had several in my childhood collection like the curious pokey puppy. I can still see the cover. Thank you for your current choices for broadening our world.

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  74. It's exciting to think of the broader world picture books share with children today.

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  75. This is a great list of mentor texts. I remember being introduced to you through our friend Stephanie Salkin at one of the Florida SCBWIs quite a few years ago. I miss visiting Florida to attend one of these events. I'm a Long Islander near where Stephanie used to live.

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  76. Joyce, thank you for reminding me of special times in my childhood with Golden Books...treasured memories.
    I was able to locate most of the books. It was fun exploring each one’s uniqueness.
    COUNTING DAYS sounds like an important book to read and recommend as a Bibliotherapy Book. I hope to find it soon.
    I appreciate your and Julie Kurtz’s helpful descriptions of each book, too. I learn a lot from reading the blog post as well as the comments.

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  77. Golden Books were wonderful! What a lovely surprise having them pop up in this post's discussion. I was only able to locate LillyBelle, but I love the idea that she does not let others define her, a great lesson indeed!

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  78. Thank you for this list of books for today. I enjoyed the variety of topics and perspectives.

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  79. So many new titles to explore!! Thank you so much for this informative and interesting post! I also was inspired by Golden Books- Loved The Poky Little Puppy!!

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  80. Thank you, Joyce, for these titles. COUNTING DAYS touched my heart--still thinking about it. Books open the imagination to so many facets of life.

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  81. Thank you for the diverse listing of books ... I will look forward to reading them and for the perspectives and themes they bring to the table!

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  82. Thank you so much for introducing me to these books. Their perspectives on each of the subjects taught me a great deal about how important the point of view is in each story.

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  83. Yes! Monthly subscriptions were (and ARE!) such wonderful things for a child.

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  84. I will check out V is for Voting and Lillybelle. Thanks for the recommendations, Joyce. Good luck in your new role as an agent!!

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  85. I enjoyed reading about Selena's rise to fame from humble beginnings and her determination to do what she loved and to be true to herself and her family. And Lillybelle, also, teaches us to listen to our heart and sometimes break the rules. I also remember reading Golden Books but I have received the most enjoyment from reading books with my grandsons over the past five years. We have laughed together, shared sadness, and learned so much along the way. This is why I write.

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  86. Thanks Joyce! Terrific categories to explore.

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  87. Thank you for sharing these mentor texts with us!

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  88. Thank you for suggesting this unique group of books. I haven't found them all, but those I read were well written, relevant and informative. Thanks again.

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  89. I am happy to say I found most of these at our local library. MUST find LILLYBELLE now!!

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  90. Great group of books. Thanks for the inspiring post!

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  91. What a wonderfully diverse group of books, Joyce! Thank you for the reminder of the golden age of Golden Books, too!

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  92. Beautiful group of books, cannot wait to get from the library when they are ready!

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  93. This is such an interesting group of picture books that I'm not sure I would have discovered on my own. While their content varies widely, they all share a strong, confident message. Many thanks for these choices.

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  94. Books are a great way to travel into other lands & cultures, and these selections certainly give us a wide-range of travel options!

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  95. Happy to add V is for Voting to my list of government picture books. That’ll be a great conversation started with kids! Also love Lillybelle! Thanks for sharing.

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  96. Little Golden Books are such classics. How wonderful that you received one book every month.

    Thank you for this list of amazing picture book titles.

    Suzy Leopold

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  97. Thank you Joyce for this incredible list of mentor texts. I especially enjoyed Shannon Hitcock's SAVING GRANDDADDY'S STORIES for its sentiment of gorgeous illustrations! Janeen Mason's COUNTING THE DAYS has such wonderful readability and honestly portrays the way a military family processes the distance.

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  98. Looking forward to reading these! Thank you!

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  99. Joyce, I love that you shared the memory about Little Golden Books! I spent a lot of time during my childhood reading them! Thank you for sharing such an awesome group of texts with us!

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  100. I love the voice in Grandaddy's Stories! And V is for Voting is such a great conversation starter.

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  101. Isn't it incredible how far we've come since our Little Golden Books days!

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  102. I still have my treasured --but somewhat tattered--collection of Golden Books! Thank you for introducing me to these new titles

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  103. Really great stories, here. Thank you!

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  104. Looking forward to t!he perspective gained from these titles. I can relate to you on the early Golden Books. My favorite was The Saggy Baggy Elephant. Thanks for sharing

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  105. Some stories demand a closer, more in depth look. I had to dig deeper to read more about Selena. What a wonderful person. And what a tragic end to her young life. The world is a poorer place without her.

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  106. Thank you for highlighting such wonderful mentor texts. Will enjoy reading and rereading them

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  107. This week I'm looking at the emotional heart of stories. I want to make sure my manuscript makes the reader want to become emotionally invested. I wasn't able to find Selena, Queen of Tejano Music, so I looked for text by the same author. Just Right Family by Sylvia Lopez was a great replacement mentor text. It is about a little girl that is adopted and her parents are going to adopt another child. The MC is worried because she thinks the family is just right already. It pulled you in from the start. Also, Counting the Days by Janeen Mason had multiple opportunities to connect emotionally with the characters. Both of these PB are worth the read if you are looking for a story that connects to emotionally and opens your mind to how others live.

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  108. Paola Esocobar's illustrations for SELENA, QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC are amazing.

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  109. Love this list! I was pleasantly surprised that V Is for Voting rhymed :) I have to wait a few more days for Selena from my library/ Thanks for a great post!

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  110. Wow, what a great diverse list. I am especially looking forward to the unique story Saving Grandaddy's Stories. Thank you for the list.

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  111. Waiting on several of these, but enjoyed what I was able to look at. Books make the horizon broad and beautiful.

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  112. What a great collection of books, thank you! I love how books open new worlds to our children.

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  113. What a sweet gift to be given as a young child—a monthly golden book to read and treasure. Thanks for sharing this sweet childhood memory and some great mentor texts, Joyce.

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  114. evafelder@hotmail.com

    Thanks Joyce Sweeny for today's books.
    Saving Granddaddy's Stories is very inspiring, not only because of the wonderful relationship of a grandfather and a grandchild, it is the perseverance, admiration and love for the culture of Appalachia transferred through the years by STORYTELLING that touched my soul.

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  115. I really enjoyed V is for Voting.

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  116. Rhonda Kay Gatlin
    "Saving Granddaddy's Stories," reminded me of the stories my Papa would tell to me at night when I came to visit. I thought this book was well written, it kept the stories flowing through to grandchild. However, I had difficulty reading the font and the size of print was too small.. It may be my eyes, but in my onion the font needed to be bigger with a stronger font and readable. The story was great and the message was well done.

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  117. Thanks for sharing these prime picture books, Joyce. Golden Books were treasures.

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  118. The greatest books are found in our memories from childhood, thanks for this beautiful reminder!

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  119. I loved the nostalgia factor with Selena's bio, and wonder what will be the nostalgia factor 20 years from now. Thanks for this great list of titles!

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  120. I like the illustrations in Saving Granddaddy's stories.

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  121. Thanks for these great varied mentor texts, Joyce.

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  122. Thank you for sharing your personal experience as well as this list of wonderful titles.

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  123. Thanks for spotlighting these mentor texts and writing about how stories opened the world for you.

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  124. I enjoyed reading this list of books. They were very inspiring.

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  125. Thank you, Joyce! I'm looking forward to reading these.

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  126. Thank you for your selections. Loved the format of facts for Salena and her heritage. Also, Saving Grandaddy's stories was also wonderful in the history of stories told by mouth.

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  127. Thanks, Joyce, for sharing books that offer such diverse and engaging perspectives of the world. Loved Lillybelle.

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  128. I'm an only child, too. I had totally forgotten about the monthly Golden Books program. I received them as well. Thanks for the reminder & book recommendations.

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  129. Thank you for sharing these great selections! Lillybelle is one of my new favorites!

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  130. Thank you for your post and for sharing these books!

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  131. I've been looking for a book like counting the days for some time. Thanks for adding it to your list! All the others I already knew and loved. Great choices for widening readers' worlds! Thanks

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  132. My goal is to add each of these to my Book Buddy app. Thanks!

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  133. Thank you for sharing these mentor texts with us! :)

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  134. I love the story of your Little Golden Book deliveries!

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  135. I'm another one who grew up on Golden Books and all the adventures they told. Every generation needs books that feed their imaginations and souls!

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  136. Was amazed at how clever V IS FOR VOTING is and impressed with the wonderful back matter. Thank you

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  137. Great titles to suggest. I love the "different" stories they tell

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  138. Thank you for your suggestions, all great stories.

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  139. Thanks for the insights into books that open children's eyes to the world. Definitely needed in today's world!

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  140. Thank you, Joyce, for these great books to explore!

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  141. LillyBelle was great fun! I hope to be able to get to read the rest.

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  142. Wow, these are wonderful subjects for the current age. I also lived rurally and isolated as a child, and recall how books opened up some of the 'rest of' the world for me. Thanks for the great additions to my knowledge of subject matter available.

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  143. I love how you've indicated how these new picture books help open new perspectives to you and young children.

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  144. Joyce, thank you for this interesting selection of books! I look forward to reading them, especially "Granddaddy's Stories" by Shannon Hitchcock. I can remember listening to Ray Hicks'at the International Story Tellers Festival and the crowds filled the tent when he shared his stories.

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  145. Hi, Joyce! Haven't seen you since I took your class! Great selections!

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  146. Thank you for sharing this eye-opening list of books! I'm waiting on several from the library, but appreciate the new perspectives.

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  147. Thank you for sharing these great books, Joyce!

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  148. First of all, what a wonderful gift that family friend gave you! The gift that kept on giving! :) I was unfamiliar with the books you chose for us, and I'm so glad to have met them! Offering new perspectives to children is a gift we as writers can give.

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  149. What wonderful books you have chosen!I work with military families so am excited to share Counting the Days.

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  150. Thank you for including my book, Joyce. I'm honored to be in such company!

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  151. So happy to see so many friends' (and Rate Your Story Judge's) books represented here. What fun and fabulous books!

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  152. Thank you for introducing me to some new titles, Joyce!

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  153. Thank you, Joyce, for these world-opening stories ranging from
    real life to fairy tale based. Lots to learn from and enjoy!

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  154. I took a close look at SELENA : QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC. It was well done. It covered her entire life but each segment had a heading which was helpful. It has good backmatter too. I recommend it for women's history month.

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  155. Selena was a great addition, especially during women's history month to learn about this amazing young woman's life that was taken too soon. My daughters had been asking questions and this was a great way to tell her story in a kid friendly way.

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  156. I love that books can open up new worlds for young readers. I too was one of these "isolated" readers, and loved discovering new ideas with each story!

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  157. Joyce,
    I look forward to reading these books and i'm happy to know you in your agent role. I hope that our paths cross.

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  158. These titles were mostly new to me. Thanks for highlighting them. I loved the Selena biography ... gorgeous artwork, too.

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  159. Thanks for a great list of different perspectives!

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  160. Thank you for sharing this list of books. I'm waiting on several from the library, but appreciate the new perspectives.

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  161. Thank you for this great list, Joyce!

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  162. My local library did not have any of these books! But I was able to locate them on Youtube. Thank you!

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  163. Great list that I will track down and enjoy reading. Thank you

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  164. re: coping with tough times: I suppose we could all use a little help with that, right now.

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  165. Nice list, Joyce. Thank you. Found some, requesting some.

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  166. I loved the language in Saving Grandaddy's Stories! Wonderful list! Thank you!

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  167. Great list! I love Joana Pastro's LILLYBELLE A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS!

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  168. Thanks Joyce, great list. Excited to see a book about the military family experience - published by the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs no less. Curious to know how you came to discover that.

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  169. Thanks for opening up the wider world for me as well with this book list. Can't wait to read them!

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  170. I love the idea that these concepts can be introduced at a young age--parents have so many great options to choose from.

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  171. Thank you so much for sharing this heartwarming list of titles.

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  172. Thanks for sharing these titles!

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  173. I love discovering books that help broaden the perspective of the world for children. These titles were wonderful examples of this. Thank you!

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  174. I’m bummed my library only had 2 of your recommended books. I’ll have to keep searching for the rest. Thanks for sharing!

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  175. These suggested mentor texts will certainly widen the perspectives of those who read them as they introduce children to some very important ideas of which they need to be aware. Thanks for a great list!

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  176. You made me think--is there still a book of the month club? Ahhhh...that would be awesome!

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  177. These were all new to me. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful mentor texts. I particularly liked the well done rhyming in V is for Voting.

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