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Babe To Teens, Past
A Youth Column
By Beverly Rowe

Getting ready for summer reading
A poem to share for children
Writing for Children—Tips for Your Success

Spring is everywhere... except here in Alaska, and we still have a lot of snow piles, that frequently get dusted with Mt. Redoubt volcano ash this spring. Aside from that, I'm definitely ready for spring and a new supply of great books.

School will be out very soon, and I am sure that your teachers will give you a list of summer reading. When you become a better reader, any goal is easier to achieve. I'm sure that the lists will include lots of classics that you might discount as being old and stuffy, but you might want to reconsider. They are classics because they have withstood the test of time, and their stories are as relevant today as they were yesterday. Dust them off, and give them a try. In the meantime, here are some of the newest offerings by publishers.

Miranda Peabody Learns What It Takes to Make New Friends by Susan DeBell Miranda Peabody Learns What It Takes to Make New Friends (Paperback) by Susan DeBell, PhD.
Miranda is sad to leave her parents and friends and spend two weeks at summer camp. Even though her parents tell her it will be an exciting and wonderful experience, she is worried because she will not know anyone and will find it difficult to make new friends. Sure enough, after arriving at the camp, the other campers seem to know one another and are already good friends. Every camper that is except Miranda! Then she learns the secret that will help her to make friendships that can last a lifetime! Discussion questions and activity pages provide ways that children can practice a clear and simple way of making new friends.


The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels 6: Blue Bay Mystery by by Gertrude Chandler Warner 
							   (Creator), Mark Bloodworth (Illustrator) Remember the Boxcar Children? They are back with a brand new adventure in the form of a graphic novel. The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels 6: Blue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (Creator), Mark Bloodworth (Illustrator).

The Boxcar Children are going on a trip on a huge cargo ship to a deserted South Seas island. While fishing and exploring the island, the children discover clues that it isn't deserted after all! But who lives there? Join the kids in this exciting story.


Maggie the Beagle with a Broken Tail Gets a New Home by Evelyn Gilmer Here is the story of a dog that you will love.

Maggie the Beagle with a Broken Tail Gets a New Home by Evelyn Gilmer.
At Growlers Puppy Farm, Ms. Evie falls in love with Maggie the beagle with a broken tail. After a long wait, Maggie finally gets to leave the farm with Ms. Evie. Maggie loves her new home, with its toys, soft bed, and two doggy doors, which she finds she is very good at using. Everything is wonderful until she discovers Ms. Evie's secret... a secret that is shocking. Readers of all ages will be captivated by Maggie.


Identity Revealed: Book Three in the Identity Mystery Trilogy (Nancy Drew) by Carolyn Keene Did you know that Nancy Drew beat out Batman as the favorite fictional hero? Papercutzís Nancy Drew outranks Batman in Entertainment Weekly's new list, ď20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture.Ē You can find Nancyís entry here.

Identity Revealed: Book Three in the Identity Mystery Trilogy, (Nancy Drew, Girl Detective) by Carolyn Keene.
Of course this Nancy Drew is new and modern as she tries to stop a case of cyberbullying. When the bullies turn or her, she discovers that nothing on the Internet is quite what it seems. Catching this crook turns out to be a huge challenge.


What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read With Your Child—and All the Best Times 
							   to Read Them by Pam Allyn This one is for parents to help you raise critical thinkers.

What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read With Your Child—and All the Best Times to Read Them by Pam Allyn.
Here, Allyn offers parents advice on choosing appropriate titles for their children—taking into account a childís age, attention ability, gender, and interests—along with techniques for reading aloud effectively. But what sets this book apart is the extraordinary, annotated list of more than three hundred titles suitable for the pivotal moments in a childís life.


Max (Maximum Ride, Book 5) by James Patterson Max (Maximum Ride, Book 5) by James Patterson.
Maximum Ride and her team have barely recovered from their Arctic adventure, when they are confronted by the most frightening catastrophe yet. Millions of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii and someone—or something—is destroying hundreds of ships. Unable to discover the cause, the government enlists the gang to help them get to the bottom of the disaster before it is too late.

While Max and her team are exploring the depths of the ocean, their every move is being carefully tracked by Mr. Chu—a criminal mastermind with his own agenda. Can they protect themselves from Mr. Chu's mercenaries and save the ocean from destruction?

Here is a poem I thought you might enjoy. This was written by my beloved husband many years ago, when my children were small. One day we heard a mother bobcat calling to her kitten on the hillside across from the ranch. The kids asked what the sound was, and Bill jokingly said that it was a "Ring-tailed Kabeezzo"...and then he made up a poem on the spot to explain what that was... The poem has been a family favorite ever since, and, in his memory, I would like to share it with you.

By William D. Rowe

Sit down kids, donít yell or shout,
and I will tell you of something
you have been asking about.
You ask where it comes from?
We should know real soon,
either out of the ground
or perhaps from the moon.
You ask, is it purple, yellow, or green?
I think itís orange or pink
or some other color I have seen.
You ask is it big?
Iíll answer that.
It can eat an elephant
or get inside of a cat.
You ask me, is it quite small?
It can run under the bed
or step over a wall.
You ask me, what does it eat?
It eats the needles from the evergreen tree,
or maybe the whales from the dark blue sea.
Iíve often heard it would eat an old hat,
and pick its teeth with the tail of a cat.
You ask is it pretty, and is it sweet?
Itís more than that. It is really neat.
It has hair like sage brush, eyes red as a beet,
a nose like a cork-screw, and five crooked feet.
You ask, is it real fast?
It raced with a stink bug and came in last.
But donít feel bad. Just hold it right there.
It can pick a jet plane right out of the air.
You ask, is it mean?
And that is quite simple.
It bites little girls,
and leaves them with dimples.
When little boys have been bad,
when they go to bed,
they might find it sitting on top of their head.
You ask is it strong,
and if it is brave?
It was dead seven years,
and then dug its own grave.
It was scared half to death
by a small baby calf.
Then it got mad,
and tore a mountain in half.
If you should see one just like Iíve explained,
either a wild one or one thatís been trained,
donít call Santa Claus.
Just let me know.
And weíll take a look

Writing for Children—Tips for your Success

Writing for children is a challenge that is much harder than it looks. You must create a strong story built around exciting characters. If the main character is a child, he must think and feel like a real child of that age. Many new writers tend to "talk down" to children, but kids are very sensitive to that and you won't hold their interest for long unless you are able to create characters that your readers can relate to and sympathize with.

Your main character must be well rounded with flaws that land him in trouble, and redeeming traits that allow him to overcome his situation, or at least point him in the right direction.

The available subject matter is limitless, but sensitive subjects must be handled carefully. Publishers seem to be buying manuscripts that deal with everything from child abuse to teens dealing with their sexuality. There is a fine line between reality and what is acceptable for reading material as far as parents and librarians are concerned. Explaining the dilemma without going into graphic detail is challenging, but worth the extra effort. Remember that your manuscript must pass muster with the adults in the publishing industry before it will be read by the intended audience.

Write the bare bones of your story quickly, and then re-write... and re-write... and re-write until it sparkles.

Check out these contests & web sites....


HarperCollins Children's: Enter The Baseball Great Sweepstakes


HarperCollins Childrenís: Enter The Composer is Dead Sweepstakes


Kids at Random House - GAMES & COMPETITIONS


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