Welcome to our first ever Classroom Takeover!
24 Carrot Writing has invited Mrs. Webster's 5th Grade Class to take over our blog. The students are sharing what they think about the books they've read and what they would like to see in books.
Authors love to hear from their readers - and Mrs. Webster's class is given us a chance to learn right from our readership what they love (and hate) about our books.
What three things do you look for when you decide to read a book? Why do you look for those things?
I search for many things when I read a book, one is intriguing characters. These characters add a lot more interesting elements to the story rather than normal ones. For example, in the book Bob by Mass and Stead, Bob is a zombie who is friends with a normal girl. This adds so much to the plot and makes me want to learn more about the character. Another thing I look for is morals in a story. These morals make you think about the book, and even if that book is fiction, you still learn a valuable lesson. For example, in the book The Everything Store by Brad Stone , the book shows us that hard work and passion can achieve great things. Last but not least, I look for authors I know and have previously read and enjoyed their books. This makes me almost one hundred percent sure that the book is going to be good. For example, the beginning of Harry Potter was rather bland, but knowing that J.K. Rowling was such an amazing author, I took a chance on the book and it ended up being fantastic. These are three things I look for when I decide to read a book. - Anastasiia K.
I look for suspenseful books with some good conflict. Harry Potter has good conflict and it had suspense here and there, and the ending was good. That’s a book I would look for. - Avery B.
When I decide to read a book, I look for a few different things. One thing is that it has an interesting description that leaves a lot of questions hanging and I want to know more about the characters. I also look for good reviews about it, either online or on the back cover, because I wouldn’t want to read a book that a lot of people didn’t enjoy. Lastly, I might look for books that are by an author I know and love. An example is that once I decided to read Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass. In the beginning of the book, it got kind of boring and nothing interesting happened. But, based on Wendy Mass’s other books, I knew it would get better later on in the story, and I was right, It did! I ended up very fond of this book. - Audrey G.
Drama, friendship, and adventure are all the things I look for. - Tricia M.
I look for many things in a book for it to hook me in but there are three main golden things I look for and they are dialogue, action, and constant conflicts. I look for dialogue because for me when a character talks it makes me feel like I’m inside the book. I also like dialogue because I can understand how the character is feeling. I wish for action in my books that I read because it hooks me in and it makes me wonder who will win a fight and what would happen next. I seek books with constant conflicts because if there are no constant conflicts the book gets boring for me and I don’t think anyone wants to read a book that is boring. - Ekakshar B.
When I pick a book to read, I look for a colorful cover that looks funny and has between 200 and 300 pages. The reason I look for this, is because it tells me a lot about the book, including who some of the characters are. I look for pages between 200 and 300 because I like long stories (but not too long) that are exciting. - Connor D.
Three things I look for in a book are the topic, characters and if I can understand it. The reason I look for the topic is because I love to read about sports like baseball, basketball and football. I also like to read about wars because I like learning about what happened in the battles. What I look for in characters are if they are funny, intense, nice, mean and if they are interesting. Lastly, I look for book I can understand what they are talking about because if you can’t understand the words you won’t be able to read further into the book and if you needed to do a project in that book you were reading you would not know what to write about or how to explain it. - Landen C.
In books I look for a problem because it makes me dig in the book more than just put the book down. Next I look for action because I think it keeps me entertained instead of bored.Lastly I look for a plot to solve the problem so I can kinda get a sneak peek. - Jacob C.
The first thing I look for in a book is to learn about someone else’s life. For example, what it is like to live in another country. Next, I look to see what we have in common, such as taste, pet names, and or sports. Lastly, I look for books that teach a lesson on how to do something or morals. - Ella D.
What I look for in a book is nice characters. The reason why I look for nice characters is because I get inspired by the characters in books such as Amina's Voice. Another thing I look in a book for is something big. The reason why I look for something big is because I like when there is a huge twist in the story that changes it all around. Lastly, I love when there is humor. I love humor and this is why, I think it adds such a good part of the book when there is humor because it makes the book so much brighter in my opinion. - Julia C.
When I look for a book, I look for action and I like at least some funny characters. And I like mystery like people getting killed then they have to find the person that killed them. I like funny characters because it makes me laugh and then it makes me want to keep reading. I like action because there is a bunch of stuff that makes you want to keep reading like when somebody runs from the cops or a person chasing a cop. - Paul P.
When I decide to read a book I mainly look for an author I know because if I know that author and they had a book a really liked I would most likely choose a book from them. I would because I know that the book will be good and I will enjoy it. I also look for a book that has a good plot. By reading the first chapter, I should be able to get into the book and get a feel for it. I look for that because then I know the book will start right away and I won’t get bored by it. Last but not least, I like to look for the cover. If the cover is bright and colorful I would want to read the book more. Those are just a few reasons for what I look for when picking out a book. - Evan Das.
Three things I look for when I am deciding to read a new book is an interesting title like The Sea Of Monsters. Another thing I look for is an interesting story line like Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. Lastly, I look for a cover that gets my attention like Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Wrecking Ball. I look for these things because I don’t want to read a book that I think is boring. I want to read a book that I can’t put down like the three examples I used. - Jack C.
I read the back to be informed on what the book is about. I also look for the authors I like because I liked there other books. And the title because I need to know the titles. - Evan Dem.
Tell us about a book that you just finished reading that you liked. What about the book caused you to keep reading to the end?
I recently finished Tight by Torrey Molado. I liked many things about this book, such as the overall relatable plot, the moral, and most of all the characters. My favorite character was Bryan because we both live in a metropolis and we both like comics. He also seems like a genuinely nice and caring friend. What kept me reading to the end of this book was the constant action. Whenever I finished my goal, I would always want to read on, because this book is never short of interesting elements and plot twists. - Anastasiia K.
Recently, I read a book called Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. I really enjoyed this book, because it is told from the point of view of a girl named Melody with cerebral palsy. I liked how it was different because not a lot of books have a disabled child in them. In the story, Melody can’t talk, so I liked how you could know what she was thinking. What makes the book really interesting is that a lot of people underestimate Melody. This makes it challenging for her to be on the school’s Whiz Kids team. I kept reading because I wanted to know how Melody handled the situation. I believe this book is amazing because it is different than other novels and lots of exciting things happened that made me want to keep reading until the end. - Audrey G.
I recently read Dog Man Fetch 22 by Dav Pilkey. I liked the book because of the characters and the jokes. I kept reading to the end because the book was really funny and exciting, and filled with action. A funny example was when the fair fairy takes a chair literally, when asked to take a seat. - Connor D.
The book that I just finished was Judy Moody Around The World for 8 ½ Days. In the book Judy has this project to go around the world but they got a new student and her name is Amy Namy. Judye doesn’t like Amy, but then Judy has a fight with her friends. The part that caused me keep reading the book is when Amy Namy came to the school. - Tiffany C.
The book I just finished reading is Amulet book 5 Prince Of The Elves. The book caused me to read to the end because it had so many questions, feelings, and a lot of action too. Another reason is that the author wrote the dialogues so descriptively that it felt like you were in the book watching the characters move, talk, and fight. But it was also like you're invisible to them but they are visible to you. I also loved the artwork. It was cartoonish and that’s what I like to see in graphic novels. These reasons kept me reading the book. - Ekakshar B.
I recently finished reading The Series Of Unfortunate Events The Wide Window By Lemony Snicket. I really liked this book because of the action. At one point .in the middle of the book, they sailed on a boat in the middle of a storm! Just to save their aunt - they didn’t even know if she was alive. It caused me to read to the end because of the suspense. It was nerve-racking. You never really knew what was going to happen, and then all of sudden a plot twist comes out of nowhere. It also had some mystery in it and that kept me intrigued. There were puzzles to solve too. But I really liked the book series because something new happens every book. That’s what I liked about the book and it kept me reading to the end of the book. - Evan Das.
I finished reading 📖 a book 📚 called A Boy Called Bat. Bat has this skunk that he wants to keep so I read until the end to find out if he keeps it or not. - Evan Dem.
Tell us about a character from a book you have recently read. Why did you like the character? Would you be friends with this character? Why or why not?
A book I have recently read is Wings Of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. This book is about dragons and the land of Pyrrhia. One of the characters in this book is Tsunami the SeaWing, which is a type of dragon. Tsunami is very bright, trustworthy, and stands up for herself and her friends. I love this character and would definitely be friends with her. We would get along very well together because she loves to fight and if I was a dragon, I think I would like to fight too. I love the way she treats her friends and if I was her friend I would treat her the same way back. Tsunami may not be the nicest dragon, but that doesn’t bother me. In conclusion, Tsunami is definitely a dragon I would want to hang around with. - Audrey G.
I finished reading Tales From The Odyssey, by Mary Pope Osborne. I kept on feeling the urge to keep reading this book. One reason I kept on reading is because of the action and I always felt intrigued. For example, Odysseus sailed past Scylla, a six headed monster and it ate six of his men. Odysseus also sailed past a whirlpool monster Charybdis, which almost sucked Odysseus’ vessel into a dark, black, abyss. Another reason I kept reading this book is because I wanted to see what happened to his son and wife because in the beginning of the book, he had to leave his son and wife to save Helen of Troy. This is what caused me to keep reading this book. -Charli C.
In the book, Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper, I like the character Melody. Even though Melody was disabled, you would never know it because of her positive attitude. I would love to be friends with Melody because she is a really good person, even when her friend Rose is mean to her; she always forgives her and treat her nicely. - Ella D.
In the book A Wrinkle in Time, I liked Charles Wallace because he was so caring and and he would always help people. He is very smart he knows big words. I would like him to be my friend because he would be there for me when I need him and he would help me in school. - Paul P.
One character from the book Tight by Tony Malado that I liked and would like to be friends with is Big Will. I like this character because he acts nice and calm around other people kind of like me. Also, I think he would be a good backup whenever I may need help or when I may be in trouble. In the text of Tight it says Big Will backs Bryan up in a way by getting him out of a tough senecio. Because of this I’d think we’d be great friends. - Maxwell B.
I am currently reading this book called Crash. I like the character but he doesn’t seem like a person I would be friends with. For one he bullies one kid just because he is a vegan and doesn’t believe in violence. He also tackled his cousin out of the door and if that were me I would be very mad. Also Crash is very rude, for instance he just went over to someone’s house and disrespects their parents and house. He was mad and left they house because they didn’t have a TV instead they had books. I liked him because he is funny and doesn’t take in consideration of what he is saying, he’ll just blurt it out without thinking. He also has a lot of confidence and doesn’t let anything get in his way, he is determined. - Evan DaS.
My character would be Paul from the book I Survived the Battle of D-Day by Lauren Tarshis The reason I like the character is because he is a real nice kid. He traded one of his favorite possessions, his soccer ball to buy his mom cookies for her birthday. The reason I think I would be friends with him is because he risked his life to save an American soldier that he did not know and he would most likely save his friends and be there for them. - Landen C.
I would be bats best friend from A Boy Called Bat because he likes animals and he is very smart and we are kind of similar because I like animals but I’m not the best at math. We can do some math together and he would help me if I did something wrong. He’s also very kind and shy, but I can help him when he has a hard time. That’s the reason why I want to be bat's best friend. - Liam J.
Think of an ending of a book that you liked. Why did you like the ending? How did the ending make you feel? What kinds of endings do you not like?
An ending of a book that I really liked was the book Blubber. The reason I really like the ending of that book was because it did not end on a cliffhanger. I liked the ending because you got to see the bright side of all the characters. The ending made me feel happy and excited at the same time because even though Linda and Jill did not become friends it was very surprising, that all of the characters became friends and no one was bullied again. The endings I do not like is when they just end and do not finish their sentence or the paragraph and there is no second book. - Molly K.
One ending that I liked is in the book Put Me In The Zoo, by Robert Lopshire. I liked the ending in this book because in the beginning Spot the leopard wants to be in the zoo, but two kids tell him that he doesn’t belong in the zoo. He immediately starts showing the kids his amazing tricks he can do with his spots. Then, in the end, the main character gets to a place where he really belongs, a circus! This made me feel happy for Spot because he is now where he belongs. This is an ending of a book that I liked. - Charli C.
At the end of the book Sisters I liked it because it was a funny ending. Raina was at a sleepover and when it became bedtime Raina farted in her friends face. The ending made me feel happy and warm inside because whenever she’s happy and laughing to her music on the stereo it’s funny and then I can’t take my eyes off the book. The endings I don’t like is when it’s not happy and funny. - Samantha F.
At the end of all the Lunch Lady books by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, they always give a little bit of information about the next book. I enjoy these endings because I can begin to think about the next book. I like to come up with crazy ideas about what’s going to happen next. However, I’m not too fond of stories with sad endings because it makes me upset. - Ella D.
If you could tell an author of a book you liked three things about their book, what would you say?
If I could tell J.K Rowling 3 things I liked about Harry Potter, I would say that I liked the suspense. It keeps me reading. Another thing I would say is that the ending is great. The last thing I would say is that the characters are likable (except for the Slytherins). They’re good characters and each house fits their personalities. - Avery B.
If I could tell an author three things I liked about their book, I would tell Rick Riordan that I liked the ups and downs, and plot twists in Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief. I liked that all of the characters have detailed backstories. For example, Annabeth talks about what her dad does for a living, which goddess is her mom, and she even says how many years she has been at Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth isn’t one of those characters that is part of the storyline, but has a cheap backstory. Last but not least, I love the exhilarating battles between him and the monsters. For example, when Percy was battling Medusa, he was smart enough to use the back of his IPod ( It was metallic), to see if she was coming. Another thing is that when he was almost at Camp Half-Blood, him, his mom ( A mortal, not a goddess), and his friend Grover encountered a Minotaur. A beast that is very hard to kill, Percy managed to kill the Minotaur with his intellectualism. This is three things I would compliment this author on. - Charli C.
If I could tell Jeff Kinney three things that I like about Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.First off, I like how it relates to real life and that it shows people tring not to be as mean and rude as Greg Heffley. Next, I like how it shows people to maybe not follow in Greg’s footsteps. Finally, I like how the book is funny and enjoyable because of what Greg Heffley gets himself stuck into. - Thomas C.
A BIG THANK YOU to the wonderful students in Mrs. Webster's 5th grade class for taking the time to chat with us about books! Keep reading and thanks for sharing!
It’s a new year, full of excitement and new possibilities. What better folks to chat with than those who have debut books coming out in 2020!
We’ve invited the Soaring ‘20s picture book debut group to share their thoughts on using goals to find publishing success and to share some of the goals they have set for 2020.
A big 24 Carrot Writing welcome to the high flying picture book debut authors and illustrators of The Soaring ‘20s.
What writing goals did you set that helped you find publishing success?
professionals—especially if there was feedback involved—and I found myself a wonderful critique group. My “immersion” felt a bit like an obsession at times (it still does!), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Colleen Paeff, author of THE GREAT STINK: HOW JOSEPH BAZALGETTE SOLVED LONDON'S POOP POLLUTION PROBLEM, illus. Nancy Carpenter, (Simon & Schuster/McElderry, March, 2021)
How do you motivate yourself to stay on track with your writing goals?
How are you balancing writing and marketing efforts during your debut year?
planning, pre-order coordinating and other publicity tasks can be creative, they feel more left brain than the actual writing of my books, and therefore I calendar them in during the afternoons. I try not to do them between the hours of 8-10am. That’s the time after my caffeine kicks in, when I am at the peak of my creative productivity. During that time, I ask my works-in-progress (I actually really do this, I know it sounds bizarre) “Which of you wants to be written today?” And a clear front-runner pops into my head/heart with the answer! More often than not, it's a different one than I had planned to work on that day, but I trust the process.
-Elisa Boxer, author of THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History, illus. Vivien Mildenberger, (Sleeping Bear Press, March 2020)
Share one of your writing goals for 2020 and tell us why you’ve set that target?
Share one of your craft goals for 2020 and tell us why you’ve set that target?
For more information on The Soaring '20s authors, illustrators and debut books, visit https://www.soaring20spb.com/. You can also find The Soaring '20's group on twitter at @Soaring20sPB.
New Year; New Goals
~ By Amanda Smith
Here we are: On the cusp of a new year, and a new decade. As we peek over the rim and catch the first glances of 2020, our breaths catch a little. Our hearts race, because…
it holds scary challenges and huge uncertainties,
it holds dreams, and hopes, and exciting opportunities,
it holds its arms wide open for us to dive in.
Whether you tentatively dip your toes, or dive in with head-first-abandon, knowing where you intend to go, is vital. Take some time during the month of January to program your writing GPS. Plot your calendars, prepare your bullet journals, pin your tracking sheets, and set those yearly goals! Remember to add carrots to keep you motivated.
Oh, life will bring derailments – that is inevitable. It will also bring scenic detours for us to embrace. But when we have our road mapped out, it is so much easier to get back on track.
We posted our 2020 writing goals under the GOALS tab on 24 Carrot Writing. Scrutinize our road maps. Perhaps they'll help you find your own way. Throughout the years we have written many posts about goal setting. Below I have linked some for easy access, but you can find them all under the “Writing Goals” tag to the right of your screen. So read up, have some fun with colored pens, and planners, and chart your way for writing success in 2020.
Annie’s SMART goals: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/the-smart-key-to-your-carrots
Amanda’s goal setting strategy explained: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/a-year-of-goals
Kelly’s handy tracking resource: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/a-24-carrot-writing-goal-worksheet
Amanda’s updated yearly planning and printable resource: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/doing-the-necessary
Annie’s forgiveness clause: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/set-your-writing-goalsbut-allow-for-some-slack
Kelly’s unique monthly plan: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/give-your-writing-the-wrqs
Monica Tesler takes us from goals to tasks: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/new-year-new-goals-now-what
Francine's tools for staying in track: http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/tools-for-staying-on-track
Feel free to browse under http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/category/writing-goals
Bullet journals: https://www.katemessner.com/bullet-journaling-childrens-author-version/
Inside a writer’s bullet journal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiLhM17Kw38
Our 2020 Goals
Every year, the 24 Carrot Writing crew shares our yearly writing and craft goals. We hope that in reading our plans for 2020, you may find a starting point for your own 2020 goal list.
Our 24 Carrot Writing blog objective is that you set your 2020 goals, use the 24 Carrot Writing method to hit your targets, and find inspiration in our blog throughout the year. And don't forget to add some carrots along the way to keep you motivated.
Enjoy my debut PB launch, and make writing goals a priority in 2020.
Write for the sheer love it!
• Finish 4th draft of Ageless MG novel (by February 29th)
• Submit Ageless MG final draft to beta readers
• Complete Ageless MG revisions based on feedback by May 30th
• Write 4 new PB drafts
• Revise/edit 4 PB drafts based on critique feedback
• Write for minimum of 5 hours per week
• Write monthly book pick
• Participate in monthly critique/feedback group
• Participate in monthly PB mentor text group
• Read 10 PBs per month
• Read at least one MG/YA per month
• Maintain/update author website regularly
• Attend 3 writing workshops
• Attend at least 3 book launches/author events
Peruse blogs for advice and tips from KidLit creatives.
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