Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Alison Kartevold

The National Writing for Children Center is a showcase for children’s book authors and illustrators. Each month, they showcase up to 12 authors and/or illustrators to let children, parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, and others interested in the world of children’s literature know about these artists’ wonderful new children’s books. I'm excited to be a host this week for their Author Showcase and welcome everyone to day three of Alison Kartevold's 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour, where we'll learn some Tradebook Tips for Teachers regarding her new book, KenKarta.

KenKarta: Battle of the Onoxmon is classified as a middle grade fantasy novel whose target audience is children 9-12 years of age. However, this book is one that has something to offer to kids of all ages. Even if their reading abilities prevent them from tackling KenKarta on their own, younger grade school students love the characters and can easily follow the plot. It is a perfect novel to read to them aloud. In fact, I would recommend letting the kids pick who in their class would be a good princess, equidae (mythical horse-like creature), stable boy, and dragon and let the assigned student read that character’s dialog. There are several chapters where the banter between the characters is rapid fire and works well being read aloud.

There are 25 fantastic illustrations within the book to help bring the characters to life. At the same time, its comfortable layout and 6×9 pages are less intimidating for reluctant readers who need to venture out on their own. Older students will be able to comprehend all but the hardest words on their own. This book does have some advanced terms and vocabulary. Instead of writing to the lowest common denominator, I chose to provide a glossary of terms in the back of the book and a vocabulary list on the website. In addition, for the convenience of educators, I am having several PA board certified teachers work together to develop a lesson plan. Printable versions of these teaching tools are or will soon be available on the website at

If you are interested in learning how to schedule an author visit at your school or club or wish to order educational copies at a discounted rate, please go to the contact page on the website. By contacting the publisher you can even learn how to earn a free author appearance either on Skype or in person while raising money for your worthy cause.

A big thanks to Alison Kartevold and the National Writing for Children Center. Be sure to follow Day 4 of Ms. Kartevold's tour tomorrow at

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