Darlene Beck Jacobson and WHEELS OF CHANGE
Today’s post is the result of a special treat for me: I got to interview author Darlene Beck Jacobson. Darlene’s new book, WHEELS OF CHANGE, is coming out on September 22. Be sure to click on the trailer link at the end of the post. It’ll give you a sneak peek at the book!
As a Speech Therapist, you are a strong promoter of literacy. In what ways does your new book help you support literacy?
Using Historical Fiction stories like WHEELS OF CHANGE helps students understand pivotal events in history and how they relate to the present. Realizing that everyday people – moms, dads, and kids – are affected by change helps us work through our problems and realize we are not alone. Even though many things were different 100 years ago, things like equality, fairness, injustice, relationships, and family are issues we still struggle with today.
How do you use your school visits to connect with children?
Children are always interested in meeting authors and love to hear how we get ideas for stories. When we brainstorm and share ideas, kids are amazed at the stories they have inside themselves. Prompts such as:
What would happen if… OR
If you had a super power, what would it be? OR
If you could change one thing in the world what would you change and why?
encourages children to imagine and wakes up their own treasure chest of ideas. Nurturing those ideas is a great way to connect with kids.
Children also seem interested in how children behaved and what they enjoyed long ago. I tried to bring out those things in WHEELS OF CHANGE.
You also write for children’s magazines. Is this a different process than writing your books?
Writing for magazines is a great way to hone your writing in a small package. Some story ideas and character situations only require a few pages to reach a satisfying resolution. Short stories also provide a break from the more complex structure of a novel.
Children’s magazines are a great opportunity for writers looking to break into publishing, since many accept a wide range of pieces such as puzzles, games, crafts, poetry, and even recipes.
Do you have some quick tips for parents and teachers to help them build an appreciation of reading?
The best way to get children interested in reading is to set an example by being a reader yourself. Kids tend to imitate adult behavior. When we place a value on books and reading, children will pick up on that. If we want our kids to “unplug” from technology, we have to set aside our smart phones and make time for a variety of books, magazines and printed materials.
Let children have their own library cards and take them to the library often. Give books as gifts and encourage dramatic play – the origin of storytelling. Read together and make it part of the daily routine – as important as eating and drinking. Finally, let kids read whatever they enjoy. It’s all good!
Darlene Beck Jacobson has loved writing since she was a girl. She wrote letters to everyone she knew and made up stories in her head. Although she never wrote to a president, she sent many letters to pop stars of the day asking for photos and autographs. She loves bringing the past to life in stories such as WHEELS OF CHANGE, her debut novel.
Darlene’s stories have appeared in CICADA, CRICKET, and other magazines. Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators. She still loves writing and getting letters. To check out her website, click here.
To see the trailer for WHEELS OF CHANGE, click here.
Thank you Darlene!
This is not your only chance to read more about WHEELS OF CHANGE! Click here for a chance to win a free copy of WHEELS OF CHANGE at the next stop on Darlene’s blog tour with KATHY TEMEAN’s post, 3 Truths and 1 Lie Book Give-away. This post will be on September 8.