Where should Magda go next?
I’d like to take her to another island. Perhaps she can go by ferry to another Gulf Island, or perhaps she’ll go to Haida Gwai and solve a mystery there.Then again, she could travel across Canada and visit Prince Edward Island and learn about Anne of Green Gables. What about the Greek Islands? That’s a journey I’d love to share with her. There are so many choices among the hundreds of thousands of large and tiny islands on our amazing planet. Where do you think I should take her? Please let me know what you think.
Tag Archives: reluctant readers
Magda’s sleuthing skills are also needed in a very real problem when her friend Brent is accused of stealing First Nations artifacts from someone’s home. Brent’s been in trouble before and his mother has decided that he’s unmanageable, so Brent runs away to avoid jail or a foster home. The police and Magda’s mother pressure her to turn Brent in if she sees him, but Magda refuses. She intends to prove he’s innocent.
Mayne Island Skeletons is a mystery for readers aged ten to thirteen, or for reluctant readers. Mayne Island is one of the smaller southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and BC’s mainland, and a terrific setting. There is a real community feel to this story and a pace that reflects the lifestyle of the 1,000+ residents.
Magda has common traits to any great sleuth: curiosity, intelligence, and bravery, but she also has a lot of compassion. Although this book deals with modern day issues such as neglectful mother, First Nations artifacts, and to a lesser degree, the melting ice caps and endangerment to polar bears (through letters from a friend in the Arctic), this book reminds me of a Nancy Drew novel. It’s partly because of the story’s pace but also because Magda’s so polite and well mannered; something not often see in novels today. On the other hand, you’d never see a neglectful mom or a First Nations issue in a Nancy Drew novel, so I’d call this book a lovely blend of old and new.
“Mystery books are good for kids who do not like to read. Look for adventure books where the action is driven by talk not text. Books with descriptive text bore children. Find books that are two hundred pages or less. This is so the mystery book does not intimate the child, tween and teen reader.”
These are the words of Taisha Turner at Children’s Book Site I came upon this site today as I was surfing the net. I hadn’t seen it before, and was happy to find out that the books I write for 8-to-13-year-olds match the description she holds as a model.
I’m in the midst of writing the fourth in my Magda of Mayne Mystery Series. Happily, these books match her guidelines in three important ways:
Check – Like the other three in this stand-alone series, this adventure novel is “driven by talk not text.”
Check – Description plays a minor but special role: that of setting the mood.
Check – All of these books fall into the appropriate range in length, of 200 or fewer pages.
So, if you know of any kids who “do not like to read” they should enjoy these.
I’d love to hear from you regarding these guidelines.