Tag Archives | Anna Staniszewski

An epic fairy tale adventure!!

Anna Staniszewski truly out did herself with the sequel, My Epic Fairy Tale Fail.

Click the picture to purchase!

Anna’s quirky sense of humor shines through the whole story. I found myself smiling, laughing, but at the same time caring about Jenny. Especially since in this sequel, Jenny’s task is to go to the land where her parents disappeared seven years ago. The stakes are high as Jenny accepts this task with the high hopes of finding clues about her parents.

Anthony, the gnome, whisks her off to Fairy Tale Land. She arrives to find the magic has disappeared and the inhabitants blame Jenny’s parents.She must face three impossible tasks, set up by the evil witch (really a granny in duck sweaters). I love how Anna uses a stereotype and completely turns it around with her unique style.

Of course, my favorite character is the knight. The one stuck in his armor permanently. Very funny.

But don’t let the humor disguise you. Jenny struggles with disappointment after disappointment on her quest to find her parents. She also shares this adventure with her best friends, which presents its own set of issues.

I could rave on and on, but the highest compliment comes from the readers who are children. I gave the first book to my niece, when it released. This past summer I learned that she rereads the book a lot! Now that’s what every author wants to hear.

Definitely buy this book for a girl in your life who wants to laugh, love and live inside the pages of a great book!

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Launching a middle grade vs a young adult novel.

So how is launching a middle grade different than the young adult?

Publishing a middle grade brings with it the hope of reaching teachers and school-aged kids. Since I’m not in bookstores, my biggest hope is through word of mouth and internet searches: teachers looking for books and activities to go along with their Mayan/Aztec/Inca unit.

That’s why you’ve noticed some Maya style blog posts. SEO baby. J

I spent last Friday morning creating my teacher’s guide that will be available on my blog. (Or I came up with all the questions, vocabulary and literature-related activities. I still have to type it up.)

I looked over Anna Staniszewski’s teacher’s guide for My Very Unfairy Tale Life on her blog. Check it out. It’s done really well and I’m following her example. It gave me a place to start and that’s all I needed.

When the morning was done, I felt satisfied. I love to create. And the idea of organizing a teacher’s guide complete with questions and activities that looks professional appeals to the teacher in me. Just like working in Photoshop to create banners and badges. It’s a different kind of creativity.

But I won’t lie. I’ll be glad when it’s finished and up on my blog.

Preparing the teacher’s guide, especially for a book that has ancient history threaded into it, is just one of the differences between publishing a middle grade over a young adult novel. That’s also why I contacted the most creative and talented social studies teacher I know and invited him to contribute the teacher’s guide. It will be awesome!

The question is: do teachers ever look at the teacher’s guides offered on author’s blogs.

That, I don’t know. J

What are some aspects of this business you’ve worked on that is separate from the writing? Are you able to find balance?

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MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE (creeeeepy) (in a good way)

MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE reminded me of Coraline with a Burtonesque edge. The book really should have been titled, A Surprise On Every Page.

If you look past the exciting elements that make the story pop and come alive…

What elements are those you ask?

Oh, nothing much. Just unicorns, cursed magical kingdoms, talking frogs, a flying beast, and THE creepiest villain that would make even Jack Sparrow quake in his tall black boots. (And that’s the short list.)

As I was saying cut through the aspects that keep the pages flipping faster than French toast… (Okay, not sure how fast that really is but I liked the alliteration.) (Humor me.)

… and at the heart of this story is a girl struggling with choices she has to make. Her struggles beat through ever scene, every page, every crazy event that happens. It all comes back to Jenny. Jenny the Adventurer. And is that what she really wants to be.

And that is what elementary girls will find when they read this delightful but creepy unfairy tale.

Note to Tim Burton: Seriously, you should buy the options to make this book into a film. It’s your thing. Trust me.

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