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Writer Wednesday: Her first book published at age 11

April 20, 2016

My great niece has got me way beat. This is my sister’s granddaughter and she is only 11.

She has had her own children’s book published, in hardback, complete with color illustrations (drawn with markers). It is for sale on a website. I love it!


I love that creative and industrious teachers make the effort to give their students lasting keepsakes of their work—and introducing them to the world of publishing. I love that Jade had to write a bio for herself in third person just like in the back of any book, design a cover, and think through the story’s pacing. I don’t know Mrs. Cook at Jade’s school, Elm Road Elementary but I think I would l love her for my child’s teacher.

The youngest of five children in her immediate family, Jade has two brothers at home, a married sister, a grown brother, and lots of cousins, step-cousins, two nephews, a niece in heaven, and some step-nieces. Anyone with more than one or two children knows how easy it is to get lost in the “herd” of children of a bigger family, as Jade’s grandmother once said.


In Falling, Jade writes of a picnic where her grandmother—my sister—dropped by to enjoy s’mores over a campfire but had a bit of a surprise. Don’t worry, the short tale ends well! I love the opening line of Jade’s book, and detect a teacher’s prompt to help the children remember or think of sensory details here:


“I could feel the hot fire on my face and cheeks.”

Nice evocative opening. (Jade, if you read this, “evocative” just means it helps me feel what you felt and remember. And “sensory” means things that you feel with your senses like touch, smell, taste, sound.)

On page 5, Jade has another good sensory detail: “Crack!” (That’s when the “falling” happens.)


Jade’s drawing of her grandma driving away into the night.

That’s enough of a book review for this short book so I don’t give it all away. Jade chose a good title too, Falling, which makes me wonder “Who fell?” “What happened?” “Is whoever  or whatever fell ok?”

And I was pleased to read that THAT was the first question Jade asked the person after the fall happened. “Are you ok?”

On her author page with her bio and classroom photo, Jade gives great advice to other young authors: “Write from the heart and be positive.” She also tells what she enjoys doing in her free time and that “one day Jade would love to travel to Disney World.”


Jade has great parents who love each other and all the children very much, but like many others, they’ve had their struggles. So now I have some advice for my great niece: I hope too you get to go to Disney World someday, even if you have to wait until you are grown. With your positive and caring outlook—and one book already published—(not to mention life with three older brothers) I’m sure you can accomplish whatever you set out to do.

JadeAndPert (2)

One of my favorite photos of Jade as a toddler 🙂 

Your great aunt Mel.


Student Treasures is one website where teachers and students can get their books published.  Do you know of others?


What advice would you have for young author Jade or any aspiring writer or artist?

  1. I can see the curiosity in Jade’s eyes even at two. She has a rich writing life ahead of her and already support from an admiring grand aunt and adventures with older brothers. Our grandson Patrick had a book published at his school, now ensconced in the library’s book shelves. I wrote about it here and you commented as I recall:

    Thank you for the website Student Treasures. Sounds like a great marketing tool.

  2. Yes, Jade truly has lovely eyes and she’s always done well in school. In that particular picture, she was looking askance at my sister who was probably saying something really wacky. 🙂 I remember how I was thrilled when my first piece of writing was published in our local Middlebury Independent when a 7th grade teacher sent an essay of mine in for publication. You never know what little encouragement will mean something.

    Thanks for reminding me of your post about Patrick and your other grandchildren’s year end honors. You and Cliff will likely be interested in an upcoming blog post I’m working on featuring some art from a beloved former church member … coming up soon. 🙂 I’m excited about a fun discovery I made as I did more research this morning. Bless you!

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