[Mentor Text Monday] Maniac Magee

Briefly, I define mentor texts as a piece of a writing used as a model.  There is more to it, but let’s start there.  Eventually, I’ll post a page with more of a definition or guide.

I’m not sure exactly how Mentor Text Mondays will go, but you can bet on your teaching patootie, that there will be Mentor Texts.  As for Mondays…   that’s negotiable.

I recently started reading Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli with my young’uns.  Every page has something amazing.  EVERY SINGLE PAGE.  I’m not even being hyperbolic here.

Here is the first paragraph of the first chapter:

I read it out loud.  They read it again to themselves.  I asked one of my go-to guiding questions, “What do you think I noticed first thing?”  Here is what we found:

This says that the author uses Repetition for Effect, a hyphenated modifier, and some mix of hyperbole, figurative language, and mythology.  We spent some time talking about the differences and similarities, and how to use this in our writing.  There was a lot of discussion about heroes and myths associated with heroes.  Then, we wrote.  You’ll see evidence of our discussion of heroes.  You will also see that these are not revised or edited pieces.  This was a practice in writing craft, not a practice in revising or editing.  I’ll share that later (thanks to Jeff Anderson and 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know

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