Mentor Author, Mentor Texts by Ralph Fletcher. Short Texts, Craft
Mentor Author, Mentor Texts
Download a Sample

Mentor Author, Mentor Texts

Short Texts, Craft Notes, and Practical Classroom Uses

Ralph Fletcher has long mentored writing teachers—now he presents the ultimate mentor-text resource for teaching students to write. In Mentor Author, Mentor Texts, Ralph shares 24 short, high-interest texts and accompanying Writer’s Notes with your students. Arranged from least difficult to most challenging, they are ready for writers at every level. Online, Ralph also provides whiteboard-ready versions of the texts as well as recordings where he reads of 17 of his pieces.

Mentor Author, Mentor Texts Includes:

  • 24 mentor texts written by Ralph, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more
  • Writer’s Notes that give students a peek into Ralph’s thinking and craft
  • Online access to whiteboard-ready versions of Ralph’s mentor texts
  • Online access to recordings of Ralph reading 17 of his pieces
  • Suggestions from colleagues nationwide for using Ralph’s texts in the classroom.
...

Read Full Description below »

Star Special Offer: Enter coupon code NCTE17 in the shopping cart page to receive a 30% discount and free shipping within the U.S. when you order online during the NCTE conference

Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.

Paperback

In Stock

List Price: $22.50

Web/School Price: $18.00


(click any section below to continue reading)

Full Description

Ralph Fletcher has long mentored writing teachers—now he presents the ultimate mentor-text resource for teaching students to write. In Mentor Author, Mentor Texts, Ralph shares 24 short, high-interest texts and accompanying Writer’s Notes with your students. Arranged from least difficult to most challenging, they are ready for writers at every level. Online, Ralph also provides whiteboard-ready versions of the texts as well as recordings where he reads of 17 of his pieces.

Mentor Author, Mentor Texts Includes:

  • 24 mentor texts written by Ralph, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more
  • Writer’s Notes that give students a peek into Ralph’s thinking and craft
  • Online access to whiteboard-ready versions of Ralph’s mentor texts
  • Online access to recordings of Ralph reading 17 of his pieces
  • Suggestions from colleagues nationwide for using Ralph’s texts in the classroom.

Let your teaching mentor become your students’ writing mentor…

…with engaging mentor texts written and read by Ralph Fletcher…
“I wrote all 24 pieces in this book. You’ll find an assortment of genres: stories, memoir, poems, essays, and excerpts from novels. The various texts are ordered from easiest (least challenging) to hardest (most challenging). I tried to select short, high-interest pieces. Each one stands on its own with a beginning, middle, and ending. I tried to choose pieces that would bring a sense of closure by the end.”

…writer’s notes that give students an inside peek into craft…
“My Writer’s Notes introduce the text, explain my thinking behind various decisions, and point out a few things I want kids to notice. With certain pieces, especially the last three, I highlight revisions I made along the way. I tried hard not to take the mystery out of good writing. Instead these notes are my way of opening the door and leading the student into the text.”

…and practical, classroom-tested suggestions like this from your colleagues
“One of my students, Suzy, knows that she struggles to provide enough detail in her non-fiction pieces. For her piece about soccer, she told me that she knew she needed to include more details because she didn’t want the reader to be confused. We had already read Ralph’s “Squirming Wizards of Recycling,” so we looked at the Writer’s Notes. Ralph said he had brainstormed questions that readers may have had as they read about worm composting, and he then tried to include the answers to those questions in the piece. Suzy decided that she would write down questions that she thought her reader might still have about soccer and then make sure those questions were answered in her writing. Since both Suzy and I have already developed a relationship with Ralph through his texts, it felt like we were inviting an old friend to join our conference.”
Kate Norem Morris, Teacher, The Bush School, Seattle, Washington

Contents

CONTAGIOUS MAGIC: A perspective on how powerful literature can lift student writing
BY WAY OF INTRODUCING MYSELF: An introduction to students about who I am and the mentor texts that follow

TEXTS & WRITER’S NOTES
*River Heart /
FictionWriter’s Notes: Shaping the Story
*The Good Old Days / PoemWriter’s Notes: Poetry, Memoir, or Both?
*The Family Plot / PoemWriter’s Notes: Different Point of View = Tension
*Quilt / Memoir sliceWriter’s Notes: Playing with Ways to Stitch Together Sentences
*Sibling Blanketry / FictionWriter’s Notes: Using an Extended Metaphor
*The Bravest Deed / PoemWriter’s Notes: Trying to Capture an Awkward Moment
*My Father’s Hands / PoemWriter’s Notes: Developing a Character by Describing One Physical Attribute
*Squished Squirrel Poem / Poem • Writer’s Notes: Anything Can Be a Subject for Writing
*Driving at Night / MemoirWriter’s Notes: Using Personification
*Maple Syrup Buckets / PoemWriter’s Notes: Tinkering and Tweaking
*Learning to Catch with Uncle Daddy / FictionWriter’s Notes: Showing Emotion Through Movement and Action
*Squirming Wizards of Recycling / NonfictionWriter’s Notes: Bringing Readers into an Unfamiliar World
When We Ruled the World / FictionWriter’s Notes: Making Fiction Seem True
Spider Romance /
NonfictionWriter’s Notes: Weaving Nonfiction into Fiction
*Big Boys Don’t Cry / MemoirWriter’s Notes: Bearing Witness
The Fire Bug /
FictionWriter’s Notes: Creating a Dramatic Scene with a “Hot Spot”
Stalking the Enemy / Essay Writer’s Notes: Including a Story or Anecdote in an Essay
Interview with a Coho Salmon /
NonfictionWriter’s Notes: Inventing a Character to Breathe Life into Nonfiction
*On the Back of the Bus / MemoirWriter’s Notes: Re-creating a Disturbing Incident
Seldom-See-Ums /
Nonfiction/ParodyWriter’s Notes: Making a Parody of an Insect Guidebook
*Beach School (Draft One) / Rhyming poemWriter’s Notes: A New Kind of School
*Beach School (Draft Two) / Free-verse poemWriter’s Notes: Freeing the Verse from the Confines of Rhyme
*Beach School (Draft Three) / Picture bookWriter’s Notes: Creating a Picture Book but Still Thinking Poetry
The Old Baseball (Draft One) /
Picture bookWriter’s Notes: Keeping an Open Mind to a Revision Suggestion
The Old Baseball (Draft Two) /
Picture bookWriter’s Notes: Switching to the First-Person Point of View
*Smoking (Draft One) / MemoirWriter’s Notes: Writing a Draft That Feels Incomplete
*Smoking (Draft Two) / Memoir • Writer’s Notes: Layering to Flesh Out Skimpy Writing
Creating Hello, Harvest Moon / Picture book
Hello, Harvest Moon (Draft One) / Picture book • Writer’s Notes: Using Feedback to Help Revise 
Hello, Harvest Moon (Final Draft) / Picture book • Writer’s Notes: Reflections on Writing Hello, Harvest Moon

FINAL THOUGHTS (for Teachers)
APPENDIX: Suggested Uses for Mentor Author, Mentor Texts in the Classroom from Teachers

*audio file available online of Ralph reading this piece

Samples

Reviews

INTERVIEW WITH RALPH
Read or listen to Ralph’s interview with Franki Sibberson about Mentor Author, Mentor Texts on Choice Literacy.


PRAISE FOR RALPH AND MENTOR AUTHOR, MENTOR TEXTS
"I love the whole idea of this book. The idea of a mentor text as invitation. The idea that it is more important to value the things that our students notice in good writing, than to force our noticings on them. The idea that we want our students to find their own mentor texts and find things they are ready for as writers.  And I love that students can get the inside scoop on some of Ralph's writing. The idea of mentor texts as more of a process than a science is refreshing. And you can always count on Ralph to be refreshing and to help us really think about our work with students.  Ralph is a great author to mentor us as teachers and to mentor our student writers." 
LOVE THIS ONE!

Franki Sibberson
Read the whole review at A Year of Reading

"If you’re looking for a new book that can help you lift the level of your writing instruction by using mentor texts, then I highly suggest picking up a copy of Mentor Author, Mentor Texts for your professional library."
Stacey Shubitz
Read her entire review at the Two Writing Teachers blog.

A NOTE TO RALPH FROM A TEACHER-READER
Hello Mr. Fletcher,
I just wanted to jot a quick note about your latest gem. 

You visited my school in NY back in February. That visit alone was a highlight in my career, and a highlight for my fifth grade students. During your visit you mentioned to me a project you were working on, so as soon as I saw Mentor Author, Mentor Texts, I quickly placed my order. The book arrived today and I am more than half way through it. All I can say is, "Awesome!" The book has me energized for the start of school next week and looking forward to all of writing opportunities my students will be offered. So, thank you! I have been an admirer of your work/philosophy for some time now, and this new resource only adds to that admiration.

Your section "By Way of Introducing Myself" is spot on, and honestly gave me goosebumps. Your ability to speak to and encourage young writers so honestly is reaffirming to me and another breath of fresh air.

I will most definitely be using this resource with my students and would love to follow up with you in a few months, but I really just wanted to say thank you.

Be well, 

Steve Gordon
Fifth Grade Teacher
Bay Shore, New York


FROM TEACHERS USING THE BOOK

"I highly recommend Mentor Author, Mentor Texts. It just arrived in the mail yesterday and I am devouring it nightly! The word is out at my school and many are eager to purchase. Thanks, Ralph, for another wondeful resource...if only you knew the far reaching effects of your work and the impact it has on children and teachers alike. You are amazing!"
Cathy Rencavage Wieland

"Ralph Fletcher has done it again. He has written a great resource for teachers and students alike. His "gentle" approach to using microtexts to introduce literacy strategies is refreshing. His insights regarding the power students feel when they discover elements of author's craft on their own was affirming to me as I work with students and their teachers. 
With each piece of his own writing in the book, Ralph shares just enough of the thinking process of the writer to challenge students to dig deeper on their own for elements of craft. The book is a treasure. I highly recommend it."
Sharon M. Feather, August 25, 2011

"As a long time reader of Ralph Fletcher's work, I was eager to get my hands on this resource as soon as he mentioned it to me during a school visit earlier this year. On the day the book arrived, I tore open the box, sat down, and gobbled up the wealth of opportunity offered by this work. In addition to the mentor pieces being relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking for my students, Mr. Fletcher has offered a peek inside the writer's brain for how each was crafted. Without overdoing the explanation, he simply offers a "nugget" for the students to notice and think about. Already this school year, my fifth graders are talking more about initiating, structuring, and crafting writing than I have ever experienced before. 
Don't pass over "By Way of Introducing Myself." This introductory section speaks openly and honestly to students about the purpose behind these mentor pieces and puts the power of learning in their hands. 
If you believe in nurturing young writers by sharing great mentor pieces, discussing what they notice, and allowing them to have a go at some new understanding, then don't pass this resource by. Pick it up, you will not be disappointed!"
SteveG, September 27, 2011

"Simply brilliant. Suggestions from Fletcher how to use a mentor text and, more importantly, how not to use a mentor text. A great resource to have in the Writing Workshop classroom."
katsok, September 29, 2011

Related PD Services

Seminars

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Ralph Fletcher directly about professional development support.