2013 6th Grade Read

Jennifer Jacobson is an author who wears many professional hats. She is also a writer, teacher, educational consultant, editor, and speaker. She writes in a variety of genres. She explains that “all of these devotions spin on the single point where writing and teaching meet. I am a writer and a teacher of writing – each role continually informing and shaping the other.”

Last year, sixth-graders on Mount Desert Island and nearby outer islands had the opportunity to meet Jennifer and benefit from her expertise.

As part of Island Readers & Writers’ 2013 ‘Sixth-Grade Read’ program, each child received a copy of Jennifer’s book, Small as an Elephant. The novel had special appeal since much of it is set in real locations on MDI.

Students read and discussed the book in their own classrooms and then met Jennifer on a special trip to Camp Beech Cliff (a day camp on MDI), in the spring. Volunteers from the community were on hand to work with the students in break-out groups. Jennifer talked about her inspiration for the book and students worked in groups to create stories of their own.

Small As An Elephant tells the story of 11-year-old Jack, who is abandoned by his mother during a trip to Acadia National Park. Jack has often had to deal with his mother’s “spinning times” when she careens from adventure to danger or vanishes outright, but she’s never been gone for so long, or left him so far from home.

In 2012, Small as an Elephant won the Maine Lupine Award. This award is presented annually by the Maine Library Association’s Youth Services Section to honor outstanding contributions to children’s literature about Maine or by Maine authors and illustrators. It is also a winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Fiction Award.

A resident of Cumberland, Jennifer is also the author of the Andy Shane series of early chapter books; the picture books A Net of Stars and Moon Sandwich Mom; young adult novel The Complete History of Why I Hate Her, which was chosen by the American Library Association as one of its 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers; and the young adult novel Stained which won the Lupine Award in 2005.  She also writes resource books for teachers including No More, ‘I’m Done!: Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades, which is about establishing a successful writer’s workshop.

Find out more about Jennifer Jacobson at her website.