Jacqueline Jules thinks revision is the best part of writing. She loves the opportunity to arrange and re-arrange words until they tell the story she wants to share. As a child, she loved to play with jigsaw puzzles, and now she loves to play with words. Writing is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You have to make a frame for your story. You have to place similar words together to create images. And you have to turn the pieces around sometimes to get everything to fit.
When she speaks to students, she explains her writing process and how many of her stories grew out of her teaching experiences. As a former school librarian and certified teacher, Jacqueline loves interacting with students, sharing stories, and promoting the joy of reading.
Jacqueline Jules award-winning author of the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation, Duck for Turkey Day, Never Say a Mean Word Again, Feathers for Peacock, and other books for young readers. Her books have been recognized by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, The New York Public Library, the National Council for Social Studies, the Library of Virginia Cardozo Award for Children’s Literature, and named on state and summer reading lists. She has also published poetry and short stories in numerous publications including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, Stories for Children, and Christian Science Monitor.
Jacqueline lives in Northern Virginia. Her hobbies include walking, reading, and attending the theater.
Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off
Purple sneakers with silver wings on the sides were waiting in a package for Freddie Ramos when he arrived home from school. The note inside the box read, “Zapato Power for Freddie Ramos,” but there was no name to indicate who gave the sneakers to Freddie. They were not from his uncle or his mother. The shoes arrived, however, with good timing since Freddie really needed a new pair. His current shoes were too well-worn. So, Freddie tries out the new shoes. Zoom, he is off and running; he discovers that he can outrun the trains on the overhead track. Now, with his super speed shoes, he attempts to be a superhero and help his friends. Besides trying to figure out who gave him the shoes, Freddie investigates some of the mysterious things that are happening around his apartment complex. Cartoon-like pictures in black and white illustrate the story and headings set up the chapters. Read to find out how Freddie figures out who sent him the shoes, and what is behind the mysterious happenings. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung (Children’s Literature).
Feathers for Peacock
Illustrated by Helen Cann
Both award-winners, Jules and Cann make a perfect team to create this original pourquoi tale about how peacocks got their feathers. In the story, all birds were originally naked, but, advised by a benevolent moon, they show up at dawn and rub against flowers of their choice. Instantly, each one has warm, protective feathers of beautiful colors—they celebrate with a party. Poor peacock, however, has overslept and finds himself still naked; it is too late to follow the moon’s advice. Will the birds let him go on being so vulnerable? No, his newly outfitted friends each offer him one of their feathers, which he sticks on in a jumble of hues. His new coat is not pretty! It is the moon to the rescue again, weaving a swirl of magic blue light around the peacock’s body until it displays a pattern of blues, greens, and golds. He loves to show off his fan-like tail, the result of his friends’ generosity. Viewers will be able to identify some of the birds—owl, swan, flamingo, cardinal—in Cann’s gorgeous illustrations done with pencil, watercolor, and collage. The huge white moon hovers above, its nose a pyramid, its mouth stretched wide in a grin. Readers can spot the collage in blossoms, leaves, and trees, while birds and flowers form intricate patterns against deep blue backgrounds. Arresting, too, is a spread of naked white birds tunneled underground in dark chocolate earth, a snowy winter scene above. Jules adds an interesting endnote about peacocks (the one most familiar comes from India); young readers learn that she was inspired by a Puerto Rican folktale about an owl. After reading this lovely book, kids may enjoy writing pourquoi tales of their own. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft (Children’s Literature).
Unite or Die: How Thirteen States became a Nation
Illustrations by Jef Czekaj
History can sometimes be confusing to children, especially if there are facts that are hard to keep straight or remember; however, if the facts are made interesting and fun, children will remember them better. The author has taken the facts of the first thirteen states and written them in a unique form to help children remember what happened. Readers will learn, through the genre of a play, the known–and not so well known–facts about the first thirteen states. There are thirteen characters, played by children, representing the states. The illustrations show the reader each part of the play, how the characters are dressed, and each scene. Many details are given about the states but are in the form of the characters talking, discussing, and arguing back and forth to get their point across. Children will see the expressions on the faces of each state represented and learn from the dialogue as well as other words on each page. There are extra notes included in the back to give more interesting details about the story. Teachers would benefit from having this book in their classroom. They may even try to adapt it and perform a class play of their own. Reviewer: Cathi I. White (Children’s Literature).
Sofia Martinez: The Beach Trip
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Sofia is excited to be going to the beach with fifteen other family members. However, she has trouble deciding what to pack and ends up with only games in her suitcase. With her nice sisters taking a few clothes for her, she is finally ready for the six-hour trip. The family takes three cars to accommodate all the suitcases and other gear needed for the beach. Everyone is in for a disappointment when they wake up the first morning and find that the uncooperative weather is delivering a rainstorm. Fortunately, they can all play Sofia’s three games in the house. After lunch the weather plays out in their favor and the sun appears to make a perfect beach day. This thirty-two page, three chapter, early reader is a delightful story that offers useful Spanish words and phrases. A Spanish glossary, activities, and a publisher website at the end add to the book and make it helpful for a class teacher or other adult to extend the enrichment in this book. Bright, colorful illustrations add flavor and humor. This book is one of a set of eight in the “Sofia Martinez” series. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury (Children’s Literature).
- Zapato Power: is an award-winning chapter book series featuring Freddie Ramos, a boy who receives a mysterious box with super-powered purple sneakers. From then on, Freddie searches for ways to be a superhero. But can you be a hero and still go to elementary school? Using slides of comic book style illustrations, the author shares her process for developing plot and character. Grades K-4.
- Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation: presents the conflicts and compromises of the 1787 Constitutional Convention through colorful comics projected on a screen. Students participate in a Reader’s Theater format and learn a song about the Constitution. Grades 3-6.
- The Joy of Writing: Using examples from Feathers for Peacock, Never Say a Mean Word Again, Sofia Martinez, No English, Duck for Turkey Day, and Zapato Power, the author talks about inspiration for ideas. The revision process is clearly demonstrated through a series of illustrations, showing how both text and art were strengthened. Program includes songs, poetry, and writing ideas. Grades K-5.
- Feathers for Peacock: is a pourquoi story with an original explanation for why the peacock has such beautiful tail feathers. Author discusses just-so tales and invites students to create their own stories about how animals came to look or behave as they do. Program includes a song and a brief introduction to other works by the author. Works well with a craft project. Great for Literacy Nights and other family programming. Grades K-3.
- Poetry Presentations: With poems published in Cricket, Cicada, the Poetry Friday Anthologies, One Minute till Bedtime, Balloon Lit, Germ Magazine, and YARN, the author shares her process for writing poetry and provides models and ideas for student work. Classroom workshops available for Grades 1-8. (Fees for poetry workshops can be negotiated.)
Jacqueline Jules is most available in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. However, she is available to travel, especially between Washington, DC and New York City. Her programs will be tailored to fit your particular student population and can include PowerPoint presentations, songs, activities, poetry, and writing lessons. Jacqueline is an experienced teacher/librarian who regularly works with students in pre-school through sixth grade.
Group size: 200 max.
Fees: $350.00 per session. $100 for each additional session. Additional fees for travel expenses.
To learn more about Jacqueline and her publications please visit www.jacquelinejules.com.