Writing Instructor Pens Children's Book to Help Teachers Boost Literacy

A new children's book from writing instructor Jackie Cottrell-Johnson is specially designed to help turbo-charge kids' literacy skills in addition to being a darn good read.

"Daddy's Voice," just published by Outskirts Press, is now available through the online store at www.outskirtspress.com/store.php. The book uses recognizable voice, distinctive word choice, sentence variations and many other key writing skills taught inside the classroom, making it an excellent teaching tool for language arts instructors. It can also be used as a read-aloud, in literacy circles and as an independent reading activity.

But at the heart of "Daddy's Voice" is a strong story sure to draw kids in. The book follows 9-year-old Tommy, who struggles with the absence of his father after he unexpectedly walks out of Tommy's life. Distraught, Tommy deals with issues of guilt, inadequacy and loneliness as he struggles to live up to being "the man of the house." Although he knows he must be strong and go at it alone, Tommy's past stays fresh on his mind—especially the voice of his father saying his final words: "Never doubt." But the surprising truth that unfolds helps Tommy to reconnect the shattered pieces in a bittersweet ending.

With its memorable characters and a series of conflicts, students and teachers will enjoy the unfolding twists and turns of "Daddy's Voice," says Cottrell-Johnson.

"When I decided to write ‘Daddy's Voice,' I knew it had to include all the good things that would enhance children's literacy skills—things like specialized vocabulary and opportunities for small group discussion about word meaning," says Cottrell-Johnson. "But I also knew it had to be a really good story. What happens to Tommy is relevant to a lot of kids today, and they can take away so much from his tale of survival."

Indeed, research shows children who are more motivated to read experience a more successful academic career. According to the National Institute for Literacy, "When children become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond." "Daddy's Voice" supports that outcome by combining a compelling plot and appropriately challenging content to an enjoyable children's novel.

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