Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monster Needs Your Vote 
by Paul Czajak
Illustrations by Wendy Grieb

**This book is set for release/ publishing around August 25, 2015.  Look for at your bookstore or library soon after that!

As we know, the actual vote for the next US President will take place over a year from now—but, again, as we all know, the election activities are already in full swing!!!

This timely, informative and fun book will help spur interest in a very important part of our government—the presidential election.  Paul Czajak has written the story in an easy ,flowing, rhyming verse, so it is an enjoyable read-aloud for all ages.

It is would be a great resource and mentor text for any type of social studies activities that you would do to bring greater understanding of the election process to your students. In the story, Monster struggles at first to find a relevant platform that is meaningful for voters. This would be a great conversation starter with Gr. 4-5 students.  Another way to blend some social studies and reading workshop strategies would be to have your students work on ‘questioning’ and ‘summarizing’  of Monster Needs Your Vote  for greater understanding.

The publisher, Might Media Press, has sent me a link to their “Campaign Kit” with permission for me to share it with all of you-so here it is with lots of great information and activities centered around the election:

As a mentor text for  Writing Workshop, Monster Needs Your Vote, could easily be used as an example of Opinion Writing.  Monster finally settles on an election platform that—in his opinion (and mine!) is worth fighting for—funding and saving the city library so that it will remain open for all to enjoy.  This can certainly initiate conversation,opinions and writing about what individual students think would a valid platform for candidates. 

I personally would like to thank Paul Czajak for his books dedication “To All the librarians in the world.” 

Book Talk
At the beginning of the story, Monster and his buddy are noticing all the candidates discussing issues with people in the town.  This peaks Monster’s interest in the process of running for president—so he declares himself a candidate!

Monster’s friend tries to encourage him to decide on a platform that is important to him and one in which he thinks people will support and vote for him.  

He tries several ‘issues’ that just don’t quite work— 1. Extending summer and 2. Dessert for dinner— just don’t attract a lot of potential voter attention!

Some favorite lines:
Monster’s oratory skills were filled with monster flair.
But no one stopped to listen, and the people left the square.
“Monster, maybe summer isn’t what the voters need.
Perhaps a change of issues if you’re going to succeed.”

Monster finally sees a sign that the local city library is closing and he is furious!  He decides that keeping the library open will be his main election issue.  With that in mind, he sets out and campaigns effectively for the rest of the summer—until he finds out he is not even old enough to run for President.

More favorite lines:
“The library is closing. That’s a crime that can’t take place!
To fail on education is a national disgrace!”
We started with a grassroots movement, going door to door.
With poster saying, ‘Reading Turns Your Voice into a ROAR!”

At this point, Monster has raised so much awareness about the library, that it does not matter to him if he becomes President or not!!  The library stayed open and Monster was a hero to the townspeople!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text: 
Book Genre:  Animal Fiction
Reading workshop strategies: Solving words (election vocabulary), Fluency (story in verse) Questioning, Summarizing
Writing Workshop genre and strategies: Opinion Writing, Poetry, Fiction writing, Boy Hook
Curricular Theme:  Social Studies / Elections

Paul Czajak’s website:

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