A Mentor Text to Inspire the Next Generation of Writers and Activists + a Book Giveaway

A recent trip to the supermarket with my reusable bags.
  • I’m the lady who brings reusable grocery bags to the supermarket. 
  • I’m the lady who has a Klean Kanteen water bottle in her car and her bedroom.
  • I’m the lady who packs her daughter’s school lunches in a Planetbox.

These are just a few of the things I do in an effort to do my part at cutting down on single-use plastic. But I’m far from perfect. (For instance, I pack a plastic spoon with my daughter’s lunch twice a week when she brings yogurt to school. One of these days I’ll get around to buying reusable bamboo utensils…) 

When I encountered Join the No-Plastic Challenge: A First Book of Reducing Waste, written and illustrated by Scot Ritchie, I was unsure what to expect. Was the book going to be for kids like mine or was it going to appeal to all kids to make a difference? Further, was the book going to be preachy or would it be persuasive? I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the pages of the book and found a hybrid-text that included a story about a boy who challenges his friends to celebrate his birthday with a no-plastic day.  While the top portion of each page takes readers through he story, there is a bold-faced text on the bottom of each page spread that informs young readers about reducing waste and/or explains the narrative component of the story with facts.

This is the time of year when many classrooms transition from writing narratives to informational or opinion-based pieces. As a result, I thought this would be an excellent mentor text to share with students since it illustrates how we can teach readers about a topic while engaging them with narrative writing simultaneously. In addition, Ritchie includes a variety of engaging page spreads, a glossary, and other text features, which make the information he presents accessible for students.

Finally, because I’m the lady who uses reusable grocery bags, Klean Kanteens, and takes pride in packing her daughter’s lunches in a Planetbox, I feel it is up to us to teach kids how to say no to single-use plastic whenever possible. Join the No-Plastic Challenge allows us to initiate conversations with children that can help us reducing, reusing, recycling, and refusing.

Here are a few interior page spreads from Ritchie’s book:

NOTE: A review copy of Join the No-Plastic Challenge was provided by Kids Can Press.

Giveaway Information:

  • This giveaway is for a copy Join the No-Plastic Challenge: A First Book of Reducing Waste. Many thanks to Kids Can Press for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Join the No-Plastic Challenge, leave a comment about this post by Sunday, October 13th at 11:59 a.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Tuesday, October 15th. You must have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address to enter the giveaway.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Kids Can Press will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – NO-PLASTIC CHALLENGE. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement