Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elysabeth Eldering talks about her JGDS books

Good day everyone. Today we have a very special guest, Elysabeth Eldering. She’s writing a series of books, well, I’ll let her tell you about them. Hi Elysabeth.

E: Hi Zebee. I’m really glad to be here with you today at the ‘V Zoo’. This is a cool place.

Z: Thank Elysabeth. So, from what I’ve heard my boss Joy say, you have a very ambitious project ahead of you. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

E: Yes, I do have an ambitious project. When I’m all done I’ll have 50 books written.

Z: 50 books! Wow! That’s a lot of books. Why so many? What are they about?

E: I’m writing one for each state. See, this series is called the Junior Geography Detective Squad. The four main characters, Matt Patterson, Guy Lombard, Mary Beth Patterson and Jolene Ariette take on the newest handheld game to help them in their study of social studies course of US History (geography and trivia information about each state). Each book in the series will be presented as the game giving them "clues" which are basically facts and trivia information that can be found most any place about the states. The kids have to guess the state by the end of the book. Readers are encouraged to participate in guessing as well. Guesses may be changed during the story as no one is expected to get the state immediately. Some clues are more helpful than others and some are just downright fun. This is a fun way of learning something you never knew about state history and geography.
There are bonus clues to five territories throughout the series, one per book with a total of ten per each of the territory (Guam, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, US Samoan Islands). The ten clues will not come consecutively; the five territories will be one clue every sixth book for each of the territories.

There will be a bonus clue section at the end of the series, recapping the clues, which book they appeared in and what the territory is in that book.

Z: How many books are available at the moment?

E: At this point, State of Wilderness is the first in the series. The second, State of Quarries, will be released either late December or early January. The next three states are being written this month.

Z: What types of extras do you have for readers of the Junior Geography Detective Squad?

E: In the teacher's guide, I have six research projects/discussion questions, a puzzle (cryptogram, word search, word jumble, or some other puzzle will be featured), a science experiment, and an end-of-book quiz.

Z: Sounds like fun. So,where can people go and buy your books?

E: Copies may be purchased from 4RV Publishing, and, or for special orders (schools and homeschoolers) by contacting Vivian at 4RV Publishing. The teacher's guides are only available through special orders from Vivian.

Z: Thanks for stopping by today Elysabeth. Are you coming back on Sunday to travel the world zoos with me?

E: From what I’ve heard from your other guests, I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

Z: See you then.
Bye for today all you Bloggerville fans. I’ll see you on Sunday too.


Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

This sounds like a wonderful and useful series for the classroom.

elysabeth said...

Thanks for having me. I do have the goal of getting the whole series in the classrooms but it will take a while before that happens. I figure by time the first year is completed (four books scheduled to come out this year but are on hold for now until CPSIA gets reworked or repealed or just totally banned itself), that more buzz will be created and the teachers will be begging for more and more. The readers have enjoyed the first one and are begging for the second one already but I can't do much about getting it out right now. We are on hold, playing the waiting game. I hope this new act, soon to be law, doesn't destroy the book industry and that the second will be able to come out soon.

Looking forward to the travel the world zoos. See you all in the postings - E :)

Vivian Zabel said...

The series has a good start, and it's going to be an interesting and fun one for kids and adults alike.

Rena said...

I'm 43 and learned a lot from the first book. I can't wait to share it with my boys.

Joy said...

Thank you all for stopping by today.
Karen, it does sound like a fun series that any person who can read and like geography would enjoy.
Elysabeth, thamk you for coming to spend the week with Zebee. Have fun with him on Sunday.
Vivian, You've picked a good one in this series.
Rena, I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it to see how quickly I can guess the state.

kathy stemke said...

I wish I had these books available when I was in the classroom. They're going to be in great demand. Good luck.

deborah said...


what a great series. 50 books, WOW!Makes learning about the United States fun and interesting. How do you find the time to do all that writing and research!

deborah ramos

elysabeth said...


I've had the research gathered for several years now. When I wrote the story originally and won a shared second place, I sent it to an editor with SCBWI and asked her opinion on how to take the story and expand it out as a series or something. She gave me the best advice anyone could and lots of pointers. I gathered all the info but it took me over 2 years to find the right format. When I wrote it as the handheld game, it just felt perfect and my 16yo daughter who for all intents and purposes is a nonreader, read the first story before it was in published form and said she loved it and wanted more. I knew I had the right formula. The hardest part now is deciding which info to use as my clues. The 25th has to be something that most everyone will know and speaks "this is what the state is known for" and the 26th and 27th clues will be the same throughout the series - the state bird and geographical center paired as one clue and the state flower and state capital paired as the last clue. That way they are getting something they definitely should know by the end of the story.

Kathy, it's not too late to read the series as it develops. The adults who have read the first book have all enjoyed it and all have learned something as Rena pointed out. All my reviewers except one have been adults and they have all had great things to say. I'm hoping the second book will be released soon but things are on hold for a bit. Keep checking my blog to find out when things have moved forward - - see you all in the postings - E :)

Zebee said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Elysabeth, you are a wealth of information to all.

BatyaD said...

These are great books! Elysabeth has been totally dedicated to doing them for a couple of years now, and they're now in wonderful shape. They'll help kids learn American Geography in a fun way, and they're educational for adults, too. The additional information at the end of each book and the links offered give interested readers a chance to learn even more. Elysabeth has really made learning fun! Like it should be. As a writer and creativity coach myself, I really applaud Elysabeth's dedication to her work.