THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET is my dream come true.

THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET Nancy J. Cavanaugh

In a starred review, Kirkus hails,
"A book that is full of surprises . . . Triumphant enough to make readers cheer; touching enough to make them cry."


Eleven-year-old Ratchet determines to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. She tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool language arts journal.

Living in a world of spark plugs, pistons, and crankshafts, Ratchet spends her days fixing cars with her dad in the garage – not exactly normal for a girl. Even with the odds stacked against her, Ratchet endeavors to change her life and realizes her skill as a mechanic might just be the path to her first friend. But in the process, she alienates her father and discovers a secret she wishes she never knew. She finds a way to, not only accept the truth she discovers, but also accept herself and her dad in a whole new way.

Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky | Click here to read a sample


So why did I keep plodding along for so many years?

My Writing Friends

In Charlotte's Web, Charlotte says, "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer." My experience has been the opposite. Through the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, I've met so many talented writers who have become wonderful life-long friends. My writer friends and I encourage each other, help one another to become better writers, and celebrate together whatever successes come our way.

My Writing Adventures

In order to write about things, writers often have to experience them firsthand and that means adventures are part of the job!
  • To research an article on bloodhounds, I interviewed a K-9 police officer and met his bloodhound.
  • While writing about the Okefenokee Swamp, I canoed to Billy’s Island in Georgia, saw tons of wild alligators, and met a real live swamper.
  • Before I wrote curriculum for a class about small engines, I learned how to take apart a small engine and put it back together again.

My Love of Writing

The biggest reason I never gave up on my dream is because I love to write. I love each part of the process: 
  • The excitement I feel when I get a new idea for a story. 
  • The thrill of furiously writing a rough draft, trying hard to get it all down before the good stuff evaporates away.
  • The satisfaction of seeing my book get better and better as I revise draft after draft after draft.
  • The anticipation of sending out a manuscript hoping an editor will love my characters and story as much as I do.

 

 

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