I’ve recently come across the idea of Mentor Texts – books you can learn from. There’re some great examples given by ReFoReMo Challenge, or Reading for Research Month Challenge.
This is where you have to read as a writer rather than simply enjoy the story. Ask yourself questions about the book – What made the characters stand out? What made the plot work? Where was the fun? Where was the conflict? How was the ending set up? How was the ending made to be satisfying?
A couple of my mentor texts::
Picture book: Jon Klassen’s This is not my Hat – an unexpected ending
Early readers: Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books – superb charactisation
Middle grade: Practically all of Roald Dahl – imagination and such wonderful grossness
Older children: Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls – such emotion.