As I’ve said many times before, each guide I create offers a unique opportunity to learn something wonderfully new. Creating book guides for authors and illustrators also grant me the great pleasure of getting to know the individuals on a more personal level. Such was the great experience I had creating a guide for author Sue LaNeve’s award-winning Spanky: A Soldier’s Son. It’s no surprise that LaNeve’s novel earned a bronze medal from the 2013 Military Writers Society. It’s that good. I can attest for it!
The story is about a boy whose father is deployed to Afghanistan, leaving Spanky and his broken-hearted mother to fend for themselves in a new community. His father’s departing words were, “Son, make me proud.” These words haunt him as he deals with bullies, self-doubt, and adult-like responsibilities. Eventually, Spanky begins to trust and believe in himself by acknowledging the leadership skills he holds within. In the end, he makes his father proud – and then some.
The story is great. Sue is fantastic. But, the aspect I enjoyed most about this project was partnering with Sue’s mom, Audrey W. Lederman, M Ed., as a consultant for the guide’s contents. You see, Audrey once worked with the talented and gifted. She was a true gift to me, I’ll tell you. Her insights and ideas were astounding!
Sue and Audrey - now there's a mother/daughter team that can't be beat.