Author Guest Post | Can Reading Mysteries Help Children Build Grit? by Robin Newman author of the #earlyreader mystery series Wilcox & Griswold: policemice detectives!

Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

In conjunction with my review of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake I wanted to give the author Robin Newman a chance to write a Guest Post on a topic of her choosing to help compliment my own thoughts on behalf of her series debut! This is a series for Early Readers in particular, but as I highlighted on my review, I think it would be an excellent addition to the selections adult readers in literacy programmes are given as a clever way to engage them in a story that keeps your eyes on the humour and the beautiful illustrations which compliment the story-line!
Ms Newman happily picked a topic that won me over as soon as I saw the question it proposed because I grew up reading cosy mysteries (a la Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys right alongside Dame Agatha Christie: see my review of the new Poirot for more insight) and can attest that mysteries went a long mile towards helping me expand my perception and view of the world. They are stimulating as they are cheekily humoured and the reason my preference is for cosy over hard-boils (except for when I read a hard-boiled *this!* side of cosy; yes, my own definitive difference!) is due to the nature of the tone, violence, and the inclusions therein.
I didn’t just read Cosies, I watched them on tv and inside motion pictures too! My favourites these days are police procedurals with a family knitted into the heart of the characters (i.e. Rizzoli & Isles, the Mentalist, NCIS (pick one, I love all 3!), Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, and Castle; to name a few!) or most of the mysteries put out by the BBC!
Finding stories writ for younger readers or readers just starting to get their feet wet into this wonderful world of imagination and story-craft with a clear bent of joy stitched inside them is a joy for me! I love showcasing authors and publishers who are getting it right and doing a lot of good with their published works. It is my pleasure to bring Ms Newman to my blog and to share with you her thoughts on the benefits of reading mysteries!

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin NewmanCaptain Griswold and Detective Wilcox are two hardboiled police mice and MFIs—Missing Food Investigators. When Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake goes missing the day before her big party, Griswold and Wilcox must investigate a farm full of fun, colorful suspects—and it will take smarts (and a delicious dose of humor) to crack the case.

An easy-to-read mystery with plenty of clues to point readers in the right direction, the book includes the recipe for Miss Rabbit’s tasty carrot cake from bestselling cookbook author, Mollie Katzen, and comes with a downloadable curriculum guide available for classroom use which teaches problem solving, logic skills, and storytelling.

Children will love this funny, friendly twist on classic mystery and detective stories as they follow the clues through pages filled with engaging illustrations and an entertaining, interactive story.

Genre(s): Early Reader | Cosy Mystery | Foodie Fiction

Illustrated Stories | Imagination Friendly

Wilcox & Griswold No. 2 due out Autumn 2016: The Case of the Poached Egg

Published By: Creston Books, LLC (@CrestonBooks)

Converse via Twitter: #WilcoxAndGriswoldMysteries, #earlyreader, #KidsLit and #JKSLitPublicity

About Robin Newman

Robin Newman

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman has been a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and English Cocker Spaniel, who happens to have been born on the Fourth of July.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Can Reading Mysteries Help Children Build Grit?

By Robin Newman

When my husband and I were touring schools for our pre-kindergartner a few years back, we kept hearing a lot about the Marshmallow Test and grit. How do you build grit in children? How do you get children to do their best and not give up when the going gets tough, and the tough get going?

The concept of grit is something that I often think about as a parent, writer, and in particular as a writer of children’s mysteries. Can reading mysteries help children build grit?

Introducing mysteries to children can help them in so many ways, and on so many different levels:

• Foster Detail-Oriented Readers: Mystery readers need to pay attention to the details. They cannot be passive readers if they’re going to figure out who dunnit’. They have to weed through the clues, and separate the important facts from the red herrings.

• Encourage Independent Thinking: Mysteries challenge readers to think outside of the box. How can we catch the thief who stole Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake? Should we set up a sting operation? Use video surveillance?

• Nurture a Strong Work Ethic: Mysteries encourage children to persist through adversity. In a mystery, the protagonist always faces calamity, desperation, and failure, and yet at the darkest hour he or she somehow musters up the courage, or the cleverness, to get out of a troubling situation.

It’s no mystery that mysteries provide many wonderful lessons for children. Life is a series of trials and much error. And maybe, while reading a mystery, a child will realize that you can’t win them all and, just perhaps, the fact that you gave it your best makes you a winner.


1 The Marshmallow Test, otherwise known as the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, was developed to test delayed gratification. The test was simple. A child could get one marshmallow on the spot, but if the child could wait 15 minutes while in the room staring at the one marshmallow, the child would get two marshmallows at the end of the test. Researchers found that the children who could hold out tended to generally do better in life and on tests.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

JKS Communications Reviewer Badge

Remember to visit my review of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake! This is the first in a new series of Early Readers, where the second case for Wilcox & Griswold are arriving Autumn 2016!

It should be noted I previously have read and reviewed a wide variety of Children’s Literature, including stand-alones and serials. This is only a handful of the Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult titles I’ve blogged about and a small fraction of the Children’s Lit I have read overall. Visit my Story Vault and my Children’s Lit Archive.

The showcases I hosted outside of YA include the following:

Juvenile Fiction | Middle Grade:

Picture | Chapter Books | Early Readers:

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Reader Interactive Question:

Did you grow up reading Cosy Mysteries like I did!? Did you start to notice your perceptional awareness of the world around you would become heightened to take stock and notice of your environment? What stories and authors did you appreciate reading as a younger reader within the realm of mystery & suspense!?

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake”, Author Biography, Author Photograph, Book Synopsis for both books, and reviewer badge were provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Comment Box banner made by Jorie in Canva. The book trailer for “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake” via Robina Newman had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel by way of the creature inside it. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

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