Mentor Texts

This section is a list of books that can help you as a Writing Workshop teacher.  
Our favorite books are the best writing teachers.  You can get writing tips 
and ideas from your favorite authors by studying their text and specifically what 
they do as writers.  Once you understand the author's craft and how 
it impacts the story, you can try it in your own writing.  The first part of this page lists books that are about writing or writers.  These books can be used 
to begin your year as a community of writers.  The rest of this page is divided into sections based on units of study.  I have listed MY personal favorites... 
the titles and authors I have used with students and found to be successful models.  This list includes a span of grade-levels.  I suggest you personally read the book 
and make sure you feel it is appropriate for the grade-level you teach and the 
needs of the writers in your classroom.  
Remember to read like a writer... what can you teach from this text?
ABC Texts- Check out titles by Jerry Pallotta

"All About" Texts- Check out titles by Gail Gibbons
• Stargazers
• Owls
• The Pumpkin Book
• Penguins
• Giant Pandas
• The Bicycle Book
• Apples
*Tell Me Tree: All About Trees for Kids

Other "All About" Texts
• All About Rattlesnakes by Jim Arnosky
• All About Sharks by Jim Arnosky
• What Do Authors Do? by Eileen Christelow
*Thrill Rides:All About Roller Coasters by Jeff Savage
*The Tooth Book by Edward Miller
*What's Happening? A Book of Explanations by Patricia Gelf

"How-To" Texts
• How To Make Salsa by Jaime Lucero
• Let’s Make a Kite by Lisa Trumbauer
• Making Collages by Susan & Wil Johnson
• How a Book Is Made by Aliki
• How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons
• The Pumpkin Book (page titled “How to Carve a Pumpkin”) by Gail Gibbons
*Chop and Pop by Krystal Diaz
*How to Grow Crystals by Honey Anderson
*How to Make Sock Puppets by Aileen Weintraub

Personal Narrative (Small Moment) Texts
• Bigmama’s by Donald Crews
• Shortcut by Donald Crews
• The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
• Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
• Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
• Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack
• Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
• Fireflies!  by Julie Brinckloe
• The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  A Box of Treats by Kevin Henkes (includes 5 little picture books)
        *Owen's Marshmallow Chick
        *Lilly's Chocolate Heart
        *Julius's Candy Corn
        *Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick
        *Wemberly's Ice Cream Star
*Birdie's Big Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
*Night of the Veggie Monster by George McClements
Click by Rhonda Cox
A Car Follwed Us by Will Barrows
*So Sleepy by Janice Boland
*Eat Your Broccoli by Kari Yates
*The Birthday Bird by Lois Podoshen
*Pancakes for Breakfast by Wendi J. Silvano
*Jake's First Word by Jane Luongo
*Digging to China by Katherine Goldsby
*I Ride the Waves by Rhonda Cox
*Walking Home Alone by Ginger Baker
*Strange Things by Claire Violet

Letter Writing Texts
• Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie
• Searching for Oliver K Woodman by Darcy Pattison
• Dear Bunny by Michaela Morgan
• The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
• Postcard Passages by Susan Joyce
• Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada
• Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma Flor Ada
• With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
• Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague
• Detective LaRue by Mark Teague
• Postcards From Pluto by Loreen Leedy
• Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
• Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
*Pen Pals by Michael Rose Ramirez
*Nothing in the Mailbox by Carolyn Ford

Possible Author Studies- Authors As Mentors
• Eric Carle
• Donald Crews
• Mem Fox
​   Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild!
​   Night Noises
​   Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge
​   A Bedtime Story
• Todd Parr 
• Judith Viorst (The "Alexander" books)
• Angela Johnson
• Mo Willems
• Robert Munsch
​   Mortimer
​   Thomas’ Snowsuit
​   Purple, Green, and Yellow
• Tomie dePaola
​   Oliver Button Is a Sissy
​   The Art Lesson
​   Tom
• Kevin Henkes
• Cynthia Rylant
• Laura Numeroff
*Eve Bunting
*Mark Teague
*Lester Laminack

  • Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher
*This book makes a great read-aloud as you are beginning a unit on poetry 
*You can find this book at
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (found poetry)
  • Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield
  • Falling Down the Page:  A Book of List Poems by Geogia Heard
  • The Great Frog Race by Kristine O'Connell George
  • This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman
  • Marvelous Math (poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins)
  • Spectacular Science (poems selcted by Lee Bennett Hopkins)
  • Over in the Pink House by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • In the Spin of Things by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Lemonade Sun by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
     *Baseball , Snakes,and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves
     *Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems For Young People by Jane Yolen & Heidi Stemple
     *Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems by John Grandits (for more mature readers)
     *All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth
     *Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening (selected by 
      Lee Bennett Hopkins)
     *The Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems by Marjorie Maddox
     *Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Senses (selected by 
      Christine San Jose & Bill Johnson)
     *Cowboys by David L. Harrison
     *Pirates by David L. Harrison
     *Amazing Faces (selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins)
     *Book Speak! Poems About Books by Laura Purdie Salas
     *School Supplies: A Book of Poems (selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins)

Imaginative Narrative Texts
• Chocolatina by Erik Kraft
• Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
• The Sweetest Fig by Chris VanAllsburg
• Just a Dream by Chris VanAllsburg
• The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris VanAllsburg
• Jumanji by Chris VanAllsburg
• Pigsty by Mark Teague
• The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague
• The Trucker by Brenda & Mark Weatherby
• Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner
• A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
• How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
• Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
• Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland
• The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden
*How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
*The Field Beyond the Outfield by Mark Teague

Memoir Texts
*Please note that some of these titles are based on events from the author's life 
  and therefore a 'less-structured' version of a memoir.
• 26 Fairmont Avenue by Tomie dePaola
• On My Way by Tomie dePaola
• Here We All Are by Tomie dePaola
• My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco
• Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare by Patricia Polacco
• Thundercake by Patricia Polacco
• Meteor by Patricia Polacco
• Betty Doll by Patricia Polacco
• Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
• The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
• The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
• Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher

Autobiography Texts
*How to Write Your Life Story by Ralph Fletcher
• Firetalking by Patricia Polacco
• My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen
• Boy by Roald Dahl
• Under My Nose by Lois Ehlert
• A Wonderful Child by George Ella Lyon
• Knots in My Yo-yo String by Jerry Spinelli
*Check out the "Meet the Author" & "Author At Work" series (

Biography Texts
*Check out the "Picture Book Biography" series by David Adler
*Check out the NEW biography series published by Hameray

Persuasive Texts
*Is It Better to Be Judged by a Jury of Your Peers Than by a Judge?
*Are Organized Sports Better for Kids Than Pick-up Games? by Kathleen Blasi
*Should the Electoral College Be Abolished? by Teri Jones
*Should There Be Presidential Term Limits? by Caroline Leavitt
​*Should We Drill for Oil in Protected Areas?
*Should We Use Green Energy Sources that Could Endanger Animals? by Lisa deMauro
*Should There Be Zoos? by Tony Stead with Judy Ballester & her 4th-gr class
 *Should Kids Play Video Games? by Tara Peterson & her 4th-gr class
*Should There Be Space Exploration? by Susan Harvey's 5th Gr Class
*Should We Have Pets? by Sylvia Lollis with Joyce Hogan & her 2nd-gr class
*I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff & David Catrow
*My Brother Dan's Delicious by Steven L. Layne
*Earrings! by Judith Viorst
*I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff & David Catrow
*A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black
*The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini
*Hey, Little Ant by Philip & Hannah Hoose
*Have I Got A Book for You! by Melanie Watt
*The Monster at the End of This Book
*Do Not Open This Book! by Michaela Muntean

*This is a MUST have for all classrooms that are using Writing Notebooks.  It is a fabulous read-aloud and a great way to begin the school year as a community of writers.  You will learn a few things yourself and will be sure to return to this book over and over throughout the school year.  If you can only afford one book, this is the one to get!  You can order this book or find out more about it at
Other Titles About Writing, Writers & Words
  • Live Writing by Ralph Fletcher
  • How Writers Work by Ralph Fletcher
  • The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli
  • Arthur Writes A Story by Marc Brown
  • Max's Words by Kate Banks
  • The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane Auch
  • Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss
  • Twenty Odd Ducks by Lynne Truss
  • The Girl's Like Spaghetti by Lynne Truss
  • Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
  • Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
  • The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter
  • Donovan's Word Jar by Monalisa Degross
  • Amelia's Notebook (and other "Amelia" titles) by Marissa Moss
  • Written Anything Good Lately? by Susan Allen
  • The End by David LaRochelle
  • From Pictures to Words: A Book About Making A Book by Janet Stevens
  • How A Book Is Made by Aliki
  • What Do Authors Do? by Eileen Christelow
  • Look At My Book: How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books by Loreen Leedy