TITLE: The Spy Who Played Baseball
AUTHOR: Carrie Jones
ILLUSTRATOR: Gary Cherrington
In between my extensive travels (I've just spent a week in Mexico, four days at Universal Studios Orlando and five days in Jamaica in connection with my job as a Travel Agent), I had the pleasure of squeezing in the reading of THE SPY WHO PLAYED BASEBALL. It's the story of Morris (Moe) Berg, who was an talented Jewish baseball player who later became a spy during World War II.
What if it was called The Morris Berg story? Despite him having an amazing life story, that wouldn't be much of a hook, would it?
It's important to consider, when titling your own manuscripts, what works in this and other titles. I always say that a book should have three hooks right up front. This one has two, right in the title alone! SPY and BASEBALL! Just the combination leads to the compelling question -- how did a baseball player become a spy, so that's like three hooks for the price of two, in the title alone! PLUS, a title is a promise and this one kept it's promise, so even better!
Right now I am just discussing the book in regard to it's title. However, I want to say this was an enjoyable read, and I can see why the publisher, Kar-Ben (Lerner), snatched it up. It's the perfect example of a lesser known story that deserves and needs to be told
I hope you enjoyed this little mini lesson and that you are inspired to read this book!
Keep following this blog, and reading and evaluating these books and your own in this fashion, and you will soon see the way you look at your own stories change. For. the. better.
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Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com
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