Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Practice with Hooks

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight

1. JANE YOLEN.
a hook in terms of booksellers, who know and respect Jane. Not quite so much in terms of consumers.
2. Engaging Illustrations
correct. Yay, Mark Teague!
3. Rhyme done well.
important to getting the manuscript published, but not a hook.
4. DINOSAURS.
correct.
5. "Bedtime Book"
correct. With the emphasis on behaving well while going to bed. If dinosaurs can go to bed like civilized prehistoric monsters, then so can your kid.

Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct
Here's what I think the hooks are. But if you bought this book for another reason, that's a hook too.
1. Mo Willems (and his signature sense of humor)
2. A subtle message that all kids can apply to their lives: sometimes it's not about being right. It's about being nice to people. (And dinosaurs.)

Any suggestions for other titles we could pull the hooks out of?

5 comments:

ann said...

I'd like to know the hooks for a couple of YA books: Speak, Hattie Big Sky. Do these books have hooks besides the wonderful authors?

Anonymous said...

Since Speak was L H Anderson's first book, her name wasn't a hook then. "Girl goes mute due to horrendous secret" might be a hook, because secrets and mysteries are hooks in themselves. (Yet I didn't think the secret was particularly fresh and different.) Another hook is "good reviews"; I picked up the book for that reason, too. "Accurate YA voice" might be one of the hooks.

Hattie Big Sky's author isn't a big name either, although in this industry, "big name" often means "known by others in the industry." The bookstore consumer or library patron may not have a clue. I loved the book. For me, the hooks were "Newbery Honor," (that was the first time I'd heard of the book), "historical fiction," which I love, and "adventurous heroine." Another thing I really loved about it, though it's not a hook in that I didn't discover it until reading the book, is the friendship between Hattie and her neighboring family. Whether hook or not, "friendship" will get me every time. For me personally, another hook is "YA book that is neither grim nor filled with sex and swear words."

Deirdre Mundy said...

Another Hook for Hattie is

"Pioneer Life" -- A lot of girls grow up loving the Little House books... this is an interesting (girl does it on her own) take on a popular topic.....

Also, the cover is awesome.

Loree Burns said...

I'd add to the EDWINA list a third hook: the title. How can you not wonder?


Loree Burns
www.loreeburns.com

ann said...

Thanks for the thoughts regarding the hooks of Speak and Hattie. It helps me understand what to emphasize when describing my book. Very helpful.