August 9, 2016

Pigs are unlikely sailors. But they follow their dreams, through all the difficulties. Follow them on the journey of a lifetime! | MimsHouse.com

Liberty launches into the world next week! Well, it’s already available as an ebook a week early.

When Santiago is thrust into the farm’s pigsty, Penelope is captivated by Santiago Talbert’s boast, “I plan to sail the Seven Seas.” Together, these extraordinary pigs escape the farm and cross into the land of Liberty, a parallel world where an intelligent human or animal can get ahead. They follow their dream to Boston harbor, where they try to convince sea captains that pigs can sail. First, though, Santiago learns mapmaking, while Penelope works on the docks loading ships. Eventually Penelope signs onto the Ice King’s crew as he cuts and packs ice to ship to the far-flung corners of the world.

When the fleet of ice ships sails, Penelope and Santiago join the crew of the flagship, captained by Captain Kingsley, the Ice King himself. A massive polar bear, he harbors dark secrets, and the pigs face the shocking truth: they alone can save the friendly sea serpents from the Ice King’s clutches. From the fascinating world of tall ships comes this unlikely tale of humble pigs who follow their dream.

GoodReads Giveaway

Enter TODAY for a chance to win a copy. The giveaway entries end next week.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Liberty by Darcy Pattison


by Darcy Pattison

Giveaway ends August 09, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Hope you win!

Print Books Now Available

Print books – hardcover and paperback – are now available on the Mims House website. To celebrate the Back-to-School season, all children’s books are 10% off through August.

Resources for Back-to-School

Did you know that many of our books have teacher’s guides or worksheets to accompany them?

The Aliens, Inc. Series

The Aliens, Inc. Series has a teacher’s guide with simple lesson plans and audiobook samples.When I was looking for a great summer read for kids, I found this series. The Aliens, Inc. Series is great summer reading for kids going into 3rd-5th grades. I love series because it makes the choice of what to read next so easy. | MimsHouse.com

The Read and Write Series

The Read and Write Series: Dogs, cats, and writing--it's a natural combination in this series of fun books.The Read and Write Series has worksheets available. Watch this video about teaching narrative essays or opinion essays, and find out how to get the free worksheets.

Read Sample Chapters

Vagabonds by Darcy Pattison | NEW Cover for this middle-grade animal fantasy. Read more at MimsHouse.com/books/vagabonds Vagabonds:Galen, the nine-banded armadillo, must accept the Tex, the ambitious outsider, as leader of the search for the fabled Faralone Falls, a place they can finally call home. But on the frontier, survival is the only thing that matters. Follow the armadillos on this epic quest for a home.

Deliciously Creepy - Give your summer reading a chill. | MiimsHouse.comEvery block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”—Michelangelo
But what if an unscrupulous sculptor could trap someone inside a block of stone, just so he could carve them?
There’s darkness in this book, that nevertheless, manages to pull off not one, but two miracles–and brings Laurel home to stay.

Give a child a book of HOPE - a contemporary Hansel and Gretel. | MimsHouse.com This contemporary Hansel and Gretel novel is a heartbreakingly simple story that weaves through the tangled threads of a family and builds to an ending full of hope. Middle grade fiction at its finest.

Can Eliot save his family with a simple bread recipe? Longing for Normal is "a rare book" says Booklist. A boy unites an immigrant community and rebuilds his family–using a simple sourdough bread recipe.

Great resources for back-to-school. I love these sample chapters, audiobook samples, and lesson plans. #bestresourcesever | MimsHouse.com

We were thrilled this week to get a new review on Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle.
Burn: Michael Faraday's Candle book cover | MimsHouse.com

Brilliant, says Midwest Book Review

“Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle” is an exciting adaptation of Michael Faraday’s (1791-1867) original special Christmas lecture, “The Chemical History of a Candle.” Condensed from 6000 words to about 650 words for modern elementary education students, “Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle” is enhanced by dashing, colorful, quirky illustrations bring to life the original author’s scientific lecture for juveniles, first delivered on December 28, 1848, at the Royal Institution in London, England. Mr. Faraday demonstrated several kinds of candles, including stearin, made of ox fat, a sperm candle made from the purified oil of the sperm whale, a bees-wax candle, and a paraffin candle, made from Irish peat bogs. Mr. Faraday taught everyone to observe experiments and ask, “What is the cause, why does it occur?” Mr. Faraday explains that capillary action explains who the flame in a candle gets hold of the fuel. Faraday continues to explain the oblong shape of the flame of the candle and the current of hot air draws out the flame, supplies it with air, and cools the sides of the cup of melted fuel. “Burn” is a brilliant reduction of a very famous British science lecturer that presents the information in a format appealing to children today. – Midwest Book Review, July, 2016

How to Order



All formats also available on Follett, Mackin, Permabound, and Ingram.


Interview with Darcy Pattison on LitPick.

Since The Read and Write Series has been published, folks have asked for more information on how to use the books in the classroom. On this video, children’s book author Darcy Pattison explains My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay and how to use the book in the classroom.

If you can’t see this video, click here.
To get My Crazy Dog Printable Worksheets | Mims House, click here. (pdf)
To buy the powerpoint version of this book, click here.

a video on teaching OPINION Essays, click here.

Please share with a classroom teacher!
Amazing video! 15 minutes to the easiest and best narrative writing lesson ever! #BestResourceEver | MimsHouse.com

Since the publication of I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay and I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay, folks have asked for more information on how to use these books in the classroom. Today, we’re excited to share with you a 20-minute video with specifics on how to use the books in the classroom. One teacher wrote us to say that using the books was “the best day of teaching” in her career. Suddenly, opinion essays were fun!

If you can’t see this video, click here.
To get the I Want a Dog and I Want a Cat worksheets, click here.
To buy the Powerpoint version of the books, click here for DOG and here for CAT.

For a video explaining NARRATIVE essays, click here.

Please share the video with a classroom teacher!

20 minutes is all it takes to get a super-amazing lesson plan for writing opinion essays. #BestResourceEver Fun, simple - what's not to love? | MimsHouse.com

Since 1999, I’ve taught a Novel Revision retreat. In order to come, you must have a full draft of a novel. We spend a weekend discussing how to revise the novel. Invite me to teach in your area!

Popular Workbook Now an eBook

The popular workbook for Darcy Pattison's Novel Revision Retreat is Novel Metarmorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise. Hurrah! It's now available as an ebook. | MimsHouse.comIn 2008, I published Novel Metamorphosis: UnCommon Ways to Revise, the workbook for the retreat. Because it has several interactive sections–it really is a WORK book; you’re supposed to write in it–I resisted the idea of an ebook for a long time. But I kept getting requests for it as an ebook. I listened. It’s now available as an ebook on your favorite platform.


“I found many books useful, but I found your Novel Metamorphosis absolutely the best for a workshop. For the first time in 18 years of doing The Manuscript Workshop in Vermont, I offered one this year for novels – for those who had a first draft or more that needed revision. The most interesting session was the one where we dealt with the Shrunken Manuscript, and we were all really impressed about how much we learned from this hands on activity.”

—Barbara Seuling, Director
The Manuscript Workshop in Vermont

“Darcy Pattison’s shrunken manuscript technique for analyzing the overall flow and pacing of my novel was the single most helpful tip I have ever picked up at a workshop. Highly recommended!”
—Carole Estby Dagg
The Year We Were Famous, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
2011. Would you walk over four thousand miles to save your family’s home?

“My initial reaction after finishing a first draft is to ask myself “Now What?” That question is answered and then some in Darcy’s novel revision retreats (I’ve done two so far). The large group sessions where Darcy discusses things like character, plot, setting and word choice help you wrap your brain around where your novel needs work. The break-out sessions with your critique group help you apply Darcy’s revision principles to your specific story. In the end, you walk away with a clear picture of how to take your novel apart and put it back together in a way that will make it a much stronger story. Hanging out with Darcy and other writers (at a retreat) who are in your shoes is a big bonus too!”

—Christina Mandelski
The Sweetest Thing, Egmont USA, 2011

“Darcy gets you to see through your own words to find the heart and bones of your story, then gives you strategies that help you cut the fat away from that heart and keep it singing while you rearrange the bones and sinew to make the structure strong.”

—Sue Cowing
You Will Call Me Drog, Carolrhoda, 2011.

A debut middle-grade novel and a cleverly framed story of self-determination and family relationships. Fresh, funny, unexpected and, at times, just a little dark. “I revised a manuscript for an editor at Scholastic before it was accepted. His offer letter said, “The ability to have such insight about one’s own work is as rare as the talent to generate a fun and meaningful story.” Darcy Pattison taught me how to look at my own work with a powerful set of tools for considering voice, structure, action, sensory detail, and more. “It always feels magical to make a story better, but it’s not magic. It’s a matter of understanding and using the tools we writers have. Darcy built the toolbox for us with her blog, her workshops, and her book, Novel Metamorphosis. We still have to do the heavy lifting, but we’re not doing it alone.”

—Martha Brockenbrough
Devine Inspiration, Arthur Levine/Scholastic, 2012

Darcy Pattison’s shrunken manuscript technique pushed me to see my book in its entirety — what was working and what needed to change. On the micro level, I appreciated Darcy’s emphasis on imagery and the senses — particularly taste, touch, and smell — which bring to a story texture and depth.

—Caroline Starr Rose
May B., Schwartz and Wade/Random House Children’s Books, 2012

“I’ve used the techniques that Darcy lays forth in Novel Metamorphosis, and my guess is you will copy, dogear, highlight, flag, and write all over this book. And while you’re marking up this text, your own novel will emerge cleaner, sharper, and more publishable.”

—Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of middle-grade historical novel,
Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte 2008), which was accepted by the first editor who read it after Tubb revised it at Darcy Pattison’s workshop. Class of 2k8. www.kristintubb.com

How to Order


All formats also available on Follett, Mackin, Permabound, and Ingram. Overdrive carries the ebook; ask your local library to purchase it.