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Question about voice in non-fiction pb

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I’m currently working on a nf picture book about the extinction of two separate species, a type of compare and  contrast. But I’m  having a hard time figuring out an appropiate voice. Want to balance the sadness of the extinctions with the heroism of people working to save them.
#1 - August 07, 2019, 02:43 PM

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What is your actual question? I'm guessing it's "how do you do this?"

I think in all writing for children, the key is to be sure there is hope. So are these species extinct or on the brink? There are other books that have done this. Look up endangered species at the library. (They may not have the compare and contrast model, which is a nice twist.) That will help you get the sense of voice. Even if one species is extinct, it can work if scientists learned something from it that helps them possibly save the other or some such.

I hope this helps.
#2 - August 07, 2019, 06:19 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Nancy, your voice will be the thing that's unique about you and you cultivate it by writing a lot. You can choose to have a reporty style (distant, removed, just the facts m'am) or make it more personal. You can also adopt a persona or decide to follow a particular researcher so that it's more intimate. Without seeing an actual excerpt, it's hard to offer any suggestions on voice. You might want to post one in the private SCBWI critique section and see what others think.

Debbie makes an excellent point about ending with hope. I've not seen a compare and contrast book with respect to a species extinction, but the topic is definitely covered in PBs without being overcrowded. Good luck!
#3 - August 07, 2019, 06:47 PM
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 I hear you. Finding the right voice for nonfiction can be difficult as is finding the right way in to the topic. Sounds like you've got a good idea balancing the two. I would look at new nonfiction pbs and run it through your critique group. Good luck.
#4 - August 07, 2019, 07:56 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
The Women's Rights Movement: Then and Now
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 Thanks, all, for the great advice. It’s nice to know that others wrestle with the same things. And to your question, Debbie,  both species are extinct. One in 2012 and one January of this year.
#5 - August 08, 2019, 04:59 PM

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Nancy, that's sad. But can the work that was done be spun to help other species? Can you show the determination of the rescue workers to not give up on preventing future extinctions? Even just a thought at the end  about what kid themselves can do will give hope. There are ways.
#6 - August 08, 2019, 06:19 PM
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I’m definitely planning on including the heroes, scientists trying to prevent more extinctions. And I’m also going to present actions the kids can take. This is a little harder because there’s only so much they can do.
#7 - August 08, 2019, 07:24 PM

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