Today Biblio Links welcomes Sarvenaz Tash, debut middle grade author of The Mapmaker and the Ghost!
Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional Tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Story summary of The Mapmaker and the Ghost from IndieBound: Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good quest. Intrepid, curious, and full of a well-honed sense of adventure, she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her idols, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and to map the forest right behind her home. This task is complicated, however, by a series of unique events—a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag gang of brilliant troublemakers. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary summer . . . or an ordinary quest. Debut author Sarvenaz Tash combines an edge-of-your-seat adventure, a uniquely clever voice, and an unforgettable cast of characters to prove that sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own backyard.
I asked Sarvenaz how her book fits into the classroom.
BiblioLinks: A student walks into my library, and I think: That child needs a copy of THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST. Who is this kid?
Sarvenaz: I’d say, most of all, a kid who likes adventure and humor! Fans of Roald Dahl or Louis Sachar would probably also enjoy this book. But it could also be of interest to kids currently studying Lewis & Clark.
BiblioLinks: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book with a small group or the whole class, what might we see?
Sarvenaz: There are actually a lot of possible lessons rather sneakily planted within the adventure plot of this book. You might see the class using measuring tape and graph paper to make a map of their surroundings. You might see them discussing Lewis and Clark and writing up the properties of some of the plants and animals they discovered (or even sketching them as the explorers might have done). You might hear discussions about alternate forms of energy (water, wind, etc.) and the pros and cons of each. You might even see them coming up with fun and unusual sandwich combinations (Goldenrod, besides being a mapmaker, also happens to excel at creative sandwich-making).
BiblioLinks: Where can teachers and students find out more about you and your book? (Note to Sarvenaz: This is the place to highlight links to reviews, to your book’s curriculum guide, a trailer if you have one, your website, etc.).
Sarvenaz: There actually is a downloadable companion teaching guide for The Mapmaker and the Ghost filled with all sorts of suggested activities and discussion questions in subjects like Social Studies, Science, Mapmaking and more. You can preview and download it here: http://sarvenaztash.blogspot.com/2012/04/all-about-mapmaker-and-ghost-teaching.html
Library Media Connection has recommended the book for inclusion in the collection, saying, “Full of adventure and mystery, this novel is sure to bring out the explorer in every reader…Historical tidbits will give some readers an incentive to learn more about Lewis & Clark, and maybe even mapmaking.”
Click here to read some lovely reviews of The Mapmaker and the Ghost.
The Nitty Gritty~
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Number of Pages: 256