Jim grew up in small towns all over the U.S.A from Maryland to Wisconsin. His family took many road trips across the U.S.A when he was a child. One of their favorite destinations was the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. They explored the area with their canoes, backpacks and fishing rods.
At the age of 10, with the help of a neighbor, he constructed a chicken coop out of scrap wood and took care of 25 little red hens, as well as 25 ducks, and brought many more to life in an incubator.
He joined a Writing Club in high school. He would wake up at 5am and walk to school to read his stories and poems to a dedicated teacher. She allowed Jim and a friend to write a novel during their freshman year.
Jim taught Kindergarten in Charlotte, NC for two years and moved to Chicago, IL. He worked at a start-up school focused on environmental sustainability. Eggs from hens on campus were used in school lunches along with vegetables from the school garden. The school was powered with solar panels and wind turbines. Then, he moved to London, in the United Kingdom.
The international school where he taught encouraged outdoor learning. They had a key to a “Secret Garden” where children learned in the great outdoors. They captured many bugs in magnified glass jars, took observation notes and released them. Jim stayed in London for the Olympics, and then moved to San Jose, California to teach 2nd grade.
The idea for this story came to him at 3am while recovering from a toe surgery.
He moved to San Francisco, CA, his 20th move, to teach 2nd grade students and teachers (and more teachers at the Sonoma County Office of Education Design Lab) how to write, type and code their own innovative stories and video games at a school started by the Chief Scientist of Twitter. His students created Rube Goldberg machines and new products for the “Shark Tank.” Their class name: “The Innovators.” I have been awarded with the Innovation, Creativity and Success in Teaching, Teacher of the Year and Working Relentlessly professional awards. I wrote a proposal for an accepted STEM elementary school in Denver, CO.
Jim loves to read, travel, and boogie board during his free time.
Name drop: My grandfather was the Chief of Engineers and Chief of Research and Development for the U.S Army. I coached with Stanley Tucci in London and the future king of Qatar played on the team. My sister dated Tom Brady and his nieces were in my class.
$5 Thank You Email
You will receive a personalized thank you email from the author. Plus a digital copy of the book introduction.
$15 Signed Book Copy
You will receive a signed copy of The Innovative Engine and a personalized thank you email from the author.
You will receive a signed copy of The Innovative Engine and a signed copy of the original prototype with original cover and photographs (copyrights paid) to inspire the illustrations.
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Child bloggers travel by train and meet fairy tale characters sharing their "true" stories. Tattoo styled illustrations enhance the story.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/mNWnM 318 views
|1 publisher interested|
Child bloggers travel aboard the Innovative Engine from N.Y.C to California. Along the way, they meet fairy tale characters sharing their "true" stories. Themes include environmental sustainability, technology and innovation.
For example, the children meet Ms. Muffett. It turns out she is interested in capturing spiders, writing observations and releasing them back into the wild. The children also decide to rip out train car seats and create a traveling garden.
I taught Science and Coding at a school founded by the Chief Scientist of Twitter in San Francisco and was the founding teacher at a public school focused on environmental sustainability in Chicago. I also served as a technology coordinator at an elite private school in London, UK. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the field of education interested in researching the impact computer coding has on the communication skills of children with autism.
My brother, the illustrator, is a talented tattoo artist. His work was showcased on BuzzFeed in their Tattoos of 2015 video. He is currently working on coloring in the final illustrations for this project. I wanted innovative art to coincide with this innovative tale.
The story will be structured in a way which allows mini-stories (blog posts) to take place within the larger journey of the train and children traveling from N.Y.C to California and back to N.Y.C. The illustrations for the moments when the child bloggers meet the fairy tale characters along the way will be in black and white and the blog posts the children write about these experiences will appear on jagged edged tanned paper background.
This book is intended to be used as a read aloud for children aged 7-9 as as independent reading for children 10-12. This book is part of the Maker Movement in education. Children and parents interested in STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) would be interested in buying this book. The trend and demand from teachers for this style of book is very high based on my experience teaching in five schools in five cities around the world.
Marketing Plan, Steps to Take:
Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns have been launched.
Pass out to friends in high places
Copies to technology and garden teachers, STE(A)M teachers
Google, FB and Twitter ads
Commission at Indy bookstores *, and book store readings
Facebook page with title and website, about author and monthly in depth on cities train visits
New book business cards, Amazon review requests
Linked In Emails
Special Ed office
Students with disabilities
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts
TeachForAmerica (I am an alum) offices bay area and every city newsletter *,
Exploratorium gift shop*,
Book fairs *
*Cyber Monday gift push,
**Sfusd board meeting. Speak @ it.
Solar and wind companies
Action against hunger
High speed rail one a day on Twitter and Instagram
Writers conference and book sales in spring.
Get book reviewed Amazon/good reads
Newspapers for review
Sfusd mailing list to teachers. Public information on teacher and principal emails. Call.
Join writers orgs
Former schools, teachers, district offices, college schools of Ed
Obama kids school
Disney kids school
Presidential campaign offices
Head of BART
Facebook book ads
Go fund me
Tbt as kid
Post on FB pages for elem teachers, makers movement and homeschooling
Get onboard the train campaign
Elem teacher science and tech conference!!!
Caltech and NASA
Train policy people
3D printer of train for FB page
Sell on Etsy
The Stinky Cheese Man. An interesting tale, however, as a teacher I was not a fan of the ugly duckling being and "ugly duck" in the end. I wanted to twist fairy tales and bring them to the 21st century as opposed to just twisting them for a reaction.
The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs. My story certainly borrows from the idea of showing the other side of a tale, however, I do not use the three little pigs in my book.
Zen Shorts. The idea of stories within a story and showcasing them using black and white illustrations certainly came from this story.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wanted to have fantastical and innovative things happening in this story and certainly tried to mimic the word artistry of Roald Dahl. For instance, the stepsisters eat too many Double Decker Dreamy Delight Donuts.
The Lorax by Dr. Suess. This story certainly advocates for environmentally sustainable alternatives as the train changes from a diesel train to a solar powered high-speed magnet train by the end with a traveling garden as well.
Agora Publishing is a Canada-based not-for-profit organization, founded in 1997 with the aim of making book publishing accessible to all writers across Canada and internationally.
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