Kids Rock! Books Launches New Adventure For Jill Godbersen
The Adelphean Magazine--Summer 2011
In it's 'Sisters' report, the Adelphean Magazine features a book review of Kids Rock! Books on p. 20. The review states:
Jill Schafer Godbersen, Pi--Iowa State, is the author of the Kids Rock! Books series for young readers. The first two books, titled 'Dance With Me' and 'My Dog is the Best', are full of adventure and focus on the values of friendship, family, determination and working towards goals.
Jill, who graduated with a Ph.D. in Education, has previously published 'The Moment My Life Changed', which tells the story of a woman's journey after her family is struck by tragedy. All of the books may be viewed at www.kidsrockbooks.com.
The Midwest Book Review--April, 2011
The April, 2011, online issue of "Children's Bookwatch" features "Can You Cath Me?" authored by Jill Schafer Godbersen of Ida Grove, Iowa.
The online book review magazine makes availabe their reviews to all public schools and libraries in the state of Wisconsin, to the Cengage Learning Book Review Index, and on the Midwest Book Review website.
The book review states:
"Can You Catch Me?" is a beginning chapter book for young readers ages 6-10 about a boy named Alex Cooper whose favorite activity is running. Full of energy, Alex loves to run everywhere. What better sport to go out for than Track and Field Day, with the running events and the long jump?
In reading "Can You Catch Me?", children will learn that running as a distance sport can be very demanding and tiring, and the discipline required to stay in shape is awesome.
Alex enters the Pine Ridge Kids' 2K Race, and the excitement mounts. Even more intense, towards the end of the summer, Alex finds a need for his running skills to help save a girl who is trapped in a pond of deep, cold water.
"Can You Catch Me?" is the fourth book in the Kids Rock! Books series of unique children's chapter books. Also recommended in this series by the same author is "Golf--A Game for Life."
The Midwest Book Review -- February, 2011
The February, 2011, online issue of "Children's Bookwatch" features "Dance With Me," authored by Jill Schafer Godbersen of Ida Grove, Iowa.
The book review states:
"Dance With Me" is Book one in a series of chapter books written for kids ages 6-10. Typical themes in "Dance With Me" are the value of teamwork, developing compassion, striving for goals, and balancing competition with cooperation and a humane vision."
"Mandi Cooper is dancing her way to Dance Recital and State Competition with her fellow dancers and friends. What happens when a dancer injures her ankle and is unable to perform the final number? Mandi faces choices that have to do with guts, glory, and consideration."
"Girls ages 6-10 will identify with this spunky heroine and enjoy the excitement of participating in the dance performance world. Written in 11 chapters with perky black and white illustrations for each chapter, "Dance With Me" is sure to become a pre-teen's favorite read."
"Also highly recommended by the same author is Book 2 of this series, "My Dog Is the Best," a book about Alex Cooper and his new puppy, Midnight. Again, compassionate lessons abound in this intriguing chapter book for 6-10 year old readers."
GOMACO Today article - October 25, 2010
Kids Rock! Books Launches New Adventure For Jill Godbersen
Jill Schafer Godbersen of Ida Grove has accomplished many things in her lifetime. She's a wife and busy mother of three, has earned her Ph.D. in Education from Iowa State University, and she's a volunteer in the community. We can now add one more thing to that list - published author.
In 2010, she published three new books, two for children and one adult fiction novel. “My Dog is the Best” and “Dance With Me” are children’s chapter books, and “The Moment My Life Changed” is a 364-page adult fiction novel. To publish and promote the books, Jill started Kids Rock! Books, a company geared towards books that enhance self-esteem, emphasize morals and values, stress the value of friendship and family, and the importance of following your dreams. You can visit her web site and learn more about the books at www.kidsrockbooks.com.
The Birth Of Kids Rock! Books
It all started with one simple request about two years ago from her oldest son, Reed. He was looking for a chapter book about golf. For those of you not familiar with children’s books, a chapter book is a fictional story geared for kids aged six to ten that is broken into short chapters.
And Reed wanted one with a story about golf. This made sense, because the whole family is avid golfers. Parents Kent (GOMACO’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing) and Jill, along with Reed, 10, Carson, 9, and Morgan, 7, all enjoy the sport. But no matter where they looked or how hard, they simply could not find one.
So Reed asked his mom to write one for him. And that's where this new journey began.
“These children’s books evolved from me writing stories for my kids,” said Jill. “I’d show them to friends and family, and they wanted them and encouraged me to write more. And I thought, maybe this is something I can do?”
The children’s books are a part of a series about the fictional Cooper family children and their adventures. The first two books were released in September, and there are two more on the way later this winter.
“The stories are very innocent and down to earth,” noted Jill. “They all have a goal and the characters working towards something. There are lessons and obstacles along the way and emphasize friendship, hard work and determination.”
In “My Dog is the Best,” Alex Cooper dreams of having a puppy. He finally gets a black lab as a birthday gift, and names him Midnight. The two have many adventures together.
“Dance With Me” is the story of Mandi Cooper and her love of dance, as she and her friends prepare for a dance recital.
There are two more children's books in the series coming out this winter. “Golf - A Game for Life” is the golf story her son Reed was looking for. This story is about Alex Cooper and his love of golf. “Can You Catch Me?” follows Alex as he enters a youth 2K running race, and qualifies and trains for the state race.
Jill’s adult novel is called “The Moment My Life Changed,” and it was released in August. It is the fictional tale of a woman's life journey in a small town in Iowa. Jill doesn’t want to ruin the story for those interested in reading it, but lets us in on a few details. The story centers around Anna Dawson and how she overcomes adversity. A tragedy hits her family, and Anna seeks to find new meaning and purpose in life. According to Jill, the book is an “easy read.” She hopes to continue with this book, and the children’s books, as two different series.
The Creative Process Meets The Business Of Books
“I’ve always loved to write, and read and collect books,” said Jill. “When the kids were little, I used to write during nap times, but that wasn't long enough. About two years ago when they were all in school, I finally had the time. I decided if I could make this my job, I would be as happy as I could be. I love the creative part. To sit down and just write, to make characters come alive, and to create a story out of my imagination is what I enjoy the most.”
So she started committing 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. most days to either reading or writing. She writes more in the winter months during the school year, because in the summertime there are more activities with the kids that keep the house in constant motion.
Any book starts with an idea, and planning the story. For the children's books, Jill spent a couple of weeks writing each story, and she spent approximately three months writing the novel. Editing comes next, and that has ranged from two months for the children’s books to six months for the novel. This is when the writing is smoothed out and the story gets ready to be published. For the children’s books, the next step along the way was working with an illustrator, who created graphics for the books and cover.
The final steps for the books were the graphic design, or the laying out of the story on pages, and printing. It was about a six-month process in total for each children’s book, and around a year for the novel. The children’s books were printed at United Graphics, Inc., and the adult novel was published Print On Demand (POD) by Amazon.com. POD means the books are printed as they are ordered.
Where Can You Find The Books?
Since Jill’s first goal is to get children to read, guess where she went first to talk about her books? You are correct - the school systems.
The BCIG elementary recently had an assembly, and invited Jill to come talk to the third graders to encourage reading and writing. She had drawings to give away four books to the kids in attendance, and also donated copies of the children’s books to the school library. Then… she donated copies to the Odebolt-Arthur and Galva-Holstein elementary schools, and all three to the public libraries in Ida Grove, Battle Creek, Holstein and Odebolt.
“The most exciting part of the whole experience has been finally getting the books out there!” she said. “It’s been a journey, and I'm excited to share my stories with others who like to read.”
In the short time since their release, the books have become available in nine businesses. In Ida Grove, this includes The Flower Shoppe, The Cinnamon Stone, and the Five Star Dance Academy. In Holstein, they’re at Java Junkies and Country Treasures. They are also at The Elements in Storm Lake, and in three boutiques in Kansas City.
Of course, the books are also available on the her web site and the adult novel is available on Amazon.com. She welcomes anyone to leave a review on her web site after they have read them.
What Does The Future Hold?
Along with the release of two more children's books this winter, Jill has started working on her second novel and is considering releasing her first novel in electronic format for portable reading devices. She is also thinking about having a contest to pick the theme for one of the next children’s books, and this spring she is planning to offer a college scholarship based on creative writing.
She will also be signing her books at two locations in the near future. She’ll be at The Flower Shoppe in Ida Grove from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, and also at Country Treasures in Holstein from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on November 18.
And for those who aspire to become writers, themselves?
“I think the best way to learn to write is to just write,” Jill added. “You can take technical writing classes, and creative writing courses, but then you still just have to write. Write as much as you can. Write about whatever moves you. Follow what you are passionate about. Send in articles to newspapers, magazines, writing contests, and journals if you want to get published. There are many online writing clubs that you can join, so others will critique your writing and give constructive feedback. I used to write because I had to for my education. Now I am thrilled to be able to write for enjoyment.”
Thanks Jill, and congratulations on your success!