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Archive for the ‘About Letters to Leonardo’ Category

Sadly, we’re coming to the end of our  hectic but fabulous Letters to Leonardo blog tour. We have been everywhere (well almost). Tomorrow, we’re off to the USA so it might take a bit longer for the post to appear due to the time difference.

We’re going to be talking about bipolar themes in the story and the affect on teenagers of having a family member with a mental illness.

Hope you can join us at http://www.JenniferBrownYA.com

Dee and Matt:-)

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letterstoleonardolrg

Melissa from Walker Books has prepared some fabulous comprehensive teaching notes that you can download from http://www.walkerbooks.com.au – they cover all sorts of things to do with how Letters to Leonardo was written – and they mention some of the themes in the book:

  • mental illness
  • art
  • family relationships
  • emotional control

 

Themes summarise a common experience that make it possible for the reader to identify with the characters. Themes are the dominant ideas that carry your story forward.  In Letters to Leonardo, I also see friendship and loyalty as major themes.

Matt is loyal to his mum. Dave and Troy are loyal to Matt.

Themes are important because they adds layers – and provide deeper meaning to your story. In Letters to Leonardo for example, the themes make it more than just a book about a boy who gets a letter from his dead mother. This is the basic plot outline, but the themes are what tell us about the characters and also make us care about what happens to them.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

This activity can be an individual or group activity. It could be written down or discussed.

STEP 1

  • Write down/discuss an event that happened to you this year.
  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • How did you react to what happened?
  • How did others react to what happened?
  • What was the outcome?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did it make other people feel?

STEP 2

From the information you gathered in step 1, see if you can identify themes.

STEP 3

Take one or more of these themes and the event itself and see if you can come up with an idea for a story.

Thanks for having us in your classroom. We hope you will join us tomorrow at http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com to learn all about turning fact into fiction.

Hope to see you there.

Happy reading and writing.

Dee and Matt:-)

 

And just in case you’ve missed any other parts of the tour, here’s where we’ve been already.

Feel free go back and visit these great sites and find out more about Letters to Leonardo and the writing process.

24th June 2009             http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com        

Dee and Matt talk about promoting Letters to Leonardo online.

 

25th June 2009             http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com     

Author interview

 

26th June 2009             http://thebookchook.blogspot.com    

How art has been used in Letters to Leonardo

 

27th June 2009             http://belka37.blogspot.com

The research process involved in writing Letters to Leonardo           

 

28th June 2009             http://weloveya.wordpress.com

Guest blogger – talking with Vanessa Barneveld – interactive discussion with bloggers

 

29th June 2009             http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale            

An author interview covering things like inspiration and perspective

 

30th June                      http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com

Mentors in YA fiction, and Leonardo da Vinci’s involvement in the book

 

1st July                         Cyber launch http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com including cross to Robyn Opie’s blog http://robynopie.blogspot.com – hurdles overcome on the way to publication.

 

2nd July                        http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com

How the author’s life paralleled Matt’s – her growing obsession with Leonardo da Vinci

 

3rd July                         http://bjcullen.blogspot.com

Working with a publisher and the editing process

 

4th July                         http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com

Interview with the elusive Matt Hudson

 

5th July                         https://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

Class writing activities based on Letters to Leonardo

 

6th July                         http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

Tips 4 young writers on how Letters to Leonardo was written

 

7th July                         http://www.JenniferBrownYA.com

An overseas stop before heading home

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Tomorrow, the Letters to Leonardo blog tour will be stopping here to talk about themes – and give some great class writing activities.

letterstoleonardolrg.

Hope you’ll join us.

Dee and Matt:-)

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j0384807We’ve had an absolute blast today – and we’re so glad you could make it to help us celebrate the release of Letters to Leonardo.

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments about anything to do with today’s Cyber Launch.

Thanks so much Sue Whiting, Margaret Hamilton, Robyn Opie, Hal, Debbie  and SJ – and all my kind writing friends who have left lovely comments, for making this such a wonderful occasion.

This event has been brought to you by the following:

www.walkerbooks.com.au

http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

https://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com and

http://robynopie.blogspot.com

Don’t forget to check out our movie book preview at:

http://www.blazingtrailers.com/show.php?title=504

Tomorrow, the blog tour continues and it should be a really fun day because we’re off to visit Persnickety Snark. If you’d like to know how my life paralleled Matt’s, drop in and see us at http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com

It’s been a huge day – thanks so much for coming. Now it’s time to curl up with a hot cuppa and a good book.

Hope to catch you again in Cyber Space.

Dee and Matt:-)

letterstoleonardolrg

AVAILABLE IN ALL GOOD BOOKSTORES FROM TODAY:-)

 

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DEE PROMOAs you would have seen from my interview with Matt (Letters to Leonardo) on http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com , I used Leonardo da Vinci’s works to tell Matt’s story.

Listening to music or looking at art can evoke all sorts of images in your head – images that can be used as the basis for a story.

CLASS ACTIVITY

  • Think of your favourite musical artist/group.
  • Write down the sorts of images that their music evokes for you.
  • What pictures does it create in your head?
  • Do these pictures remind you of anyone or anything?

This activity is great for setting the ‘writing mood’.

Happy writing.

Dee & Matt:-)

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letterstoleonardolrgSeeing as it’s Cyber Launch day, Matt Hudson has decided to put in an appearance. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, but he said he has a few questions for me, and he doesn’t mind if I share his questions and my answers with you. Matt wanted to talk about how Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings have been used in Letters to Leonardo.

MATT:       Why did you think that Leonardo da Vinci would be a good person to help me tell my story?

DEE:          Even though you two lived over 500 years apart, Leonardo was a lot like you, Matt.

MATT:       How?

DEE:          You both got taken away from your Mum’s at a young age, you both seek truth, you’re both sensitive – and you’re both perfectionists.

MATT:       I guess you’re right. Anything else?

DEE:          Your art – it was a strong connection between the two of you – and it linked you to your mother as well.

MATT:       You used Leonardo’s paintings a lot throughout the book. Why do you think people will want to know about them? Not everyone is an LDV fan like us?

DEE:         The paintings were a great way to symbolise people and events in the story. Take the Mona Lisa for example – she was an enigma, just like your mum.

MATT:       And that painting of St Jerome – you used that to show how I was feeling?

DEE:          That’s right – sometimes the emotion of the painting was a good way to show what was going on with you – without have to say “Matt’s upset” or “Matt feels bad”.

MATT:       Why did you have to tell everyone how much I loved LDV’s stuff? Why do you think it was their business anyway?

DEE:          Readers needed to understand the sort of person that you were – so they could empathise with you. Like when you talked about the Drapery Study and you said, “We all wear an outer layer to hide who we really are,” that was to help people realise how vulnerable you were.

MATT:       How does LDV connect us – you and me, I mean?

DEE:          He’s our shared obsession:-)

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Here’s a fun word search for your students to do based on words found in Letters to Leonardo.

Hope you enjoy solving  it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Dee and Matt:-)

LETTERS TO LEONARDO

 WORD SEARCH

 

L I E S L E R M I N E B E N D
O E R O M O N A L I S A H B R
V A O U T C O M E S L J M A A
E S N N M B C F I F T E E N P
S Y B D A M E D I C I N E D E
L E T T E R S T R S B T T A R
U T B R D A D R A W E R C G Y
H A P P Y I R O K A Y U L E S
T S C A O F I Y D A R T I S T
H O U S E I P T B A T H F S U
E M D I N N E R I N V B E F D
R E N D E D T O R G O I L N Y
A M E L T E D O T E B P N S T
P O L I C E T M H R Y O L C D
Y R P I Z Z A D D I A L S R I
O Y R H E S I T A T E A Y H N
V A N D A L N B Y F I R E L S

                                  

HAPPY BEND EASY
HOUSE DIAL ROOM
OKAY MEDICINE LIFE
MONA LISA SOUND MEET
BANDAGES ARTIST DRAPERY
FIFTEEN MEMORY STUDY
PAINT ANGER ENDED
DRAWER BIRTHDAY PIZZA
TROY LIES LOVE
LETTERS THERAPY MELTED
DINNER DAD POLICE
FIRE HESITATE FIND
DRIP BIPOLAR OUTCOMES
LEONARDO DA VINCI TRUTH ERMINE

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