Thursday, February 12, 2009

EDUCATIONAL BOOK; "State of Wilderness"

Book 1, State of Wilderness, is available now.
Book 2, State of Quarries, will be released either late February or early March (or perhaps mid February, just dependent on when my publisher can get it out).
Book 3, State of Reservations, will be released probably late April or early May and then every three months a new book should be out (unless my publisher says otherwise).


Matt Patterson, Guy Lombard, Mary Beth Patterson and Jolene Ariette take on the newest handheld game to help them in their study of social studies course of US History (geography and trivia information about each state). Each book in the series will be presented as the game giving them "clues" which are basically facts and trivia information that can be found most any place about the states. The kids have to guess the state by the end of the book. Readers are encouraged to participate in guessing as well. Guesses may be changed during the story as no one is expected to get the state immediately. Some clues are more helpful than others and some are just downright fun. This is a fun way of learning something you never knew about state history and geography.

There are bonus clues to five territories throughout the series, one per book with a total of ten per each of the territory (Guam, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, US Samoan Islands). The ten clues will not come consecutively; the five territories will be one clue every sixth book for each of the territories. There will be a bonus clue section at the end of the series, recapping the clues, which book they appeared in and what the territory is in that book.

Teacher's guides are available through special order from They are available only as a PDF download. The teacher's guides will contain six research projects/discussion questions, a science experiment based on one of the clues in the book (where possible), a secret message puzzle (cryptogram, word search, scramble or other such puzzles alternating per state), and an end of book quiz (about fifteen per book - a mixture of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and True/False questions).

Books may be ordered from or Vivian at (for special orders), from me directly -, -

State of Wilderness review
by Cheryl Malandrinos on The Book Connection blog

Are you looking for a fun and unique way to get your school-aged child interested in reading and geography? Look no further than
State of Wilderness, the first book in Elysabeth Eldering's Junior Geography Detective Squad series. When Matt Patterson's mother gets him a new geography video game, he and his friend, Guy decide to try it out. Now, Junior Geography Detectives, the boys click through a series of clues to help them figure out which of the fifty United States this round of the game is referring to. Just to make it interesting, Matt and Guy wager that the person who guesses the right answer first gets to pick something for the loser to do--and it probably won't be nice. And when Mary Beth, Matt's younger sister joins in on the fun, it's a race to see who will uncover which state could be known as the State of Wilderness.
This is an impressive start to what I see as being a popular series of books to inspire a love of reading in young people. Eldering speaks their language, makes learning fun, and gives readers a reason to keep turning the pages. Readers will learn a variety of interesting tidbits about one of the fifty states in each book and this book ends with "Stay tuned for some more fun activities on the state," followed by information about the state's flag, a map and quiz, and a cryptogram that reveals the state's motto. During my interview with Eldering, I learned that there is also a Teacher's Guide available that has ideas on how to use State of the Wilderness in the classroom along with activity sheets that can be reproduced. You can find out more by reading the interview here. Kudos go out to illustrator Aidana WillowRaven whose artwork added visual tie-ins to the clues, placing each in the screen of the video game. The Junior Geography Detective Squad is a series you'll certainly want to keep your eye on. I anxiously await the release of the next book.


Vivian Zabel said...

Elysabeth's books are good sources of fun and education for children of all ages, and not just in schools.

Thanks for hosting the Junior Geography Detective Squad series, Shari.


elysabeth said...

Thank you for posting me. I can't wait to see what you have tomorrow - lol. It's fun to learn - that should be your theme for educational week. See you in the postings - E :)

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Happy to do it.


WillowRaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WillowRaven said...

Thanks for the kudos Cheryl Malandrinos, I find Elysabeth's clues very challenging for me as an illustrator because many of those clues entail things I would never think to draw on my own ... lol.

I have been very surprised how much I didn't know about this country and the individual states until I started researching the clues I was to draw.

It's fun.

And thanks to Shari for spreading the word about the JGDS series.

Aidana WillowRaven

Cheryl said...

Just dropping by to say hi and offer my support. Thanks for posting a link and my review of "State of Wilderness". My review of "State of Quarries" should be available soon. Trying to jam as much as I can into this week before the girls are home on winter vacation.

I'm excited about this series and I hope it truly catches on because it's such a fun way to educate our children about something that can be very boring to learn about.


Katie Hines said...

This is great, Elysabeth. I'm glad to see your fantastic series is getting out there. I've got my fingers crossed that you will get some sales from this.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

The books sound like so much fun, as well as educational. They're on my list for my grandchildren, though they're still a bit young. When I have some spare cash I'm ordering them anyway for when the kids get a little older. Don't know when that will be. Soon, I hope.


Sharon said...

These books sound absolutely fascinating. Wish we'd had something to make geography a bit more interesting when I was a kid. I must confess I don't remember a thing about US geography! Thanks for posting this Shari.


elysabeth said...

Sharon, coming from a military background, we moved but I do admit that my travels have been limited to east of the Mississippi save one trip to Texas where my youngest brother was born and one trip out to Washington State about 13 years ago (flew by myself to visit a friend from my chlidhood).

Most of the places I've visited have been up and down the east coast, and a couple of states that not coastal states so I'm learning a lot about the states as I write the series.

I hope that over the years that the books continue being enjoyable for the kids as they grow up.

It's never too late to get a copy and learn something about the first state, and if you have a grandchild who is under the age of 5, by the time he or she reaches the age that the series would be used in the classroom, the series will be almost complete by then and they are the chlidren who will benefit the most from the series.

Start the collection now - lol - see you in the postings - E :)

Ghost Girl said...

That's fabulous, Elysabeth! It's giving me the itch to travel again! My kids will love them.

Ghost Girl said...

That's fabulous, Elysabeth! It's giving me the itch to travel again! My kids will love them.