Day 10: Last Day of The Lost Secret of Fairies FREE online Novel Study w/ essay test


Final Day of The Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study: Final Exam Day!

Welcome to the final day of The Lost Secret of Fairies free online novel study. As of just an hour ago, as I’m writing this, the California governor has announced that California schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year, and maybe some changes will happen in the fall in regards to reopening schools. I could tell this was going to be for the long haul, and I am happy to be completing the support for parents in my home state, throughout the US and from my statistics, throughout the world.

I wrote my books for children and used the writing of them as instruction when I was in the classroom. To include them for novel study instruction to help teach reading seems to complete the circle of learning they were created for. I’m happy to have brought you this online novel study for my first book, and I would love to hear any feedback you have about using it.

summer1The Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study Essay Test

So, with that said, here is the final activity to go with the novel study, the final essay test. If your child or student has been completing all the activities, including the summary, character change response worksheet and the theme/message worksheet, your little one is all ready for the essay test. They should have all the time they need to complete it, and they can use the book and their journal notes to help find examples and support.

LSOF Essay Test

Grading Criteria

I’ve included a rubric for you to help grade their answers. They should include examples and details of support from the story, their own ideas, and language from the worksheets they used during the novel study. Other words, they need complete sentence answers, topic sentences and closing sentences. The essay test and all the responses this week have been teaching basic essay response language and structure for your child. These are all standards in most school systems in the US and the world.

Below is a Grading Rubric for you to use. Traditional, 1-4 grading is used on these rubrics. If you want to change that from D grade to A Grade, you can. 1=D, 2=C, 3=B, 4=A. But I feel if your child has made an effort, worked hard, includes the language in a complete sentence and uses supporting details, they should get a high grade. It is up to you. As the parent, high praise from you will mean a lot. 😉

For those wondering minds, a passing grade in school that children would be working toward is the 3 on the rubric. It can also be helpful to show your child the rubric so they know what is expected of them before the essay test.

Rubric for Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study Essay Test

When your child/student has finished the test, and you’ve looked it over and graded it, I’ve included a link to a completion certificate below. You can sign it and give it to your child.


Congratulations! You’ve completed a reading novel study unit with your child, and they’ve become a better reader and writer!

And that’s about it, folks! I want to thank you and your child for continuing with the novel study, and I hope they enjoyed reading the book. If they would like to continue the series, here are the links below for the three books that continue Wanda’s journey and adventures in the World of Fairy.


Book 2

The Lost Secret of the Green Man (Book 2)


Barnes and Noble:




Book 3 

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire (Book 3)


Barnes and Noble:



Lost Secret - High Resolution (1)

Book 4

The Lost Secret of Time (Book 4)


Barnes and Noble:



Thank you to everyone that have participated in the novel study! I welcome all the feedback and invite you to follow my blog as I continue to post more learning activities and homeschooling support for parents in the future weeks.

Take care, stay safe, wash your hands, and we’ll get through this together!

-Mrs. Turner

***Tiffany Turner is the author of the children’s fantasy series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has had 18 years experience teaching in California as a public elementary teacher. She is currently tutoring in the private sector and continuing to write full time. 






Day 9: The Lost Secret of Fairies Online Novel Study, Theme Response Worksheet & Video Lesson Link


Greetings for Day 9 for the Lost Secret of Fairies Online Novel Study. I know I threw a lot into the last post, and I even realized I need to add one more thing before the final essay test, a lesson on theme or message. That is on the essay test, and I wanted to do at least one lesson with The Lost Secret of Fairies since it is an original fairy tale, and working with morals and themes is a standard for 3rd and 4th grade. It’s reviewed in 5th grade to get ready for looking over Tale Tales and American Folk Tales.

So, here you go. I’ve added the theme response worksheet to my free downloads for this novel study. Plus, below is a video from BrainPop. The literature concept of theme/message is taught with animated Star Wars universe characters. It’s about 6 minutes long. Most children are familiar with Stars Wars, so I thought it was a good fit to talk about message and theme.


When your child is done watching, they should have a better understanding of theme for books and movies. You can talk with them about the following discussion questions below:

  1. What is a moral? Can you think of any morals for some of your favorite fairy tales.
  2. What kind of patterns and ideas can you think of in the book, The Lost Secret of Fairies? What idea can you think of to connect them?
  3. What is a basic motif in Star Wars? What do you think is a motif in the book The Lost Secret of Fairies?
  4. Where can you go hunt for themes in a story?
  5. What is one theme in the Star Wars movies? What are clues and examples that support this theme?

summer1Now, they should be able to work on the theme response worksheet below. They can download the webbing graphic to help them organize their ideas. And yes, this will be on the essay test. So, they’ll need to do this. 

Theme Response Sheet for LSOF

The Lost Secret of Fairies- Webbing Graphic Organizer

I’m sorry about this oversight, but it is an important lesson to incorporate into the unit. I’ll post the essay test tomorrow, I promise.

Until then, enjoy the lesson on theme and messages. Stay safe, wash your hands, and together, we’ll get through this.

-Mrs. Turner

***Tiffany Turner is the author of the children’s fantasy series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has had 18 years experience teaching in California as a public elementary teacher. She is currently tutoring in the private sector and continuing to write full time. 




Day 8: The Lost Secret of Fairies Online Novel Study with Summary & Character Handouts


Chapter 13 and End of Book Questions today!

Greetings everyone! It has been a challenging couple of weeks, but I hope you and your child have enjoyed reading my book, The Lost Secret of FairiesToday, on Day 8, I’ll be helping to wrap up the story and novel study. I’ll be including some downloadable worksheets to be used in response to finishing the book, and tomorrow, will include an essay test that your child should be able to complete on their own from doing the activities. The activities can be done over the next few days with the essay test given at the end of the week.

Let’s start today with the final journal response questions:

Chapter 13 & End of the Book Questions:summer1

  1. Summarize in a paragraph the book The Lost Secret of Fairies. Use a topic sentence, list the events, and use a closing sentence.
  2. How did you like the Lost Secret of Fairies? What was your opinion of the book? Describe your opinion with supporting details and examples from the book.
  3. What is the theme or message from the author of The Lost Secret of Fairies? Name examples from the text that are clues.

Bonus: Do you want to read the next book? Why or why not?

Now, for the end of book activities. These can be done over the next few days, with one a day, as a lead up to the final essay test. I’d suggest the summary first, followed by the Character trait essay answer, and then going through the journal response questions to get an idea of what the book was about in their minds. Then, in a few days, have them do the essay test. I will post the test tomorrow. They will be able to use their journal response pages to take the essay test. Of course, they should use the book to find examples and details.

Downloads for End of Book Activities:

Summary Fill In Handout for The Lost Secret of Fairies

Character Change Writing Response WS

The Lost Secret of Fairies- Webbing Graphic Organizer

Paragraph Writing Lesson Support

(Through my online store on TeachersPayTeachers)

Free Book Review Handout:

Writing Opinion Packet: (Only $0.99)

Paragraph Parts Review Packet (Only $0.99)

Diorama Book Report/Home Project Extension (Only $0.99)


I hope that helps set the rest of the week for reading response and writing for your child. I’ll post the final test tomorrow that can be the wrap up for this novel study. The other activities included above are great follow ups for the book and extension activities.

Thank you for following along with this novel study. I hope it has helped bring reading and learning to your little ones during these strange times. I’ll be posting the last day of the novel study tomorrow, and I welcome all of your feedback and comments below. It will help me plan for future instruction to help out during the pandemic.

Until then, keep reading and writing,

-Mrs. Turner

***Tiffany Turner is the author of the children’s fantasy series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has had 18 years experience teaching in California as a public elementary teacher. She is currently tutoring in the private sector and continuing to write full time. 

UPDATED March 31, 2020:

The essay test will be posted on Wednesday, April 1 now. I’ve added a lesson on theme and message, and posted it today. It is on the essay test, so I wanted to make sure I included a lesson on themes. Thanks for following along with the novel study. Please let me know how I’m doing in the comments below.

March 31, 2020 Post on Theme/Messages







Day 7: The Lost Secret of Fairies Online Novel Study with Distance Learning & Homeschooling Support


Study Guide Questions for Chapters 11 & 12 for Online Novel Study

Welcome to Day 7 of the online novel study for my novel The Lost Secret of Fairies. We’re nearing the end of the story now, and I hope you have been enjoying the journey with Wanda into the World of Fairy. I also hope you are being safe, locking down with your family, and washing your hands often. It can be hard when something like this pandemic is going on and being inside is the safest thing, but it’s important to stay inside. I know spring is happening outside, but you can go on a daily walk for exercise with your family for many of the lockdowns going on around the United States.


Spring bee pollinating cherry blossom on my daily walk for exercise today.

Hopefully, your family is able to take exercise walks from time to time. Like PE, it’s important to get some fresh air and exercise daily which is allowed for most of the lockdowns, as long as you keep 6 feet distance from those you don’t live with.


Zeta & Teddy look out my front window for kids to spot during a bear hunt neighborhood walk.



I had a chance to take some pictures of cherry blossoms along my daily exercise walk today. I have leash trained my cat, CATherine Zeta Jones, and she enjoys walks around my condo complex too. We always keep 6 ft. from my neighbors, especially the dog walkers. But we smile and wave at each other. That is still allowed too. Kindness and friendship is important still, but at a distance.

Plus, maybe people have started putting teddy bears in the windows so you can go on a bear hunt with your family. I’ve placed my childhood teddy bear in my window. He’s over 50 years old, and my cat has a new buddy to sit next to while she watches the world through the window. Remember, just like in PE, it’s important to stretch your legs, walk and keep your body in shape. There are even online free dance classes or video games that can get you moving. Here are some links to some free online homeschooling PE activities:

Note: Star Jumps are called Jumping Jacks in the US.


And now for today’s:

Study Questions for Chapters 11 & 12

  1. summer1Who do you think is the mysterious voice? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
  2. What kind of magic powers do you think you would have as a Keeper?
  3. Name some obstacles that Wanda had to overcome in the book so far. How do you think they have changed her?
  4. How do you predict the story is going to end?

Bonus: What would you do if you were a Keeper like Wanda?

We’re nearing the end of the novel study, but I’ll continue to post parent distance learning and home schooling support to the blog. Plus, if there are any areas you are interested in seeing, please let me know.

I also am considering posting my Young Author’s Fair Writing Unit that I developed over the years. I was also the coordinator at my school for several years, and would love to support a Young Authors Fair online if people were interested. Kids can write stories through the online unit, and as part of the fair, they can read their stories on YouTube, and I’ll link them on the site. At the end, I can post a downloadable certificate of completion.

What do people think? Would your child like to participate? Would they like to write a story and then read it in a YouTube video to share with others? Of course, the reading would be voluntary just like it was in my classroom, and of course, only with parent permission.

Just a thought I wanted to put out there to see what you think.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

-Mrs. Turner

**Tiffany Turner is the author of the children’s fantasy series, The Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She is a credentialed teacher in California and has had 18 years of public classroom experience. She currently is semi-retired from teaching and spends her day writing. Of course, her cat still gets lots of attention and the daily walks on her leash.





Day 6: The Lost Secret of Fairies Free Online Novel Study & Distance Learning Support


Day 6 of the Lost Secret of Fairies Free Online Novel Study

Welcome to Day 6 of my online novel study for my first book in my children’s fantasy series, The Lost Secret of Fairies. Today, I’ll be including a blog post activity to go along with the next set of study questions.

Here is a link to a blog post written by me on legends and myths in children’s literature. It is part of the standards to study myth and legends in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Novel studies and using real nonfiction blog posts is part of the standards approach to reading. To note, fifth grade does study Tale Tales and US folktales for its fairy/folktales. It is called: “Using Legends and Fairy Tales in Books”. I originally wrote this post to be used in this novel study and to support other teachers to have online nonfiction reading material.

Here are the activity directions. It can be used in conjunction with the novel study or as a separate children’s reading activity.

  1. Read the blog post “Using Legends and Fairy Tales in Books” by Tiffany Turner
  2. Print out the blog post if possible. Circle or highlight evidence or details you think are important.
  3. Now, answer the question about the blog post below. Write as many details as you can to support your answer using examples from the blog post.
  • How does an author use legends and fairy tales in their book?
  • Use evidence and examples from the blog post to support your answer.

For ELD and/or Special Learning Needs, I would often write out a framed language fill in answer sheet. Below is a handout that can be used for the above question to help create a full paragraph answer using supporting details from the nonfiction article. But this paragraph response sheet below will help all children in language structure and for building academic language.

Once your child or student as filled in their answers, they can recopy the paragraph in their best writing to learn the structure for academic language.

Paragraph Response to Using Fairy Tales

summer1Chapter 9-10: Study Guide Questions for The Lost Secret of Fairies

  1. What was decided at the Crystal Council?
  2. Who is Balkazaar? Why do you think he is behind the Queen’s disappearance?
  3. What are germites?
  4. What would you do if you were in Wanda’s place?

Bonus: Predict how you think Wanda will save the Queen.

Tomorrow, will be more study guide questions and more activities to go along with the novel study. Please comment below to let me know how you and your child, class or other distance learning students are enjoying the novel study and activities.

Until then, keep reading and learning!

Mrs. Turner

(Tiffany Turner)


Isolation & Psychological Fallout During Corona Virus Pandemic: Poem and Journal Activity


I want to thank everyone that has been following along in my blog for the last week. I started self isolating on March 12 due to the fact I’m over 50, and have a heart condition. I went through a battle to get back to health through most of 2015, and I really don’t want to go back there. I’ve been through an induced coma, pneumonia, septic shock, all due to my heart blood clot. But I’m not sure if my body could survive COVID-19. So, I isolated or how it feels to me, am hiding from getting this disease.

Then, I saw this poem today on Facebook being passed around. So many people are sharing their art. I would like to share it with you.

“History will remember when the world stopped.

And the flights stayed on the ground.

And the cars parked on the street.

And the trains didn’t run.


History will remember when the schools closed.

And the children stayed indoors.

And the medical staff walked towards the fire.

And they didn’t run.


History will remember when the people fought.

For their old and their weak.

Protected by the vulnerable.

By doing nothing at all.


History will remember when the virus left.

And the houses opened.

And the people came out.

And hugged and kissed.

And started again.


Kinder than before.”

By Donna Ashworth

The poem above helped me this morning. Creating art, blogging and writing,  is helping me. But I also feel like I’m waking up in the middle of a dystopian novel each day, and it’s making all the zombie shows and apocalyptic shows more real. I guess this is because I live a lot of the time in my imagination which really helps my writing self. But for a real pandemic, it is creating a fear that I have to face daily.

But now, reality is partially like fiction these days. That makes it kind of weird. Like expecting the vampires and zombies to show up next. I’m sure marshal law is just around the corner like in the Handmaid’s Tale, and too many things in fiction are making an appearance in real life. Maybe the jokes on me, because I imagine all this and write stuff down. Some of it has go to come true, right?

I’d like to give credit to Donna Ashworth and say thank you for the use of her poem. I contacted her on Facebook after I read it, and can see the story of how her poem is spreading and helping others. I’d like to present you with some journaling questions for parents and children in use with the poem to help with journaling on this subject:

  • How are you feeling about being in isolation or the soon to come shelter in place for your area?
  • Write down some of how you’re feeling about the corona virus in your journal. How are you feeling? What fears do you have? What experiences have you had over the past few weeks?
  • How does art help you?
  • What kind of art can you create to express your feelings or experiences about being in isolation or fears of the corona virus?

Feel free to comment below. If you like, you can talk with your children and see if they would like to use the poem above as an inspiration to write in their journals today or create some art. They can paint, write a poem, story, a song, dance, or create what they feel is right.  I taught on 9/11/01 and the days that followed, and I had my students journal their feelings as that disaster in our nation’s history unfolded. This is another time where journaling our feelings can be helpful.

Feel free to use the questions above or even add questions below in the comments. This can be a discussion for my blog community following along with my novel study and homeschooling activities. I’d love to hear how you are feeling.

Take care, and be kind to each other.

-Tiffany Turner

(Mrs. Turner)

For more information on Donna Ashworth, please visit her website/blog:

Ladies Pass It On.


Day 5: Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study & other home schooling resources


Study Questions for Chapters 7-8

Greetings everyone! Hope you had a safe and healthy weekend. As more of the US hunkers down and isolates, I’m hoping this will help keep the education of your little ones at home going through the next few weeks. And of course, after all this is over, teachers and parents are still welcomed to use this for educational studies.

First off, I’d like to offer the next set of study questions for The Lost Secret of Fairies novel study. Hopefully, your child is writing down notes and details as they read each chapter in their journal. They can go back and look at the notes they took to answer the questions.

summer1Study Questions for Chapters 7-8:

  1. Summarize the story so far. Pretend you are talking to a friend and describing the story to them. Include who the characters are, setting, main problem, and plot events so far.
  2. Why does Wands tell Jessica she’s going to build a pond in the backyard?
  3. How do the fairies help her escape and get the water?
  4. Was it worth getting into trouble for the spring water? Support your answer with details from the story.
  5. Why do you think Wanda stopped to face her fears?

Bonus: Have you ever had a time where you have had to face your fears?

I’m also including a vocabulary building worksheet. As your child has been reading the story, they’ve been writing down words they don’t know into the area at the bottom of the journal entry sheet. They can now go back to those entries, and pick three words that they don’t know to look up in the dictionary. The following worksheet can be downloaded and printed out for them to fill in the words. Then, they look up the word usage and meaning from the dictionary. They can do this activity every 3 chapters.

Lost Secret Fairies Definition Fill-In WS

Tomorrow, I’ll have another blog post activity that will relate to Legends and Fairy Tales. This is a standard for many lower grades, including fourth and third grade. It’s also a great review for the upper graders, and ties into their prior knowledge.

Until then, remember stay safe and healthy! We’ll get through this together!

-Tiffany Turner

(Mrs. Turner)

Tips for Parents During Long Distance Learning During Corona Virus Crisis


166286Pencil2Greetings all parents that are in need of some support, advice or even a hand to hold right now. I’ve been an elementary teacher for over 20 years in California. I can see in my own neighborhood the need to help parents during this time. So, I’ve been blogging all week a free novel study for the first book in my fantasy children’s series, The Lost Secret of Fairies. It’s taken me 12 years to finish the series, and I was able to teach a novel study in my classroom before medical issues made it difficult to continue teaching and I had to retire early.

Now, I see a need that I can’t let go by, to lend my expertise to help all the parents out there to help with distance learning that has been thrust upon you during the corona virus outbreak. Through a series of blog posts, I’ll offer advice in how to tackle this challenge, starting with tips on how to create a learning environment at home. Many teachers do this, establish the rules and structure of the classroom in the first two weeks of school. And that’s all you need to do at home now. You need to establish:

  1. routine
  2. schedule
  3. school time rules
  4. reward/discipline system

It might seem crazy, but all these four things need to be in place for a child to learn. Children, and in fact humans, excel at having a routine and structure. Right now your kids have been thrown out of their daily routine and structure. You need to create a new one for them. You might already be realizing this, and may have started to take steps. If you haven’t, you may be wondering why they get easily distracted or want to do something else. Well, let’s get started getting these kids working by getting them into their new schedule by creating it for them.

Step 1: Create a schedule for your child. Work with them to create a new routine that will get them use to their new classroom at home. Have a place that will be their “school area”. I would suggest their already used homework area. They are used to doing school work there already.

Sit down and construct a schedule. It can look similar to the school schedule or they can maybe add when they would like to do different subjects. Choose a period of about one hour to do each subject for children fourth grade and up. For younger children, make a work period for one half hour. Have a work period for reading/language arts and a work period for math. Add lunch to the end of the morning, and have an hour for science or social studies in the afternoon. Or this could even be a choice period, like art, dance or a fun activity. There are a lot of online workshops that seem to be given these days by helpful authors, artists, and others online. Try a search and see what you can find.

Step 2: Once you have a schedule for when Reading, Math and Science/Social Studies/Art will happen, post the schedule in the area where your child works so they know how their day will be structured. You can even add a recess between 10-15 minutes between Reading and Math. You can offer a snack, and your child could play in the backyard or other area nearby for exercise. Many children are used to a recess in the mid-morning, and it helps with concentration. Of course, lunch will be the favorite time slot, I’m sure. Include that on the schedule as well. It will reassure your child that they will be having a similar day that they would have at school.

Step 3: Now, it’s time for the rules. I will offer a simple rules list that can used or you can come up with five rules that your child needs to follow during school time at home. I suggest five since more than this might be hard to enforce.

  1. Stay in seat/work area for each period.
  2. If questions, raise hand or use signal.
  3. Work period is for schoolwork only.
  4. When work is complete, use supplement materials and learning games until work period is over.
  5. When the timer goes off, recess will begin.

I’m also including a download of the rules above and a blank version that can be used to make school rules with your child, if you prefer.

At Home School Rules

**Go over each rule with your child. Choose a signal you would like to use. A bell, rattle or something that makes noise is something that is good to use if your child has a question. If you are able to see them as they work, hand raising or some other visual signal will work too.

**Also, having a timer nearby so they know how long they are working will help them get used to their routine. Have materials or an activity they can do if they finish early. It can be a electronic learning device, online tutoring or extra help program, etc. Try to make it fit the subject they are studying as well. I’ll list some helpful support resources at the bottom of this post.


Small marbles or other objects in a jar are a great behavior system to have at home during this distance learning time.

Step 4: Reward/Discipline System

-A great way to motivate your child is to reward them when they do a great job, and have something in place if they are not following the rules. A simple system you can use is a “marble/object in the jar”. Keep a jar or container in your child’s work area. Every time you see your child doing a “Good Job”, put a marble in the jar. Of course, the object could be something like a lego, bean, or or multiple amounts of something you have on hand too.

Set a goal that the child will earn when the jar is full. You can even label it on the jar. Goals can be decided by your child, but approved by you. Suggestions are: extra video game time, gift card, favorite treat, etc. Make the container large enough that it could be filled in a week. Later, you can get a bigger container that would take longer to fill with a bigger goal.

-When your child isn’t following the rules, then you take a marble out of the jar, and they have to earn it back. Remember, they do need to earn the objects to fill the jar more than they lose them to make this all work. Plus, it will give them a structure to regulate their behavior.

And that is about it! This will give your child some structure to help them continue their learning during this crisis. Check with your local school district in how they will be supporting distance learning during the corona virus outbreak. They may already have a schedule for you to follow or have online resources ready for your child.

If by chance, they haven’t been able to organize the materials yet, this will at least give you a structure to get through until you are able to get more resources. Below are some great additional resources that can be used online to help with learning.


Khan Academy:

Mostly run through YouTube. These videos can be looked up by math concept covered and used to support what is being studied. I used them to introduce concepts in the classroom.

Xtra Math:

Online math fact practice program


This was one of the typing online tutorials that helped teach the standard of typing that was part of 4th grade. It’s a great refresher for kids 4th grade and up. Third graders could start this now to get ahead.

**Plus, try doing a search for cursive practice worksheets or for printing. Children from kinder to 3rd grade need to practice their writing. Practicing writing is a great way to add extra activities to reading and language arts if your child needs more in their day or more activities for language arts.

Plus, if you’d like to look over more activities, such as my free novel study, here is the link to the first day of the study and other resources that I’ve written are listed as well.

Reading: First Day of the Lost Secret of Fairies Novel Study

Full FREE online Spooky Story Writing Unit on my blog.

My online store at TeachersPayTeachers with free lessons for writing and literature studies.

I’ll be posting more tips and suggestions next week, along with further days in the Novel Study. Plus, look for more author interviews of featured authors and their books.

We’ll get through this! You’re child will learn and enjoy this new opportunity to learn with structure, a schedule, and rules. And remember, you can do this.

Feel free to post comments or questions below. I’d love to know if this helped and answer any questions you may have.

-Tiffany Turner

Mrs. Turner has been an elementary teacher of 20 years. She has experience teaching in the public school classroom in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. She currently has been working at a local tutoring center for 3 years. She is also the author of a children’s fantasy middle grade series called The Crystal Keeper Chronicles. The Lost Secret of Fairies is the first book in the series and was first published in 2007.



Interview with Steph Alexis

Father _ Son

Steph Alexis is the author of the book “The Burping Pumpkin” pictured here with his son.

In response to the corona virus lockdowns going on throughout the U.S. and the world, I’m continuing to feature author interviews and their books as a support for parents homeschooling during this crisis. I’ve found a great book that should bring a little humor and cheer into your lives at this time. The Burping Pumpkin is a humorous picture book written by Steph Alexis.

Mr. Alexis grew up in Grenada, and found himself making up stories to pass the time with the other village children. He used this skill to create fantasies with a touch of laughter; just the perfect thing to read to your children during these unnerving times. I had the chance to talk to Mr. Alexis about his childhood memories, what advice he has about writing, and what future projects he has in store for us.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Steph Alexis: My favorite memory from reading as a child was when my parents took me to the public library in the town and the excitement of seeing so many books. I wanted to take them all home! Reading was my most exciting class at school. We went outdoors and read under the shade of a huge Tamarind tree.
2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Steph Alexis: My favorite author was C. S. Lewis. His fantasy classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was a very fascinating and intriguing adventure, which ignited my love for reading. This book and the others in process all have that element of intrigue and adventure.
3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Steph Alexis: I enjoy writing early in the mornings, that is when my creative juices are most abundant. I also make allowances for writing down and fresh ideas that pop into my head throughout the day. I have made a commitment to write for at least 30 minutes every day.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Steph Alexis: I have two books in the works, “The Magic Basketball” and “The Adventures of Zachery the Zebra”, which I plan to publish later this year. Both books will have embedded themes on, leadership, teamwork, and honesty with some adventure.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Steph Alexis: Writing is the ability to express all of one’s imaginative and creative juices in a coherent manner for the benefit of others.

6) What was the inspiration to write this story?

Steph Alexis: I have always been interested in becoming a writer but never took the time to fully explore the possibility. When my son was in 6th grade, I gave him some assistance in writing a fictional story for his homework assignment. This exercise re-ignited my interest and I made a commitment to start writing. Of course, the story of the burping pumpkin was the first that popped into my head. This is my first publication.

7) How do you think humor enriches literature for children?

Steph Alexis: Humor is a very important ingredient in the social development of children. For children, as well as adults, humor is the best stress reliever. In today’s environment children are under greater amount of stress from the information overload that exists, as well as a push from adults for them to develop and learn at a faster pace. For this reason, humor is even more important to assist their young minds in maintaining some balance.
8) Why a “burping pumpkin”? Where did this idea come from?

Steph Alexis: The idea for this book came from an old folk tale that we recited as children on nights when there was a full moon. I started telling my son this story at bedtime and it became a nightly ritual. He would laugh hysterically and ask me to repeat the story, sometimes six times in one night! With all the what, how, why, and when questions I got from him every night, the story evolved to become “The Burping Pumpkin”.

9) What messages to you like to put into your stories?

Steph Alexis: I like to embed subtle themes and life lessons in my stories, such as obedience, teamwork, honesty and leadership. I strongly believe that these themes should be introduced to children at an early age when they are most impressionable.
10) Are you planning to write about growing up in the Grenada?

Steph Alexis: Yes! I plan to write a book called “The adventures of the Island Boy”. I have quite a bit of fascinating stories to tell about my boyhood days growing up on a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea.

The Burping PumpkinThe Burping Pumpkin is a witty and hilarious story that will have your children laughing as you read aloud. Zach and Zoe live in a tiny village. The mountains that surround their home are filled with giants. On an errand to pick berries, they venture further than they should and encounter a mountain giant. Who comes to the rescue? A Burping Pumpkin! This book is a great way to bring humor and literature into your child’s life. It’s great for elementary children as a reading activity during this corona virus lockdown or for traditional homeschooling.

The Burping Pumpkin is available at these and Barnes and Noble.

For more information on Steph Alexis, please visit his website at:



Day 4: Online Novel Study, Blog Article Activity & Study Questions


Look for other story projects on my blog in the coming days. Please follow to not miss them!

Welcome to Day 4 of The Lost Secret of Fairies novel study. Today, I continue with study questions for the next few chapters, and am featuring a blog article activity that goes along with the novel study. I have three auxiliary activities that go along with reading The Lost Secret of Fairies. They relate to science, author craft, and literature, specifically fairy tales and legends. So, let’s begin with the first activity followed by the study questions for chapters 4-6.

This is a link to a blog post written by me in how I get my ideas as an author. It is called: “How Do Writer’s Get Their Ideas?”

Here are the activity directions. It can be used in conjunction with the novel study or as a separate children’s reading activity.

  1. Read the blog post “How Do Writer’s Get Their Ideas?” by Tiffany Turner
  2. Print out the blog post if possible. Circle or highlight evidence or details you thing are important in regards to writers getting ideas.
  3. Now, answer the questions about the blog post below.
  • What are some examples that Mrs. Turner uses to explain how she got her ideas?
  • How do you get your ideas for your stories?
  • Bonus: Think about writing your favorite author about how they get their ideas. What would you ask them?

summer1Chapter 4 – 6: Study Guide Questions for The Lost Secret of Fairies

  1. What are character traits of Brewford that make him unusual?
  2. How does Wanda over come the obstacles she faces getting the spring water?
  3. What would you do if you had to face off those bullies?
  4. What would you say to Brewford if he was your cat?

Bonus: Have you ever been creek walking?

Tomorrow, I have a fabulous author and picture book to introduce you to, with more study guide questions and advice on how to keep a school at home routine.

Until then, keep reading and learning!

-Tiffany Turner

(Mrs. Turner)