The Frog Book by Steve Jenkins
Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies
Bonkers About Beetles by Davey Owen
A Hundred Million Billion Stars by Seth Fishman
Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee
How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell
Compare & Contrast
Big & Little by Steve Jenkins
Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor
Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds & Me by Susan L. Roth
Rodent Rascals by Roxie Munro
Cause & Effect
Earth: Feeling the Heat by Brenda Z. Guiberson
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
If You Hopped Like a Frog by David M. Schwartz
Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember by Steve Jenkins
Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs by Kathleen Kudlinksi
The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins by Sandra Markle
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
And here is a handy dandy chart of these mentor texts along with basic information about each text structure created by rockstar middle school librarian Melanie Roy (@mrsmelanieroy). A large, printable version is available here on my pinterest boards.
As you read through these book titles, you may have noticed that one author—Steve Jenkins—has a book included in each of the categories. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a master of text structure.
Most of Jenkins’s books are about animals and all the cool ways they survive in the world. The consistency of the art gives the books a unified look that immediately lets you know he’s the creator. And yet every book is distinctive because he’s constantly experimenting with nonfiction craft elements, especially text structure.
Some schools already do author studies of Steve Jenkins, but I think every school should study his titles closely as students learn to identify text structures in the books they read and integrate text structures into their writing.