Tag Archives: Ryan Jacobson

The Queen of Mars (Kids Write Books)

I recently had the pleasure of working with students at the South Central Service Cooperative’s Young Writers & Artists Conference in Mankato, Minnesota. In my sessions, we brainstormed a story outline. Then students broke into groups and were assigned different parts of the story to write. This story was written by…

March 7, 2017: Session 2

Martha Maplewood kept looking. She dug and dug. She was a funny muskrat. Her best friend, Julia, thought she was a good listener and liked to joke about Martha’s snort laugh.

But this was no laughing matter. Martha needed to find the map to Mars. She had no choice but to keep searching.

She found a cave near a beach. The cave looked like a blueberry, and it was named Blueberry Cave. Martha stepped into the cave and then ran out of it—right into the skunks. They had heard about the map, too, and wanted it desperately.

Now, Martha was in danger, so she ran up a tree. If she could build a rocket, she could get to Mars. Then she could work with the spiders that lived there in order to take over the skunks and to protect herself from them. That was the whole reason she wanted to be queen of Mars.

After the skunks left, Martha built a green bucket rocket. She stood and admired her beautiful masterpiece. She decided to invite her magical unicorn friend, Julia, to join her.

The skunk leader spied on Martha while coming up with a devious plan. “Ha, ha, ha, I shall steal the ship,” he said.

The skunk leader needed to communicate his plan to the minions. They all decided to go to the SBU (Skunk Bank United). They walked across Africa and continued across the Indian Ocean to the Philippines. Then they went to Paris and to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. There, they discussed their plan. Then they backtracked across Earth to the ship, and they waited for the historical moment to strike.

The savage skunks had grenades that spit water. They pulled up near the bucket rocket and blew it up. This caused everyone to fly into the water.

During all the confusion, the skunks managed to capture Julia. They told her that if she didn’t do what they said, they would kill her.

To try to gain traction in the effort against the skunks, Martha found the leader of the birds and persuaded the birds to help her. Although this species of birds was hideously ugly, the birds were glorious and magnificent warriors.

The skunks attacked again. While the birds battled them, Martha had to go and get pixie dust on a desert island. With the rocket destroyed, flying to Mars was her only hope.

She ran to the shore and saw the print of a boat bottom slowly being washed away. Panicking, she looked first left then right. Soon, a note in a bottle washed up on shore. The note said, “Ha, ha, we have sunk your boat and will build a death machine.”

Even though Martha had outstanding problems to tackle, she kept trying to overcome them. She was too scared to stop trying because she didn’t want to get killed by the skunks.

She swam to get the pixie dust, but there was a huge lion named Phil in control of the pixie dust. Martha gnawed a piece of corn into a sword and had a big battle with Phil. Finally, she killed the lion. After many hours, Martha finally got the pixie dust.

Next, she decided to save Julia. She used the pixie dust to fly over to where Julia was and save her. She flew to Julia’s cage and gnawed off the bars. Julia was free!

Martha used the pixie dust to fly into space. But she ran into a crater, and all of the pixie dust poured away from her. In this process, she crashed on Mars.

After she crashed, she found a sword left by a previous queen. She encountered the current queen of Mars and slew her. Martha became queen of Mars and built her own castle.

Queen Martha used her new army of spiders to defeat the skunks. Then she went to her super secret lab and drank an arm-growing substance and grew an extra arm on her stomach.

The army of bad skunks was in exile from the good skunks. They were sent to the wilds where they died from acid rain.

After the war, Martha stayed as queen of Mars, sitting on a rock throne with her best friend, Julia.

Book Signing with a Bald Eagle

I don’t do a lot of in-store book signings—mostly because there’s only one bookstore within an hour’s drive of me. But when I do accept an invitation, it’s usually a lot of fun. Saturday, June 6, was no exception at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, Minnesota. In fact, it might have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a bookstore event.

I was actually third fiddle at this particular event. The star attraction was definitely the Raptor Center from the University of Minnesota. They brought a bald eagle and a great horned owl to the signing, which certainly attracted a crowd. There was always a steady stream of 10 to 20 people gathered around their tent.

Bald eagle

The Raptor Center attended the book signing in conjunction with author Christie Gove-Berg and her book Esther the Eaglet (which I edited, by the way). A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit the Raptor Center. Since Christie knew I had my own eagle book, Eagle in the Sky, she and Scout & Morgan Books were gracious enough to let me tag along for this eagle-centric event. (Christie and I have actually shared a few events together, and it always works well.)

Eagle in the Sky

On this particular day, the customers were aplenty. In fact, the store actually ran out of Eagle in the Sky. A minor glitch, for sure, but if you’re going to encounter a problem, that’s a good one to have!

Thanks to everyone who came out and made the day such a wonderful event.

Christie Gove-Berg and Ryan Jacobson

Teacher Offer: Eagle in the Sky Author Talk

A great book and an amazing presenter

For a limited time, take advantage of these wonderful Eagle in the Sky classroom opportunities:

  • Order a copy of Eagle in the Sky, and enjoy a FREE short author chat with your class*
  • Order a classroom set of Eagle in the Sky, and enjoy a FREE short author presentation*

 Eagle in the Sky sample spread

Eagle in the Sky + author talk
Get an autographed book and a classroom Q&A. $9.95


Eagle in the Sky classroom set + author talk
Get a book for the teacher and every student, up to 20 books total. $109.95
Each additional book is $5, up to 10 additional books.


*At your request, Ryan Jacobson will be happy to connect with you and your class via phone or video call. A short author chat includes a Q&A session of about five minutes. A short author presentation includes a story-building activity and a Q&A session totaling about 15 minutes. (Limit one author event per classroom per school year.)