For more than 20 years, I've been writing fiction for young people. From picture books up to young adult novels, crafting these stories has been my niche as a writer.
But one day ... I had an idea for a non-fiction book, all about aspects of communication. I worked on various approaches for the concept for a long time. Years in fact. I even put together several samples and outlines and made some very feeble pitches. (I didn’t know they were feeble at the time, obviously.)
Eventually, I recognized what the problem was. Writing it wasn't the issue -- I needed guidance with content and structure. Fortunately, I knew people who were experts on non-fiction. It was time to find a partner.
I contacted Natalie Hyde, who has more than 100 books to her credit, the bulk of them being non-fiction for young people. (Her fiction is fantastic too, by the way.) I ran the idea by her, she liked it, and our partnership began.
We worked on an outline and sample. And we reached out to artist David Jardine He liked the project, and found room for it in his busy schedule.
Together with some sketch samples from David, we sent our pitch to DCB Young Readers Publisher Barry Jowett and in what may have only seemed like an agonizingly long time we had his answer. It was YES. (This would be a sadder story if he’d turned it down.)
And now, it’s here, and my co-creators and I think YOU should read More than Words -- especially if you’re a young person, or even just a person!
Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but you are constantly communicating, and with more than just words. Body language, hand gestures, facial expressions — they all have a lot to say. Are you aware of the silent signals you may be sending? How do you read verbal and nonverbal cues from other people?
Through this illustrated book, you will learn how to communicate effectively —virtually and in person —with more confidence and fewer misunderstandings. You’ll learn about active listening, speaking skills, empathy, conflict resolution, critical thinking, and more!
Then you’ll put your newfound knowledge into practice through individual exercises and group activities that will help you master your communication superpowers!
More than Words has been reviewed by:
Quill & Quire: "MTW gives tweens practical advice on polishing their communication and critical-thinking skills to improve personal relationships and help them to be their best selves. This book could also guide neurodivergent tweens as they learn to read verbal and non-verbal social cues, or coach those seeking to overcome social anxiety."
49th Shelf: "...a fantastic resource for teachers who want to scaffold speaking and listening lessons for the year. This book is broken down into: body language, talking tips, active listening and online communicating. My favourite part are the individual and group activities at the end of each chapter with challenges a teacher can use to specifically target skills."