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Designed to complement not compete with your noble endeavor and formal efforts in education, The Picaresque of Ímagine Purple primarily provides personal entertainment, enrichment, and improvement. When all features are accessed, it can help broaden the knowledge base of readers at multiple levels. Rich with language and history, the series is ideal for readers 10 years and older including private/public school kids, homeschoolers, pre-college adults, parents, K-12 educators, and literacy advocates. Divided into multiple geographical episodes, Ima's picaresque holds a wealth of knowledge enriching the lives of all who travel with her.

Grade Level Appropriateness

Average and younger readers may hit occasional snags with the series’ level of language, but the author has included many context clues to help coax such readers to expand their vocabularies and comprehension. Many paragraphs of Ímagine Purple went through the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Scale via the MSWord Spelling & Grammar program and/or Blue Centauri, a free online consulting service. The range in early episodes scored from Grades 3.2 to 9.8. However, narratives always scaled higher than dialogue. In later episodes, narratives scored up to the 10th grade range and beyond when the text had to handle more complex concepts. Most passages scored 70+ on the Flesch Readability Ease Scale and 5-10 on the Fog Scale. All of those scales held fairly firm, even in texts with difficult allusions, idioms, and words. Strong readers should catch the gist. The Author’s test readers matured with the series and did not mention any difficulty.

Motive Behind the Biographies

Whereas in a novel, new characters have background information written into the text, in the Imasodes, the main characters’ biographies are placed in the Appendices for the reader to choose to use or not. Knowing that readers may lose interest in amplified details of a character’s biography, the author used the journalistic convention of putting less critical material closer to the end. That style enables the reader to lop off latter paragraphs without losing critical points.


Readers Become Writers

Since the maxim “readers are writers” expresses one of the author’s main interests, a promising byproduct of this series could be a sheaf of budding writers. Readers may unwittingly absorb writing technique from this sample of “Literature Light” which consciously has standard grammar and punctuation interwoven but uses wider word choices and more varied sentence structures. The Imasodes also project a certain writing freedom that may spur readers to find their own styles. Those wanting to become writers might enjoy the Author’s Bio which describes how fictional but authentic stories often emerge from real life, if lived heartily.

Curiosity Begets Research

Although originated to broaden student’s knowledge, The Picaresque allows for deepening as well. In the Appendices, the Lookup Suggestions (italicized in print & marked↑ online) give one-liner descriptions to a host of random allusions used in each story. These descriptions may serve as ticklers for quick references, reminders, or stimulants for future research. The author’s premise is if 2% of the readers pursue 2% of the material (each interested in a different 2%), then the process will succeed. Slight neurological connections will occur as the eyes of a skimmer or a serious reader pass over new words and information. For that reason, lookup suggestions occur in categories, a well-known memory tool. As the stories grow more dense and complicated, there may be a drop off of interest for some readers and an added intensity for others. That makes this series self-challenging.

Alternative to Rote Memorization of Facts

Students usually enjoy learning new ideas but rarely describe their textbooks as entertaining. Often, they also resist rote memorization of facts because those disappear quickly into the mental ethers. However, by just reading The Picaresque of Ímagine Purple and scanning over the secret signals (*, ↑, italics, & bold), readers may neurologically absorb incidental information about history, geography, clichés, and vocabulary woven into the stories. For example, through Ima's adventures, readers may better understand how the civil discord of the 1960s helped shape contemporary American culture, music, and fashion.

New Thoughts Change Lives

Every society needs individuals with intellectual curiosity and solid ethics. The biographical elements and episodic nature of The Picaresque show how characters transform after experiencing new people and places. Ima had to change as well. Adults and children alike can appreciate time-traveling with her from Newfoundland to New Delhi. Such time-travel may give certain readers vicarious experiences that lead to new thoughts and even life-changes. Educators may even notice healthy changes in their students.

Future Plans

1. An online writers’ workshop.
2. Questions to help readers write their own Imasodes review
3. Social networking to discuss enrichment vs. required reading

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Beth Fine
Beth Fine
Beth Fine Beth Fine  Beth Fine