Marty McGuire and the Global Read Aloud!

It has been a most exciting autumn for Marty McGuire and me. Marty’s first chapter book adventure, MARTY MCGUIRE, was selected as the 2013 Global Read Aloud title for Grades 1-3, which means that classrooms all over the world are sharing her story. This makes my author-heart very, very happy indeed. It also makes my author-email-in-box a very busy place. I’ve been enjoying all the conversations I’m having with classes reading the book, the back-and-forth discussions on Twitter, and the Skype visits.

At this point, my free Skype visit schedule for this fall is mostly full, though, so I wanted to offer something else for classes with whom I may not be able to connect via Skype.

Marty McGuire Video Q and A

Starting today – on this very blog post – classes reading MARTY MCGUIRE as part of the Global Read Aloud can submit questions in the comments section of this blog, and I’ll choose a whole bunch of them to answer in a video that I’ll share the following Friday. We’ll do this until the Global Read Aloud wraps up in mid-November. Sound like fun? I think so!

Note: This post is closed to comments now. To ask a question for Video Q and A, please go to and leave your question on the latest Q and A post!

If you’d like to submit a question to be considered for next week’s video, please leave a comment on this post that includes these things:

1. The name of the school & teacher’s name
2. City/State/Country where your school is located
3. Your question!
Note: If your comment doesn’t appear right away, don’t worry – and please don’t post it again! I moderate comments, and it takes me a little while to do that when I’m writing. But don’t worry. I’ll find it!

 I won’t be able to answer every question via video, but I’ll sneak in as many as I can and try to answer the rest in blog comment replies, okay? Our first Video Q and A session will be posted on my blog (  on Friday, October 11th!

In the mean time, if your class is enjoying MARTY MCGUIRE, you’ll want to check out Marty’s second adventure, MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS (available now!) and the forthcoming MARTY MCGUIRE HAS TOO MANY PETS, which comes out this winter from Scholastic.

44 Replies on “Marty McGuire and the Global Read Aloud!

  1. We have read 2 chapters and are hooked, Marty is trying to be true to herself which we like. Also her inner voice is extremely funny. We think Veronica has room to change and grow from bossy to a better listener. We are making a big character trait board with illustrations to see how these characters develop. Thanks for the GRA letter. We can not wait to read more with our Skype friends.

  2. Ross Ford Elementary School
    Mrs. Machell’s grade 3/4 class
    Didsbury. Alberta Canada
    Hello, Ms. Messner!
    Our class is enjoying Marty McGuire very much! We have been talking about how writers find their ideas for their stories. We were wondering where your idea for the character Marty came from? Did you know someone like Marty? (Were you like Marty when you were a young girl?)

    We hope to here from you!

    Mrs. Machell’s class

  3. Mrs. Lackey’s 2nd grade bilingual class at J. A. Vitovsky Elementary in Midlothian, Tx wants to know: Where did the name Marty McGuire come from? Was this character created from someone personal in your life? Childhood memory? Or a best friend. I will be reading the second book after this one as well. Love your books and sharing them with my students.

  4. Hi Kate – i will be reading marty to my 2/3 classes this week. looking forward to sharing ideas and thoughts. thanks.

  5. Miss Klipfel’s 1st Graders from Fuller Meadow Elementary School-Middleton, Massachusetts, USA

    Kate Messner, Growing up did you have a Veronica Grace in your life?

  6. The American International School of Muscat
    Teacher: Mrs. Bernhardt
    City/Country: Muscat, Oman

    Hi, Kate! Here are some questions that we have for you! 1.) How did you get the idea for Marty McGuire? 2.) Do you like frogs? 3.) Do you like princesses? 4.) Do you like to catch frogs? 5.) Do you like magic? 6.) Do you like the fairy tale of the princess and the frog? 7.) Why didn’t you tell that the witch put a magic spell on the frog prince at the beginning of the story? 8.) Why did Marty say that her emergency clothes were because of frog pee when she had really fallen in the pond? 9.) Why does Marty’s mom call Sparky baby? 10.) Do you like to write Marty McGuire stories? We have a lot of questions for you, as you can see. We’re excited to see your first video on Friday!

  7. Mrs. Eaton’s 2nd Graders
    Elizabeth Scott Elementary
    Chester, VA
    Our class is very excited to be reading about Marty. We have many questions:
    1. How old were you when you started writing?

    2. Where do you get your ideas for your books?

    How did you pick your illustrator for the story. How did you decide how your characters would look?

    3. What made you decide to write children’s books?

    4. How many books have your written?
    5. Did you have a stuffed animal like Bob the Lion when you were a child?

  8. We like the book so far because Marty been doing some crazy things. I liked it because
    Marty been doing crazy things and she is funny and crazy.

    Why did you write the book based on Marty?
    Why did you make Marty do crazy things?

  9. 1.Do you like the frog or the raccoon’s personalty better and why?
    2.Does Marty have a sibling and what is their name and what do they like?

  10. I like your book because it seemed really funny. I like how the book kind of sounded like a book we read last year called Clementine.

    What did you think the book would be like when you first started it?
    How did you feel after you made the book?

  11. 1. Why did you want to write this book?
    2. Ware did you get the personalities for the characters?


  12. I have some questions for you hope you like them.

    1. How did you think your book would turn out when you started?

    2. What did you base this book on and was there a reason?

  13. I like your book so far because it’s funny and interesting. I really like your book because it’s like a book that we read last year and the book was called Clementine.

    What’s your favorite person out of every one in the book?

    How did the the raccoon get in their neighbor’s attic.

  14. I like your books because thery\’re really funny and thery\’re interesting because I never heard of someone that wear\’s nurse\’s pants.

    Do you like the book you made? Why?

    What\’s your favorite book out of all the Marty McGuire books?

  15. How did you think of all this information?

    How long did it take you to make the book?

    Was paying attention hard to do?

  16. We are 2nd graders at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis , TN, USA.
    We’d like to know how you used your imagination to solve problems as a writer of this book? Also, what inspired you to write books? Why did you decide to write about a girl who likes frogs? Is Marty going to be glad she is the frog princess? Does Marty just skip the play? We have just finished reading Chapter 3 and look forward to more funny chapters about Marty and her classmates.

  17. We are a second grade class from Hilton Elementary in Brecksville, Ohio, USA. We really like reading your book. We think Marty is funny. Why did you make her a tomboy? How did you think of her name? What do you like about being an author?

  18. 1. Monteith Elementary School Mrs. Delgado’s 2nd grade

    2. Grosse Poimte Woods, Michigan, USA

    3. Do you like frogs? Have you ever had a pet frog? What made you decide to write about frogs?

  19. Dear Kate Messner,
    We are students from Mrs. Doele’s class in Grand Rapids, MI, USA. We LOVE your book and we plan to read the other Marty books and some of your other books. We are wondering about how you thought to include Jane Goodall in your book? We can tell why Marty admires her but we were wondering if you might have liked Jane Goodall when you were young? Did you study about Jane Goodall before writing the book? When you were young did you have a passion to write a book some day? How did you become such a great author? Where does the character Marty come from? Were you like Marty or did you have a friend like Marty? We hope you will answer some of our questions.
    Your Fans in Mrs. Doele’s 3rd Grade Class

  20. Hi, we are a homeschool family participating in the Global Read Aloud from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Our school name is Spaulding Academy and our teacher is Mrs. Spaulding (Jami). Our question is, “Where did you get the idea for Marty McGuire? Is she based on someone you know?” Thanks for taking our questions. We are having fun reading your book and can’t wait to read the rest of the Marty series!

  21. Mrs. Lough’s Class- 4th Grade at JW Reason in Hilliard, Ohio

    Did you go through any of the experiences that you put in the book? Did you have friends that ever betrayed you or wanted to do different things?

    Why did you choose to make Veronica Grace so mean and queen of the playground?

    How did you think of the story ideas for Marty McGuire?

  22. Mrs. Paustian 16 students
    Wisconsin Lutheran School
    Racine, Wisconsin
    How long did it take to write the book?
    How tall is Marty?
    How did you choose the name Marty?
    Are you like Marty?
    How many books have you written?
    How did you get the character Marty McGuire?
    How old is Marty?
    Did you write any more books?
    Are you going to write any books about Marty as she gets older?
    Could you make stories about Marty when she was littler?
    How old were you when you started making books?
    How did you think of the book in your imagination?
    Is Marty McGuire based on your daughter?
    How old are your kids?

  23. Why did you make the book about a play?
    Why did the princess throw the frog on the wall?
    Why did it have to be about frogs?
    Will the script change? Will Marty kiss the frog? Will Veronica have to kiss the frog?
    Why did they choose that play?
    How did you get the idea?
    Do you have a Marty McGuire in your life?
    Why did Veronica steal Marty’s best friend?
    What made you come up with the character traits for Marty and Veronica?
    Did you have to revise this story?

  24. Ms. Crombie’s Grade 1/2.
    Beach Grove Elementary
    Delta, BC, Canada

    We are really enjoying Marty Mcguire so far!

    When did you start writing this book? Why did you make it a story about a girl with boy’s name? Have you ever caught a bull frog? Does Marty have any other friends?

    Thank you!

  25. WE are a class of 19 second graders from Groveland, MA. We just finished the 3rd chapter of Marty Maguire. We are loving it! We were wondering is this based on a true story? Where did you get the idea for your story? Thanks so much, The \\\\\\\”Can-Do\\\\\\\” Kids

  26. What inspired you to write Marty McGuire?
    Why did you become an author?
    Was your childhood like Marty McGuire’s?
    How many years have you been writing books?
    Will you continue making even more sequels to Marty McGuire?
    What is your favorite book that you have written?
    How many books have you written altogether?
    Why did you choose to have Marty’s class perform The Princess and the Frog?
    Why did you choose to make Marty McGuire the princess?

  27. Mrs. Adams’ 3rd Grade
    Lime Springs /Chester Elementary
    Lime Springs, Iowa, USA
    Where did you get your inspiration for the character of Marty McGuire? Were you a tomboy as a child?

  28. My question (as a teacher) is since your book has gone global, do you intend to make any changes in your settings, or characters for future publications?

  29. St. Matthias School Lanham, MD
    My third graders wanted to know Where did you get the idea for Marty McGuire? Do you like Veronica Grace? How did you come up with Marty being a tomboy?

  30. We are loving your book and after reading Chapter 4, my first graders are VERY CURIOUS how a noose works to catch a wild animal!

  31. Hi Ms. Messner,
    we’ve been enjoying your book a lot and we would like to know whether you were a tomboy like Marty when you were young?

  32. Hi Kate Messner!
    We love your book Marty McGuire. We want to know;
    Did you write Marty McGuire because you love frogs? Are you a tomboy too like Marty? Why did you pick your illustrator? Is it hard being an author? Where did you meet Brian Floca? How did you think of the concept of a bull frog?

    1. What a good question! Not that I can remember (and I think I would have remembered) but I do remember tearing my pants at recess once and needing to wear a sweatshirt tied around my waist for the rest of the day to cover it up.

  33. Our classroom is learning how to be authors and how authors keep Writer\’s Notebooks to keep track of possible story leads, small moments, and snippets of everyday life. Our questions are:
    1) Do you keep a Writer’s Notebook with ideas for your stories?
    2) Is Marty McGuire based on small moments/memories that you wrote in your Writer’s Notebook?
    3) Is Marty based on your life as a child, or maybe one of your children?

    1. Hi there! I got your questions too late to include in the video, so I’m responding in a comment!

      1) Do you keep a Writer’s Notebook with ideas for your stories?
      Yes! Amy Ludwig Vanderwater interviewed me about my notebook here if you’d like to read all about it.

      2) Is Marty McGuire based on small moments/memories that you wrote in your Writer’s Notebook?
      Sometimes – if you watch the video, you’ll hear the inspiration for Marty’s stuffed lion, Bob. 🙂

      3) Is Marty based on your life as a child, or maybe one of your children?
      I answered this question in this week’s video, too!

      Happy reading!

  34. Mrs. Tina Schmidt
    St. Ignatius School, Yardley, PA
    Grade 3
    When did you write your first book and what inspired you to become an author?
    Why did you choose to make Marty a tomboy?
    Why did you choose to make Marty and Annie have friendship problems?

  35. Our Grade 2 class in Ottawa Ontario Canada is loving the book. Together we all had alot of questions but these were a few we chose. Why is Marty so interested in frogs? How many pages have you written in your new book? Why does Jimmy think everything is realistic?

  36. Mrs. Arnold’s 2nd grade class from Ithaca, New York was wondering if you had a teacher like Mr. Miller? A teacher who didn’t let you do something because you were a girl? How did you feel? We are having great discussions about gender expectations. Thank you for sparking this engaging conversation as we read about Marty and learn more about her.

  37. From Grade 3, Mrs. Moehl’s class, Mount Vernon, WA, Lincoln Elementary,
    Matthew: Do you travel around the world as an author?
    Did you ever wear nurse’s pants when you were in second grade? from Kristina
    Have you ever been in a Frog Prince or another play? Danielle and Kelly
    Mitchell: When you were young, what was a book you wrote?
    Martin: Have you ever held or touched frogs?
    Jayden: ARe you going to make more Marty McGuire books?
    Katie: Did you have to paint a trash can with peas at the bottom?