Posted by: nancyisanders | February 28, 2020

Choosing a Breakthrough Topic and Doing the Research


I decided that the BREAKTHROUGH topic I wanted to write about for my next book was PILGRIMS.

I read a few children’s books about Pilgrims. That’s always a good place to start researching when you’re on your journey to write about a BREAKTHROUGH topic. Gather a bunch of children’s books already published on your topic and see what they already cover.

You want your book to be different, fresh, and unique.

After I got an overview about what kids are already learning about Pilgrims, I started digging deeper.

I googled Pilgrims and started reading more about them. Suddenly, something popped out that caught my interest:

The Pilgrims planted APPLE TREES!

Now…my BREAKTHROUGH topic was getting even better. TREES are another topic kids in K-2 learn about every year. PLUS, a second holiday tie-in had potential…ARBOR DAY! And a third holiday tie-in…EARTH DAY!

Can you see how I was following a trail? This is the kind of journey you want to go on when you’re looking for a BREAKTHROUGH topic. This is an intentional search to choose your next topic to write about that will practically guarantee you a book contract.

At this point I started searching online for Pilgrims Planting Trees.

And a total surprise popped up.

Articles…NOT about the Pilgrims, but about the PURITANS came up.

Because the Puritans planted a pear tree nearly 400 years ago…and IT IS STILL ALIVE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Did a lightbulb just go off in your head about how awesome this topic would be as a BREAKTHROUGH topic for a picture book?

The lightbulb went off in my head!

I’ll tell you in my next post what happened next.

-Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay


  1. Love learning about your search. Gives me “food” for thought. Thanks for sharing!

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