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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm meeting with a graphic designer to choose a cover and illustrations for the book, but I'm still unsure of the title. The synopsis is below.
My target readership would be left-handed children, and parents of left-handed children (and possibly schools). Although the MC is a girl, I want the story to be of interest to boys (unless I write another story with a boy MC :p) I've called it The Race with a possible sub-title (A Story for Leftys/Lefties). Another possible title would be Vicky's Last Chance but that might not appeal to boys.
My idea for the cover is a pic of the children lining up for the egg and spoon race, showing Vicky next to Graham.

The Race

This is a story for children in the 7-10 age group. It is set in the present. The characters live in an anonymous suburb of an English-speaking country. The theme is 'overcoming adversities.' The story explores the unique problems of the left-handed child.

The main character is ten-year old Vicky. She has a close friend, Asha, who sympathises with Vicky's frustration when her left-handedness makes life more difficult. Vicky's antagonist is Graham, who sits next to her in class. He accuses Vicky of being clumsy because their elbows keep bumping, and because she can't hit a ball, or do the high jump. Vicky has difficulty with the high jump because she is expected to approach it from the 'wrong' side, and to hold the cricket bat like a right-hander. She is afraid to ask the gym teacher for special attention, and this often makes Vicky sullen and defensive. But in the end it is Vicky's left-handedness that helps her win the three-legged race, and leaves Graham sprawled on the grass.
***
Vicky's Grandfather has died and her Gran is coming to stay for a holiday. They have not seen each other for a long time. Vicky wants to cheer up her Gran and is embroidering a cushion cover. But it is not going well as her sewing is back to front.
Asha, who is good at sewing, offers to help.
Sports Day is approaching and Vicky and Asha are planning which races they will enter. Vicky wishes she could win a race to make her Gran proud, and to help her forget about being sad. They know that Graham wins most of the races, so they decide to practice for the egg and spoon, which Graham doesn't usually enter. But Graham hears about their plans and when they line up for the race he stands next to Vicky. Vicky's practising pays off and she is winning the race. But at the last moment Graham tries to run past her and his egg starts to wobble. In trying to save it his hand touches Vicky's (he is on her left) and both eggs fall to the ground. Vicky is devastated and blames the unfairness of it on Graham - and being left-handed.
A new race is announced. Asha asks Vicky to be her partner in the three-legged race, but Vicky at first doesn't want to take part until her Gran persuades her. Vicky and Asha easily win the race as the other couples stumble and fall. Gran explains that it was because the girls had their strongest legs on the outside, and this made it easier for them to keep their stride. Vicky being left-footed gave them the advantage.
Gran reveals that Vicky's Grandfather was also left-handed, and she gives Vicky a special left-handed mug. She tells Vicky that she is not clumsy, but will have to learn to do certain things differently because she will be using implements designed for right-handed people. She explains that you can buy left-handed scissors and can-openers etc. to make life easier.
Vicky's self-esteem is restored and this gives her the confidence to ask the gym teacher to make allowances for her left-handedness - and to tell Graham that from now on she is going to sit on the left side of the desk.
Story ends
The second part of the book will be advice on how to help left-handers, and facts about left-handedness - how to tell if a child is left-handed - the correct way for a left-hander to hold a pencil and to slant the paper - famous left-handers - percentage of the population who are left-handed - career choices for left-handers - cultural issues for left-handers etc.

ends
 

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*wonders if this is still an issue*

My son is left-handed. While my husband was beaten into right-handedness (with associated horrible handwriting), I've never hear my son, or any of his teachers, complain about it. You can buy left-handed scissors and everything everywhere. There are so many left-handed kids (especially boys) in classes that I thought this whole issue had gone the way of the dodo.
 

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Hi there. I am a children's writer as well and after reading this story, I would title it something along the lines of "Left-handed not Left Behind" or "LeftIn the Dust (or "her" dust) whichever you feel better about. Also, I would suggest for the cover a picture of a girl "winning" the race - or close to it to give the readers a feel of what the book is about other than the title. Kids are very competitve, especially at this age group you mentioned. They love to read books where a kid wins a race or contest of some sort. Just my thoughts:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your comments :-*.

This is still an issue in a lot of places, especially in cultures where it is deemed 'unclean' to use the left hand for anything other than toilet hygiene. But the main focus is the small things that left-handed children and their parents don't even realise is an issue for lefthanders, such as using pencil sharpeners. Computer keyboards have the numbers at the top and on the right. I've never used the numbers on the right.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for a magazine.
Teaching lefties
"Teachers are taught about the physical arrangements for left-handers, and that their writing may be different, but this is not adequate in all respects, " says Hasina Ebrahim, lecturer in early childhood development at the University of KZN.
It is not enough that lefties are allowed to write with their left hand, they should be taught how to write. Elsie Lucas advises: "The pencil should be held slightly further away from the point (approx 2 cm) than for a right-hander so the child is able to see what is being written and to avoid smudging." The body should be turned slightly to the right with the paper placed a little to their left and sloping to the right. (Left-handed nibs are available for fountain pens).
The source of light should be above the right shoulder.
Elsie Lucas suggests that the paper be turned upside down when drawing margins and a heavier metal or wooden ruler be used rather than a light plastic one.
Left-handed children should always be seated on the left to avoid knocking elbows.
When tying shoelaces and neckties, and for knitting and sewing the teacher should sit opposite the child instead of behind or beside so the movements are mirrored. Left-handers will knit and sew from left to right and a right-handed teacher will not be able to 'start off'. Sewing machines are designed for right-handers.
Power tools and electrical appliances will often have switches and controls placed inconveniently for the left-hander, and measuring cylinders used in chemistry have calibrations that will be difficult to see if poured with the left-hand. Lefties will often file documents with the top of the page on the right making them upside down for a right-hander.

Left-handers are adept at learning to cope in a right-handed world, but they, and right-handers, should be aware of possible problems. One of the few times that it's better to be a left-hander is when driving in countries where one drives on the left. It is said that in the face of a possible collision instinct will make you swerve to your dominant side, and as anything is better than a head-on collision swerving away from oncoming cars will be an advantage :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
daycaremommy03 said:
Hi there. I am a children's writer as well and after reading this story, I would title it something along the lines of "Left-handed not Left Behind" or "LeftIn the Dust (or "her" dust) whichever you feel better about. Also, I would suggest for the cover a picture of a girl "winning" the race - or close to it to give the readers a feel of what the book is about other than the title. Kids are very competitve, especially at this age group you mentioned. They love to read books where a kid wins a race or contest of some sort. Just my thoughts:)
Thanks for the title idea. My article was titled "A Right to Be Left" . I like the idea of "Left-handed, not left behind". I had intended to use a pic of the egg and spoon race on the cover as that is the main focus of the story.
 

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Left-handers are adept at learning to cope in a right-handed world, but they, and right-handers, should be aware of possible problems. One of the few times that it's better to be a left-hander is when driving in countries where one drives on the left. It is said that in the face of a possible collision instinct will make you swerve to your dominant side, and as anything is better than a head-on collision swerving away from oncoming cars will be an advantage .
Mwahahaha! Tell this to the driver I met the other day swerving to the wrong side of the road when meeting me in a narrow street with parked cars on both sides. I'm sure English people get it from cross-channel people all the time, but it's the first time I'd experienced it in Australia. The driver looked profoundly embarrassed :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Any more ideas for a title that includes left-handed? I'm tempted to go with daycaremommy's suggestion of "Left-handed not Left Behind".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve Vernon said:
Left Out

Left Over

Left Last

Leaning Left.

I'd argue against Left Behind - because there was already that whole religious Rapture series.

You could always run with "southpaw" as well.

Southpaw Odds

Southpaw Sprint

Southpaw Shuffle.
Thanks. It's a children's book, so I can't be 'too clever' with the title. I'm going to market it as a book for left-handed children, and parents and teachers.
 

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How about When Right Isn't Right
Our teachers did it. They said it would make it easier, and to be honest, it probably did. When do you ever see lefty scissors in a normal store?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Anotherdreamer said:
How about When Right Isn't Right
Our teachers did it. They said it would make it easier, and to be honest, it probably did. When do you ever see lefty scissors in a normal store?
Thanks. That would be a good title for an article.

I'm now toying with:

1. The Race (a lefty story)
2. Left-Handed, Not left Behind
3 The Race (left-handed, not left behind)
4 I'm not clumsy - I'm left-handed (this one is a bit negative)
5 Vicky's Last Chance (a story for lefties)
 

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I myself am proudly left-handed (they told me not to be in kindergarten, but I didn't listen). One time I wrote a song called "Sinister Isn't Bad, Just Different." Though the reference may be lost on most people unfamiliar with Latin and the root of the word sinister (literally: left or unlucky).
 

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Jan Hurst-Nicholson said:
Thanks. That would be a good title for an article.

I'm now toying with:

1. The Race (a lefty story)
2. Left-Handed, Not left Behind
3 The Race (left-handed, not left behind)
4 I'm not clumsy - I'm left-handed (this one is a bit negative)
5 Vicky's Last Chance (a story for lefties)
Hi,

Why not just "My left hand".

Greetings from a illustrator & graphic designer in old europe
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Stefan COVER Designs said:
Hi,

Why not just "My left hand".

Greetings from a illustrator & graphic designer in old europe
Thanks. It's not first person, and it's for 10 year-olds, so it needs something that will appeal to children, but also get the attention of parents and teachers. I've had another thought:

The Race - doing it left-handed.
The Race - the left-handed way.
:-\
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can someone tell me if by including 'left-handed' in the title it would come up in a Google search for left-handed?
 

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Hell JHN--

You can do this yourself by going to Google Adwords Keyword tool https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS You enter the keywords, in this case left-handed and see how many times a month people use that as a search term.

It also might be a great way to hone the title of your book, so that it is more "search optimized," to be all buzz-wordy about it.

OK I couldn't resist. The phrase left handed was searched for a million times, literally. But the results are broken down into other left handed search categories, such as left handed watches. If you put in left handed children's fiction, you get a big goose egg, but the tool shows results (without further input from me) "books for kids" as 823,000. I don't know if these searches are all about "books for kids that are left handed." I'd check for you but I sense I'm getting addicted and had better leave it to your more than capable hands!

Warning. You may become addicted.

Your pal,

Li

PS for a title, how about something that doesn't have anything to do with Lefties per se, that way children who aren't lefty can read about the lefty experience.

HANDS DOWN OK kind of stupid, but you see what I mean?
 
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