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Danny Hutcheson and the Quest for Cool

School: High Tech Media Arts

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 11

Format(s): Book, Comic book/graphic novel

Subject(s): English Language Arts

Project Overview

Eleventh grade students at High Tech Media Arts in San Diego, California used professional-level writing, editing, and publishing methods to produce literary works for a wide range of audiences. This children’s book is one of the works produced by a student to address the topic of popularity. The author of the book modeled his book on The Diary of A Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney and acknowledges Kinney on his end page.

Danny Hutcheson is a seventh grader somewhere near the middle of the popularity ranks as the book begins.  The book traces his rise and fall in popularity through the school year. Different events in Danny’s life trigger different responses from other seventh graders and Danny finally figures out how to get his fellow students to laugh with him rather than at him.

The 5x8 inch 137-page book can be purchased at .

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Excellent example of a complete literary work produced by one student
  • Illustrates all parts of a book including table of contents, author biography, and back cover blurb
  • Highlights a popular format for children and includes illustrations that complement the text
  • Demonstrates a writing style that is engaging for a specific audience
  • Shows how modeling the style of a popular book can develop a unique product
  • Addresses a topic that is relevant and interesting to all students

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using well-chosen details and effective event sequences.
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
  • I can use the writing process to focus on what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
  • I can use technology to produce, publish, and update writing products in response to ongoing feedback, new arguments, and new information.
  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling.
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