Nutmeg Volume 1: Early Fall - Taste Buddies

Nutmeg Vol. 1: Early Fall - Taste BuddiesNutmeg Volume 1 – Early Fall: Taste Buddies 
Written by: James F. Wright
Illustrated by:
Jackie Crofts
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Format: Softcover, 6.5 x 10, 96 pages, Full Color, $11.99
ISBN: 978-1-63229-105-9


"Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

And my answer was always the same: Of course I would."

Of course she would, for Poppy knows what time it is; it's that time of year she most looks forward to and dreads. But this year is different. It's September at Mason Montgomery Preparatory Academy and time for the Lady Rangers Bi-annual Brownie Brawl! With new girl Cassia making waves between the school’s delicate "ecosystem" hierarchy Poppy has more than a brownie brawl to consider.

English Language Arts Elements of Story

Plots: The will and personalities of the characters drive this story forward. Why? To be the best, of course! The Lady Rangers Bi-annual Brownie Brawl is upon them. And our two main characters – Poppy and Cassia – are surprisingly willing to make some serious and questionable decisions and choices in order to win.

Major Characters: Poppy Pepper, Lady Rangers, Cannelle "Cassia" Caraway, Saffron Longfellow, Mrs. McCormick, Mrs. Pepper, Mrs. Longfellow, Bobby Benson, Ms. Mary Rose DeTarragon, Mr. Pepper, Mr. Longfellow, Marjorie, Leon, Bobby's friends, Anise, Ginger, Ms. Kreiger

Settings: Vista Vale, September, 8 months ago; Mason Montgomery Preparatory Academy, streets of Vista Vale, The Sweet Spot, Poppy's house, school hallways and restroom, the Longfellow Pharmacy Corporation, Cascade Cove, Bobby's clubhouse, library, Vista Vale Garden of Peace

Themes: relationships, school, winning and loosing, language/speech, good and bad decisions, revenge, baking/recipes, addiction, production and distribution

Reading Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards For Young Adult Readers

Key Ideas and Details*
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

* The number referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org)

Lesson Idea for Young Adult Readers:


The main characters in this text have complex relationships. For that reason, the below handout offers students a chance to connect and explain some of the most important and critical interactions between characters.

For each character, draw TWO connecting relationship or interaction-based lines. After you draw the line from one character to another write a 2 – 3 sentence summary about why that line was important to draw and point out.


Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.