July 18, 2022 Good Morning Lynne! I have a quick thank-you for you, from the girls in my Summer STEM club! We got some awesome resources thanks to the stuff you have on your Fun Ideas page for Michigan History Nightmares (MHN) on your website. Everyone was having a lot of fun with the science activities we found and I think it's going to be an excellent tool... They thought you might appreciate hearing how helpful your page was for our group =) So thank you! Sincerely, Miss Martin
Hi Lynne...We met you over the summer at the Earth Fair in Goodells. Our daughter Anna LOVES your books. She just started on Volume 3 and someone at school stole her book and bookmark. I would love to purchase a new signed copy for her for Christmas and also a signed copy of Volume 4. (November, 2018)
Hello...I met you at the Lakeview craft fair...My name is Jessi Dobbins and I purchased your book set. Well, I have only read the first half of book 1 aloud so far, but my students LOVE IT! I wanted to inquire about your schedule for coming in for a book talk with my class later this year...I am at Elmwood school in South Lake! Also my co worker heard all about the stories and wanted me to inquire if you plan any second grade social studies focused books in the future! (November, 2018)
Teacher-turned-Author puts spin on Michigan history By Nick Mordowanec (C&G NEWSPAPERS; posted October 5, 2016)
Lynne Smyles reads from one of her Michigan History Nightmares books at a Lakeview Public Schools elementary. The Clinton Township resident became an author after retiring from teaching in Lakeview schools in St. Clair Shores. (photo provided by Lakeview Public Schools)
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Lynne Smyles is back where it all began…The Clinton Township resident retired in 2005 after teaching first- through third-graders for 37 years in Lakeview Public Schools in St. Clair Shores. She continued substitute teaching until 2010. “Then it was like, OK, now what am I gonna do?” Smyles said. She recalled how toward the end of her original teaching tenure, a former principal had suggested she write her own books. After all, she had experience in the classroom by putting on elaborate plays and writing original scripts. As a teacher, she had the opportunity to teach Michigan history, as well as art, for a short period of time. Never really a big proponent of history textbooks, she had an idea to incorporate Michigan history into stories that provided more entertainment. “I hated history as a young gal, and my mom used to say, if you think about it as a story, it will be more interesting,” she said. She started bouncing around ideas in 2008, and by 2014, she had published the first book in her “Michigan History Nightmares” series. The first volume focuses on a young girl named Katie and her friends, who are sucked through a computer screen and become trapped inside a giant glacier. As the group looks for a way to escape their perilous situation, they become acclimated with different aspects of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and discover how it was formed. “The first one was a first shot at it,” Smyles said. “I’m thinking, I need to keep this short and not develop characters a lot. Just develop facts.” In the second book, released in 2015, Katie and her friends live out their nightmares by being sent back in time to explore Michigan’s Native American history and ancient burial mounds. In the third book, which came out this year, researching the Michigan fur trade on Halloween becomes a scary reality. The group this time finds themselves captured by pirates, attacked by bears and shot through rapids in the 17th century. The next volume in the series will encompass the American Revolutionary War, Smyles said, and it’s unclear if that will complete the series. Her stream-of-consciousness writing has encapsulated children near and far. “My wish is that these books could be adopted by schools themselves, for level reading and teaching Michigan history,” Smyles said. “It could reinforce the curriculum that third-grade teachers or fourth-grade teachers could enforce in a class setting.” She invested about $1,800 to publish her books through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. The fun part about her work is that she attends book clubs and craft shows, and conducts assemblies for schoolchildren of all ages. “I loved being with (kids). You could cook with them and do art projects with them and they were having fun,” Smyles said. “They give hugs when I leave. It’s a fun way of interacting, teaching and selling. You ask, ‘Do you like what you’re hearing?’” Smyles joked that she thought she was going to teach until she didn’t know who she was, but figuring out how kids learn in a different capacity has become a whole new experience. Her life journey has come to fruition in a similar fashion to her stories: “It kind of falls into place.” Smyles’ books are available on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble. She will be one of about 60 authors present during an event Oct. 23 at Leon & Lulu in Clawson…Visit lynnesmyles.com for more information.
Hi Lynne, (June, 2016) I bought your first two books at the Goodells Earth Fair and have shared it with the other two 3rd grade teachers in our building. Our kids love it! It's fast paced, interesting, and touches on all the things we have studied in social studies this year. When will your 3rd book be out? We would like to purchase a set of all 3 books for our 3rd grade teachers next year and I would love that 3rd book for myself. I'll be sure to share your website with other teachers in our district.
Thanks so much, Kathleen Dingman - 3rd Grade Teacher & Library Media Specialist Pine River Elementary, East China School District
I want to thank you for writing these books. My son ordered them through his elementary school (Arno Elementary in Allen Park Public Schools); our whole family read them and we can't wait for volume 3! Do you have a release date for it? Thanks so much -Lea Bass
a few words from my CreateSpace Editor, Brittan...
I always appreciate stories that revisit history. This story was so much fun to read, and I definitely imagine kids in the targeted age group really enjoying the magical twists. It reminds me of many of the books I grew up with.
I think the story’s biggest strength is the passion for history that comes through the text. The characters are all engaged with history, and this comes through, not only via their magical experiences, but also when they craft intricate projects for school.
I learned a lot about seventeenth-century French fur traders from this story (Book 3, Due out in June!). This is a fantastic alternative to a standard history textbook!
Salk students loved Lynne's engaging and educational presentation. They were thrilled that the books they ordered were personalized and delivered quickly. It was an absolute pleasure working with Lynne.
Janet Kijek, Salk Elementary Media Tech Assistant Fraser Public Schools (April, 2016)
Sharing a special note from a student at one of the schools that I recently visited...
"I think both of the books are amazing, and I don’t know which one is the best! I love how it talks about history, but in a fun way. I love all of her books. You should get one!"
Ethan Dubay Edison Elementary Student March 31, 2016
This is Aiden...
I met him at a recent craft show where I was signing books. He is an avid reader and hopes to become an author some day! He enjoyed reading my first book, is anxious to begin Volume 2, and he has inspired me to complete the next book in this series so that it is ready in time for summer reading! Aiden, and students just like him, are exactly the reason why I started writing books about history...
Thanks Aiden, You made my day!
My son Ian and I have enjoyed reading your first Michigan History Nightmares book!
We can't wait to start the next one!
BOOK 3...Fun Story! Reading it with my dad was great! Can't wait to see what happens in the next adventure!
Ian joins the ranks of Published Authors! Congratulations Ian!