Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 26, 2021

Book Giveaway: MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD by Rochelle Melander

Rochelle Melander has written a new non-fiction picture book, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD, illustrated by Melina Ontiveros and published by Beaming Books. Coming out in November. Rochelle has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Tina and Åsa.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their words–transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Now it’s your turn! Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference. Readers will explore nature with Rachel Carson, experience the beginning of the Reformation with Martin Luther, champion women’s rights with Sojourner Truth, and many more. These richly illustrated stories of inspiring speechmakers, scientists, explorers, authors, poets, activists, and even other kids and young adults will engage and encourage young people to pay attention to their world, to honor their own ideas and dreams, and to embrace the transformative power of words to bring good to the world.


The idea for Mightier Than the Sword came from the work I do with young people. In 2006, I started a writing program for children in Milwaukee. In the beginning, we met at an inner-city church. Each week, I’d bring in a mentor text, and we’d use it as a writing prompt. One of the students brought in educator Erin Gruwell’s The Freedom Writers Diary, and we read that together. That project prompted me to search for other stories of young people whose writing changed the world. When I wrote my book proposal for Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It), I included Mightier Than the Sword as a potential follow up book.

I started a journal for the book and jotted down notes about interesting writers and their work. I developed lessons based on these writers, sharing them with the Dream Keepers. I carted around stacks of books to libraries and schools, so I could show pictures of writers like Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde. The young people loved seeing famous writers who looked like their family members! In 2016, I began researching the book in earnest—and scoured anthologies, textbooks, and online history sites to find writers.

In late 2017, while setting New Year’s goals, I decided to focus on creating a book proposal for Mightier Than the Sword. In early 2018, I took Middle Grade Mastery from the Children’s Book Academy and had the opportunity to pitch the idea to a group of agents and editors. One of the agents expressed interest, and I wrote the proposal in a couple of months. She ended up passing on the project, but her interest helped me revise the proposal.

Over the next year and a half, I submitted the book proposal to agents. I sought out feedback from friends and critique partners. I revised the proposal multiple times. And I collected rejections—so many passes! By the summer of 2019, I was worried that Mightier would never find a home. But then I tried #PitMad—and an editor at Beaming Books offered me a contract.

The next six months was a whirlwind of research and writing. I worked with the editorial team to choose 40 writers to feature in the book. (I’d selected 50 writers for the proposal—but that was too many.) In addition, I would need 100 writers for sidebars. We also added “interludes”—chapters on topics like film and comic books. We worked hard to develop a list of diverse writers. After teaching young people for many years, I knew that many of them did not see themselves as writers. They wanted to be police officers and nurses and environmentalists. I wanted to show them that people in these professions wrote, too—and that their writing made a big difference in the world!

I see Mightier Than the Sword as celebration of writers and writing. But it’s also a social justice book that shows readers how writing can be used to help us heal and support the world in becoming a better place. It features the stories of people who have used their words to cope with trauma, explore the natural world, change their circumstances, capture new ideas, and help other people. But the book is also a call to action. It invites young people to observe the world around them and use their words to invite change. As I say in the introduction,

“The minute you put pen to paper, you change. When you share your writing, it changes others. Your words have the power to transform you and your world.”

About  the author. Rochelle Melander wrote her first book at seven and has published 11 books for adults. Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is her debut book for children. She’s a professional certified coach, an artist educator and the founder of Dream Keepers, a writing workshop for young people. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, children, and two dogs. Visit her online at or

About the book: Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is a middle grade social justice book pairing life changing writing exercises with the stories of a diverse group of people who changed lives and communities throughout history. The book features people from a variety of disciplines who used their words to educate people about the stars, advocate for women’s rights, end slavery, save the environment, protest injustice, and more. Sidebars explore types of writing, fun facts, and further resources.


Rochelle Melander wrote her first book at seven and has published 11 books for adults, including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) and Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity.  She’s a professional certified coach, an artist educator and the founder of Dream Keepers, a writing workshop for young people. Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is her debut book for children. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, children, and two dogs.

Visit her online at or

Twitter: @WriteNowCoach





Melina Ontiveros is an accomplished illustrator who graduated as an Industrial Designer. When she discovered art and illustration were her true life passions, she soon started her career as a children’s book illustrator. Her goal with her art is to inspire people to reconnect with the child we all carry inside. When she’s not drawing, she likes to spend her free time reading fiction, watching funny shows, and baking cakes.


She has worked on illustrations for Westbrook Entertainment and more. As a proud self-taught artist, she enjoys experimenting with color and textures. She lives in the North of Mexico. Follow her on Instagram.


Rochelle, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. This book is a wealth of information and love the inspiring biographies with activities with tips. Teachers, parents, and children will love Mightier Than The Sword. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Love the concept here, we need more accessible non-fiction for children like this. There’s so much to learn. Thanks!
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a super day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book looks fantastic! Way to go, Rochelle! What a beautiful tribute to the power of words and the people who wrote them. Very moving. Lovely illustrations, Melina!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, wow!! This sounds like an incredible book. Can’t wait to share this one with my writers group.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Rochelle, from another WI author. Congrats on the book! Looks great.
    very nice write up too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This sounds like a wonderful collection. I am sharing on Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have been hearing a lot about this book. It looks great. Thanks for the post. I follow your blog by email.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds amazing! Congratulations, Rochelle! I Tweeted this, Kathy, and follow your blog daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The subtitle is music to my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

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