HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Travis Jonker, Author of The Very Last Castle: My Writing And Reading Life

Travis Jonker, Author of The Very Last Castle: My Writing And Reading Life

The Children’s Book Review | October 17, 2018


Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian and creator of 100 Scope Notes, a kidlit blog hosted by School Library Journal. He was a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. Jonker lives with his wife and two children in Zeeland, Michigan.

I write because…

It helps me.

I read because…

The book is always better than the movie.

My latest published book is…

The Very Last Castle, illustrated by Mark Pett, edited by Tamar Brazis, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers.

I wrote this book because…

It chose me, I think. It started with a question from my daughter (“Are there castles anymore?”) then came the title, and the story followed.

The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker
Best moment…

Reading The Very Last Castle with my students (I’m a K-4 school librarian).

My special place to write is…

My desk, right after I’ve been outside.

Necessary writing/creativity tool…

Notebooks. Physical (Leda Odyssey) and digital (Google Docs).

The person who has been my greatest writing teacher or inspiration is…

Tomi Ungerer

Currently reading…

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi, Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

Favorite bookshop…

McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Michigan.

All-time favorite children’s book I didn’t write…

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer. It’s perfect.

Favorite illustrator…

It’s hard to not go with Maurice Sendak.

A literary character I would like to vacation with…

Moomintroll in the French Riviera.

When I am not reading or writing I am…

Eating trail mix.

You can learn about Travis Jonker at 100scopenotes.com and on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

The Very Last Castle

Written by Travis Jonker

Illustrated by Mark Pett

Publisher’s Synopsis: A curious little girl watches the man who guards the last castle in town. Every time she passes by him, she tries to catch his eye. While the other towns people fear what may be locked up inside the mysterious castle, the girl finally gets up the courage to knock on the door and find out what’s really behind the gate. A story about overcoming fear of the unknown, trying new things, and reaching out to make new friends, The Very Last Castle shows that bravery comes in packages both big and small.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | October 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1368016346

Available Here: 

Discover more books like The Very Last Castle, written by Travis Jonker and illustrated by Mark Pett, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , and ; plus, be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • Awe! I love this book 🙂 Thanks for sharing more about you. Can’t wait to pick it up!

    March 22, 2019

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