If you are looking for a mentor text with a strong lead, then I think you'll find Infinity and Me by Gabi Swiatkowska to be a wonderful book. Not only will you find a terrific lead, but I think you will also find the main character's "I wonders" a terrific way to encourage your writers to consider all of the things they "wonder" as well. The pictures have a lovely and soft "steampunk" quality...making Infinity and Me infinitely engaging. An Uncommon to the Core Teacher
Don't let their childhood go by without knowing these great characters and places. These are the books that have deeply impacted us as children and adults; these are the books that made us fall madly in love with reading. These are the books that every home should own.