Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Alum Shares Love For Penn State & Music In Blue Band Children’s Book

For many Penn Staters, sharing their love for Happy Valley with their kids starts early…at least it did for Jacqueline Materia Nardone, an alum who graduated in 2005.

When Materia Nardone had her daughter, Penelope, she began curating a library of children’s books. Naturally, she started to accumulate quite a few Penn State-themed stories, but as the collection grew, she felt that one story was missing.

During her time at Penn State, Materia Nardone was a member of the Blue Band. It was a crucial aspect of her college experience, and it was how she met her husband, Thomas.

“It’s where we met most of the friends that we still have to this day,” Materia Nardone said. “It’s where we practiced and drilled to work on something that was bigger than any single one of us.”

Courtesy of Jacqueline Materia Nardone

The Penn State Blue Band is the foundation of Materia Nardone’s family, and she wanted to share that passion with her daughter. So, she began writing her own children’s book on a trip home from State College.

“I’ve always had an interest in writing,” said Materia Nardone. “I kept journals, wrote to pen pals, and always had a notebook I’d scribble stories into. I’ve always loved telling stories, but more often than not, I kept them to myself.”

This time, the budding author wanted to share her tale with the world, and it wasn’t long before her debut story hit the shelves.

“The Day I Found The Blue Band” follows a young girl who discovers the Penn State Blue Band while tailgating with her family before a football game. The band’s members teach her about different instruments and how they all come together to play a song.

“Writing the story idea itself came fast,” Materia Nardone said. “What took longer was finding the right words and phrases to move the story along.”

Materia Nardone said she wanted the main character to look like her daughter, but Penelope was only a few months old at the time. She took a gamble and gave the protagonist brown hair and blue eyes, but Penelope’s hair turned out to be bright blonde.

Penelope is still a huge fan of the book, nevertheless. Her favorite part is the final page because she can pick out her favorite instrument.

Courtesy of “The Day I Found The Blue Band”

“It always gives me a thrill when she chooses it off the shelf for story time,” said Materia Nardone.

Materia Nardone said she’s not putting the pen down just yet, as she has a few more stories currently in the works. You can follow her on Instagram to stay up to date with her work.

“The Day I Found The Blue Band” is available at the Student Book Store and the Squirrel and Acorn Bookshop in downtown State College. It’s also available online at Mascot Books and Amazon.

As for those who want to follow in her footsteps, Materia Nardone has some words of wisdom — just write.

“I know that sounds silly, but I feel like the hurdles I face are periods of disliking everything I create or getting caught up in editing as I write,” said Materia Nardone. “I think what’s been working for me is just trying to write through that.”

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace is a senior advertising major and Onward State’s social media manager. She is also a co-host of our podcast, Podward State. Like a good New Jerseyan, Grace denounces Snooki and Pennsylvania bagels. However, she loves pranks, the Yankees, and Cake Boss highlight reels. You can follow her on Twitter @gecunningham7 or send videos of babies doing funny stuff to [email protected]

Follow on Another Platform
113kFollowers
157kFollowers
56.8kFollowers
4,570Subscribers
State College Links
Other posts by Grace

Power Ranking The Nittany Lion’s 2022 Football Season Outfits

From Nittany Lion classics to musical sensation look-a-likes, the Symbol of Our Best didn’t miss once this season.

Podward State: Season 7, Episode 6 Ft. Alex Fleece

Beaver Stadium White Out Crowd Control Proves Unacceptable, Dangerous

Top 10 Plays From Penn State Football’s 2022 Season

Take a trip down memory lane by reminiscing on the Nittany Lions’ most impactful sequences of 2022.

Top 10 Plays From Penn State Football’s 2022 Season

Take a trip down memory lane by reminiscing on the Nittany Lions’ most impactful sequences of 2022.

[Photo Story] Penn State Iranian Student Association Hosts Solidarity Rally

Students and community members gathered Wednesday to rally in support of the protests in Iran and to honor the lives lost during the protests.

Power Ranking The Nittany Lion’s 2022 Football Season Outfits

From Nittany Lion classics to musical sensation look-a-likes, the Symbol of Our Best didn’t miss once this season.

 
Send this to a friend