PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

author:

Jen Jobart

craft review by Jen Jobart Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is the story of a girl who must embrace her otherness in order to save the world. Sunny, who recently moved from Nigeria to the US, is struggling to fit in. Her albino skin makes her “other” in her new community.  Then she makes a […]

craft review by Jen Jobart In Chapter 6 of his book The Anatomy of Story, John Truby talks about building a story world that reinforces the story you’re telling.  Jessica Townsend’s book Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a great case study for how to do this. Nevermoor is the story of Morrigan Crow, […]

craft post by Jen Jobart The Worldbuilding chapter of the John Truby’s book The Anatomy of Story was the culmination of several things that help me to realize that there are a finite number of stories that can be written.  There are endless ways to write those stories, but we humans are all the same […]

by Jen Jobart BayCon is an annual California Bay Area fantasy conference for writers, artists, and fans.  I attended the conference as a writer of middle grade fantasy. I had a lot of fun and had many opportunities to talk about and learn new things in the company of other creative people.  BayCon was my […]

craft review by Jen Jobart One of the reasons that Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is such an intriguing read is that its cast of engaging characters expresses common archetypes–the character roles that universally populate stories. Bertram’s novel follows twelve-year-old Emily, new to San Francisco, as she follows clues in a mysterious book that […]

by Jen Jobart Sometimes one book just isn’t enough. Sometimes kids want to spend more time with characters they love, or in a world they find intriguing.  And sometimes, for writers, one book just isn’t enough to tell the story we want to tell. That’s where series come in. You have two options when writing […]

craft review by Jen Jobart If you gave most kids the choice between unlimited books of a compelling book series and a truck full of candy, it would be a tough choice. Middle grade kids are ravenous readers, and there’s nothing better than a shelf of books that is seemingly never-ending. Usually our discussion group […]

craft review by Jen Jobart Writing a character readers love is the holy grail. In her book The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults, Cheryl Klein writes, “Even more than an exciting story, compelling characters make the reader turn the pages, because they offer the intimacy of a relationship, the unpredictability of real […]

Review by Jen Jobart You might think that Save the Cat! is just a book about screenwriting, given that its subtitle is “The Last Book On Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need.”   Many movies do use the beat sheet, created by Blake Snyder. It’s especially easy to see in Disney and Pixar films, as well as […]

Craft review by Jen Jobart When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was A Wrinkle in Time.  I’m sure many of you can relate–how many of us were inspired to write children’s books by Madeleine L’Engle? And do any of you remember the magic of the movie The NeverEnding Story?  I still […]