PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

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Middle Grade

Middle Grade

From Identity to Essence: the Internal Journey in Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

craft review by Jen Jobart Kids do a lot of growing up from ages 8-12. Books are meant to grow with them and inspire them along their journey. A lot of middle grade books have a protagonist whose character arc moves towards independence over the course of the book. The middle grade novel Bob is […]

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guest post by Naomi Kinsman A couple days ago, I stood in front of a third grade classroom acting out a scene between a giant and a young girl, complete with action and dialogue. Afterward, in our class discussion and in one-on-one conversations, the youth writers and I unpacked specificity of voice, gesture, subtext, tone, […]

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craft review by LA Biscay In the first post of Structuring Story with Character Arc in Hello, Universe, we examined some early plot elements–the hook, the inciting incident, and the key event–and how those elements are tied to Virgil’s Lie (or Belief that Must Be Changed) and Fear. The Character Arc in the early part […]

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craft review by LA Biscay Whether or not Erin Entrada Kelly used a prescribed form of story structure while writing her 2018 Newberry Award winning book, Hello, Universe, I could sense solid bones during my first reading. I giggled, I teared up, I enjoyed the characters’ journeys, and since the novel is told from four […]

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re sending you some books we love! These are books that have inspired us as writers and helped us to reimagine our writing processes as well as shape our writing lives. May you too be inspired.   Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It just came at the right […]

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craft review by Kristi Wright HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly won the John Newbery Medal in 2018, a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children.” On the cover of the book, directly below the HELLO, UNIVERSE title […]

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craft review by Kat St. Claire Four books we read in our MG Book Group this year got me thinking about how a writer can use science and science facts to launch into fiction, even the fantastic. I’ve divided these four books into two categories. The first category I’ll call, From science facts to science fiction […]

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craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Figuring out the opening for a novel can be daunting. We know we need to draw our readers in, to make them want to turn the page. And we have so many choices! Even with the myriad ways to open a novel, there are some basic strategies that underlie even […]

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craft review by Becky Levine Before I read Paul Acampora’s Confusion is Nothing New, my favorite of his books was How to Avoid Extinction. It’s now a toss-up which of the two sits at the top of my list. Confusion is Nothing New is brilliant in so many ways. For today, though, I’m going to […]

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interview by Kristi Wright Gennifer Choldenko is the Newbery Honor, ALA notable, NYT Best-selling author of Tales from Alcatraz along with numerous other novels and picture books. Recently, she visited our middle grade book club, and we were beyond delighted to ask her all about her very successful Alcatraz series, especially her fourth in the […]

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