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MIDDLE GRADE

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Middle Grade

Significant Detail in Louisiana’s Way Home. Part 2: Character

craft review by Lindsay Lackey In Louisiana’s Way Home, two-time Newbery medalist Kate DiCamillo’s use of significant and specific detail infuses her stories with vibrancy, despite her often low word-count. In my first post in this series, I discussed how her details of setting both illuminate and foreshadow. Here, I want to look at her […]

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craft review by Lindsay Lackey It’s no surprise that a two-time Newbery medalist is a master of her craft. Kate DiCamillo’s books are international bestsellers and have garnered numerous awards. She’s known for writing complex and compelling characters, rich Southern settings, and crisp, clear prose—all of which are on display in her 2018 middle grade […]

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guest post by Jackie Friedman Mighdoll  When you do a library search for books in the category “Kids’ Literature: Humor,” you find a wide range from Appleblossom the Possum through Zombie Butts from Uranus. And the sense of humor in them ranges, too. I’ve been looking for humor tactics for my own writing, so I […]

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As writers it’s easy to have an abstract concept of your audience when working at your desk, far removed from the energy and bright perspective of kids. When you’re writing for a certain age of reader, especially middle graders, it can help to observe kids themselves. You can also be inspired by how other middle […]

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craft review by Kristi Wright One of my goals as a writer is to write books that give children a sense of wonder. But how do you do that? How do you give your readers a shimmery, shivery experience that transcends the mundane, that astonishes them, that fills them with awe? Sweep: The Story of […]

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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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