PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

craft review by Laurel Holman There are as many ways to open a novel as there are novels, and while there are some traditional rules about what to do and not to do, those rules are often broken in the hands of a master storyteller. With so many options, and with so much riding on […]

Craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Reviews of Amy Dixon’s Annie B., Made for TV highlight the spot-on, hilarious middle grade voice of Annie Brown’s narration. “Annie’s first-person narration is hilariously astute.” —Kirkus Review “On the last day of fifth grade, when her best friend Savannah wins every award, Annie muses, ‘the only thing I’m best […]

craft review by Lindsay Lackey In May, Richard Peck, beloved children’s author and champion of writers, passed away. He was a prolific storyteller, penning 41 books in 41 years, and winning numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal in 2001. He was also a generous and wise mentor, offering writers encouragement and advice in conferences and […]

craft review by Lindsay Lackey During his keynote talk at an SCBWI conference in 2016, the late Richard Peck shared his tried and true method for creating a solid first chapter. He said, “I always go back and rewrite the first chapter from scratch after I’ve written the last chapter.” He went on to explain […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman As middle grade writers, we don’t have a lot of time to hook the reader. We can rarely start with three pages of setting, or with a lot of backstory. We need to start in the middle of things, but too much in the middle of things and readers get […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell First chapters are tricky. The craft books tell us that our first chapter needs to ground the reader in the world of our story. It needs to introduce the protagonist and establish the narrative voice. It needs to sow the seeds of the internal story and the external plot. Above […]