PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

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 […]

craft review by Sonya Doernberg One of the important decisions we have to make as writers is how to narrate our middle grade story. Using first-person point-of-view allows the reader to see events through the narrator’s eyes. Second-person POV, which is rarely used, makes the reader feel like a character in the story. The third-person […]

compiled by Anne-Marie Strohman Memorial Day was originally meant to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. The day was first widely observed in 1868. While some people today honor all those who have served in the military, it is primarily a remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in all American wars. On […]

interview by Kate O’Shaughnessy We are thrilled to welcome Darcey Rosenblatt to the blog! Darcey is famous among writers in our area for starting an annual craft-based workshop for advanced middle grade and young adult novelists called Better Books Marin. She is a champion for writers, and an accomplished writer herself. Her debut middle grade novel […]

craft review by Kate O’Shaughnessy Back in January, two popular children’s book authors—Matt de la Peña and Kate DiCamillo—engaged in a discourse about the importance of including tough subject matter in children’s books. (Read Matt’s essay: “Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children from Darkness.”. And Kate’s: “Why Children’s Books Should Be a Little Sad.”) Specifically, de […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell Lately, I’ve been preoccupied by Lisa Cron’s concept of a novel’s “third rail,” the protagonist’s inner struggle that propels the story (see my craft review of Cron’s Story Genius). As I read MG books, I ask myself: What is the protagonist’s misbelief? What is the origin of that misbelief? How […]

We are delighted to have Lois Sepahban, author of Paper Wishes, stop by to answer some of our questions. (See our craft review here.) Below you’ll find Lois’s thoughtful responses, which give insight into her writing process and research process, as well as the story itself. Lois hails from Minnesota and has written non-fiction for children. […]

craft review by Becky Levine It’s fiction. We can write pretty much anything you want, right? We’re making up the story, we’re creating the world, and what we put into that world is up to us. There’s just one challenge. Our readers have to believe it. In Lois Sephaban’s Paper Wishes, Manami and her family […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Last week, we examined a few of the ways Lauren Wolk establishes the setting of Wolf Hollow without using straight descriptive paragraphs. (Read Part 1 here.) Today the discussion continues by looking at how she creates the spatial relationships among the various settings in the novel.   Using Repetition to Establish […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman When the title of the book is the name of the place it’s set, you know setting is going to be important, as is the case in Lauren Wolk’s Wolf Hollow. Though the plot is gripping and the characters strong (as LA Biscay explored in her post), the setting is […]