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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

analysis by Aimee Haburjak and Kristi Wright Do a search on elements of a good picture book and you’ll quickly find a treasure trove of lists. Here’s one by agent Tracy Marchini. And another by author Margo Finke. And yet another by author Kathryn Evans. Every author, agent, and editor who works in the children’s […]

craft review by Jesaka Long In contrast to the rich yet static symbolism of Dolly Parton’s music in Dumplin’ (see Part 1 of this post here) where Dolly’s songs guide Willow Dean throughout the story,  the main symbol in John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior evolves throughout the story, thus helping to elevate the stakes […]

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 […]

craft review by Becky Levine You hear this over and over again: your story hero needs to face obstacles, grow and learn, and then . . . dive into that dark cave for the sword, come out swinging, and change their world for the better. Even in a picture book. Even when your hero is […]

by Jen Jobart Like everyone else these days, I keep busy.  I don’t currently have a paying job, but I’m the primary caretaker for two kids – one who I homeschool, and one who goes to a parent participation school, where I teach writing to my son’s fellow fourth graders.  Someone literally always needs something […]

craft review by Kristi Wright   Kate Hannigan’s historical novel, The Detective’s Assistant, is set right before Abe Lincoln is inaugurated as president. It intertwines the tale of a fictional orphaned eleven-year-old, Nell Warne, with the story of the real first female detective in America, Kate Warne, of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency. Historical fiction always poses […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Katherine Applegate’s novel-in-verse, Home of the Brave, is an intricate story. Kek, a ten-year-old refugee from Sudan, lands in Minnesota in the middle of winter and has to make sense of his new world. It is at once a story of leaving a life behind, engaging with a new world, […]

craft review by Kristi Wright I’m a prose writer through and through, but I love stories told in verse. Novels-in-verse are constructed as a series of poems, with each poem typically a unique chapter. The poem series still demands a narrative arc–complete with rising action, climax and resolution–and character development remains as important as ever. […]