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It doesn't get much better than to meet the author of amazing books, one of which just published and which I'm already reading. Yes, I had the wonderful privilege of seeing Maggie Stiefvater with one of her writing group partners, Brenna Yovanoff (author of The Replacement and The Space Between.)
|interviewing each other|
I got another copy of The Raven Boys for my school, but also one that Maggie, Brenna and the third group partner, Tessa Gratton wrote together, well, sort of. They started a blog (MerryFates.com) 4 years ago to challenge themselves to write different kinds of writing, set prompts for each other, etc. This new book, The Curiosities, is a collection of stories partly from the blog, with sketches and doodles as side comments throughout. I've read a couple of the stories-very fun. One begins "We have a vampire living in our basement."
Best advice: Write all you can for your story-everything! Then start cutting/revising/improving.
If you get stuck, you probably went off your path. Return to where you weren't stuck, and you'll be able to write again.
Other books read:
I came upon this book at school and brought it home thinking my granddaughter who is spending the night would like it. She is three and already is talking about Halloween. The book is so funny, silly sheep dressing up and trick or treating down on the farm with the cows and the chickens, coming upon wolves on the way home who don't recognize them, but are scared by the costumes, including one in a vampire cape and two as an ape. The book rhymes and I had to explain a few words, but in all, we both laughed at Nancy Shaw's sheep, once again.
Squish, Super Amoeba – Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Finally got a copy of this graphic story and enjoyed its flavor, full of real science (I think I would have liked this when I first studied biology). It's about super amoeba, or an amoeba named Squish who eventually sees the real need to turn into Super Amoeba. He has a few friends, and one who saves the day with an out-of-control slime mold (not kidding!). It's easy to see why younger readers will love it, and I'm also hoping they're learn to read some challenging science words.
Whenever I browse in libraries or on Goodreads and in bookstores, I am on the lookout for books that the teachers with whom I work can use. I generally know their class themes, or individual units for each child and keep some of that in my mind while I look. This book fits one particular teacher well because she always has her class create and host a Halloween haunted house for others to visit and in the spring, her students participate in a play performed for the entire school (these are 1st-2nd graders). They act in it, make costumes, props & sets. The book, Think Big is for this teacher and for any theater that shows students how big goals yield satisfying results.
THINK BIG is about creativity, showing beautiful illustrations telling the story of happy kids doing art, making costumes, performing, and so on. The words support the idea that no idea is too big to try.
Zen Ghosts – Jon J. Muth
I’ve been collecting some texts to help a teacher use to begin students thinking about the question “who am I?” This particular book got my attention because it is about Halloween, and a particularly interesting show of Halloween spirit and everything which connections to that holiday. But, it’s oh so much more. There are stories from the Buddha that are called Koans, and Stillwater, the panda whom you’ve met in other Zen books by Muth, takes the children on a journey after trick or treating to hear one of those koans, one titled “Senjo and Her Soul Are Separated”. The backmatter explains that a Koan is a “question that you have to answer for yourself” and this particular one from Stillwater has to do with duality, the person you are with others and the person you really are with yourself. It is also really a ghost story, a hair-raising story to read for Halloween. The illustrations are just beautiful, putting one into that breezy and cool Halloween eve, full moon, ghosts and witches abroad!
Next: Still reading The Raven Boys, and will find more picture books I'm sure. And, there are many books piled around. I imagine I'll find something to read, always.