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|Been there, done that : writing stories from real life|
Where do authors get their ideas? And how do they turn those ideas into stories? This anthology looks at the process of taking real-life experiences and turning them into works of engaging fiction. The collection features award-winning and bestselling middle-grade authors who provide both original fictional short stories as well as the nonfiction accounts that inspired them.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 177368
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/15)
School Library Journal (10/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 4–7—A collection of short works from a wide variety of young adult and juvenile fiction writers. Each piece has two parts: actual events from the author's' life and the story that was inspired by that event. The book is organized into six thematic chapters such as "If Only…: Dealing with Regret, Guilt, and Sadness" and "Why or Why Not?: Asking Questions About the World Around You." Some of the works have identifiable flavors of the actual event while others merely use a kernel of truth for their story. One of the best is "Lemon Squeeze" by Caroline Starr Rose, based on stories she was told by her mother. Lemon Squeeze was a game played by her mother in the Little Nippers club, where each girl contributed an anonymous "suggestion" to another girl. Rose spins a story written in free verse poetry. Each girl has her own voice and tells her inner thoughts about the game and the hurt feelings that go along with criticism. Many of the stories feel like "works in progress" and read more like developmental practice. As a result, some of the creative stories may not stand well on their own. This collection will work best in a classroom setting, as the entries are solid mentor texts for "write what you know" exercises. VERDICT A worthwhile purchase to fulfill a specific niche.—Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2015 Winchell’s collection of tales inspired by real life features short stories from some of the most acclaimed middle-grade writers in the business—Rita Williams-Garcia, Gary D. Schmidt, Karen Cushman, etc. From contemporary realistic to graphic novel style to sci-fi, the stories in this collection span the breadth of the middle-grade market while also featuring a diverse cast of characters. Standouts from the collection include Linda Sue Park’s deeply affecting story, “The Voice,” based on the author’s childhood experience losing a distinct classmate, and Grace Lin’s “The Jade Ring,” which shows how a well-placed roll of toilet paper eased the journey to a new country. Humorous stories from Alan Lawrence Sitomer, Adam Rex, and Chris Rylander bring levity and balance to the collection. Each story is prefaced with the author’s account of what really happened, proving that the old adage “Write what you know” can take a story in so many rich directions. This collection offers a little something for everyone and plenty of opportunities for classroom writing exercises. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.