I picked 10 novels off my middle grade and young adult shelves. All books I've read and enjoyed, but I was curious to pay closer attention to how they start. Do their opening lines have a hook? Let's take a look: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate I am Ivan. I am a… Continue reading 10 Opening Lines: Do they entice you to read on?
When I first started writing YA, long ago, I picked up Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. It's a book I still highly recommend today. However, it's been years since I read it, so I've pulled it off my shelf to give it my time and attention again. And I'm rather amused.… Continue reading Regina Brooks’ 5 Rules for Engaging YA Readers
Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as… Continue reading Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
I was recently asked by one of my readers my thoughts on the dialogue tag "said." I do have thoughts, and thank you for asking this question. In grade school we are taught to use all kinds of dialogue tags: "Watch out," he exclaimed; "Get back here right now," she yelled; "We can't go to… Continue reading “Use dialogue tags sparingly, if at all,” she said.
Where I Belong by Tara White This moving novel of self-discovery and redemption takes place during the Oka Crisis of the summer of 1990. Having been adopted as an infant, Carrie has always felt out of place—and recurring dreams keep warning that someone close to her will be badly hurt. When she finds out that… Continue reading Book Review: Where I Belong by Tara White
I've written stories nearly all my life. I still have an original from when I was in grade two, three maybe. I wrote poetry and gory short stories through my teens. Picture books when my kids were little. And now, I focus on novel writing for middle grade and young adult audiences. Amazing how our… Continue reading The biggest lesson about the editing process.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the… Continue reading Book Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate