New to My Kids' Bookshelves!

My 9th Grader:
  The Giver

My 7th Grader:
  The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
  The Watson's Go To Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
  One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My 4th Grader:
  Star in the Forest by Laura Resau
  Stranded by Jeff Probst & Chris Tebbetts
  Whatever After: If the Shoe Fits by Sarah Mlynowski
  Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper


Hey Kids! So you want to be a writer when you grow up. Okay, maybe not. Whatever your goals are, there's something you have to do in school...write, right?

If you're feeling the writing vibe, great! Keep reading and writing. Read books, magazines, comics, etc. They'll help you become a better writer.



Not feeling the writing vibe, try these...

  1. Start a personal journal at home (aside from school). Write down anything that comes to your mind. If you're stuck on a word then write down, "I'm stuck on a word." Or, if the only thing that comes to your mind is one word, then write that one word, "today, today, today." If you do this often enough, one word will become two words, two words three, and so on. Before you know it, you'll have full sentences.
  2. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, and capitalization when you begin to write. What's most important are your ideas and getting them down on paper.
  3. Write about your personal experiences. You're an expert at this because they're your experiences.
  4. Read and watch stories. Note the language that's used. Try to imitate that language in your own unique way. Oh, and don't forget to critique the stories.
  5. Finally, make up your own ways to get the writing vibe!

Another way to get the writing vibe is to edit someone else's writing. Below is some writing I started but never finished. I put it aside to work on another project. I may come back to it when my current project is complete. Do you have any ideas for how I can make it better?

Ms. Donella said, "Class it's time to write."
I'd rather draw instead.
When I sit to write a story,
the light's not on in my head.

As I look around at the other kids,
some are writing, some are not,
then I look at my own paper,
it's just one-big-empty-spot.

Times passing by, I have nothing written,
and to make things even worse,
I've got serious hunger pains,
maybe I'll go see the nurse.

My teacher asked, "What will you write about?"
I said, "I haven't a hunch."
'Cause really inside of my mind,
I'm busy eating my lunch.

If I told her the truth, here's what I'd say,
"I really don't like to write."
But I don't want, a bad report,
on my parent conference night.

Ms. Donella says, "Start with brainstorming.
Make a list of all your thoughts.
Then put them on____________________???
Use many details...a lot."

Then we start writing a sloppy copy,
this is very-hard-to-do.
I can't write a complete sentence.
My classmates can't do it too.

Kids have started to turn in their stories.
They should not all be the same.
She won't have to worry with mine,
'cause all I have is my name.

I am also a terrible speller.
I can't spell anything right!
I spend hours looking up words.
One time, I stayed up all night.

Once a note read, "I'll help you rewrite this."
This is why writing's not fun!
'Cause when I turn in my papers,
I'm through, I'm finished, I'M DONE!

Then one day, our teacher had an idea.
An author came to our room.

This is where I stopped.

Happy writing!