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SPILLING INK by Anne Mazer


A Young Writer’s Handbook

by Anne Mazer & Ellen Potter & illustrated by Matt Phelan

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-514-8
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Two prolific writers for children offer advice on the writing process for young writers. In an engaging, informal style, Mazer and Potter cover the range of writing concerns, from getting started, creating characters, writing dialogue, finding a narrative voice and revising. Clearly the authors had fun compiling their tips, and original metaphors and images for the writing process keep things light: “Mental compost” is the fertile soil of the imagination, the “overflowing toilet” comes from having too many ideas and 300-pound drafts are what students lug around when enthusiastic teachers burden them with too many required steps in the writing process. This volume runs that risk, too, with so much well-intentioned advice that it could become daunting, but Phelan’s illustrations, “I Dare You” sidebars that encourage students to try out ideas and the authors’ own models of their writing help keep the format light and engaging. Young people who have already written a fair amount will best be able to see the value of the advice and will feel as if they have been allowed into a friendly conversation with masters of their craft. The best of recent volumes on the subject. (introduction, appendix) (Nonfiction. 9-14)