Category Archives: Trends in books

Whose Needs to Be Involved in Reading Curriculum?

Parents, children and school personnel all need to be involved reviewing books for the literature curriculum. I’ll tell you why. In sixth they had us read the Iliad and I wasn’t getting it. I asked my mom to read it to … Continue reading

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Choice

Ninth grade literature class–I was not aware that I had been chosen for the class of only twelve students. We read a few short stories in common and discussed them. The lengthier novels we selected for ourselves and read them … Continue reading

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Crime and picture books

At the library my five-year-old son pulled out a beautifully illustrated book of an old steam train. He had ridden in a few that still run for tourists. It was the kind of activity we did as a family, and … Continue reading

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How likeable does a character have to be?

We often hear it is absolutely necessary for your protagonist to be likable. I take this advice not just with a grain of salt but with a huge chunk of sodium chloride. One of my very dislikable characters (according to … Continue reading

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Researching memorable characters

What makes a character memorable? There is no one clear cut answer and even much debate over which ones have that quality.  I have researched a number of lists, particularly for characters from novels written in the 20th century. After … Continue reading

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Obnoxious characters

Creating villains is much like creating protagonists. They are people with depth and a history. A villain follows discernible motives just like the hero does. Only at some point in their life, villains take an ethical shortcut to get ahead. … Continue reading

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Want a good tip?

Have you ever chatted with a person and mentioned publishing some work only to be barraged with requests for writing tips? Although we would long to be full of wisdom, providing that kind of information is not easy. Sometimes it … Continue reading

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A new definition of literacy

A child of mine made a joking statement that if we wanted to raise the level of writing we needed to lower the number of people who are literate. The supposed logic behind this suspect claim is that the books … Continue reading

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The fantasy fad

When I attended a seminar for writers of young adult (YA) books, the speakers were all writing fantasy works. Nobody seemed to be creating realistic young adult novels. There should be room for mine, right? Maybe not. When I coached … Continue reading

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Language fashion trends

Speaking a language is a skill that we continue to do all our lives. If a child hears the language spoken properly, they will learn to speak it correctly without thinking about it. At least they will be speaking it correctly … Continue reading

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