Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Good Writing is Good Writing, no matter the age

Front Cover
Bruce Colville, 1993
My love for good children’s books goes way, way back to when I was studying to be a teacher.  The assignment was to create a display that would fascinate a classroom of children and inspire them to read the book shown.

I chose Winnie the Pooh, since I really did not know of many children’s books.  My display was pretty anemic, as was my re-telling of the story.

After that, the world of children’s books also became my world.  A well-written children’s book opens the door for the student to love reading--then to love writing-- and to keep on reading.  Without that initial inspiration, students may not reach for the Moby Dick on the high school library shelf.

One of my favorite read-aloud chapter books was Jennifer Murdley’s Toad.  It was nominated for a California Award for the Third Grade’s favorite book.  A short review goes as follows:

Source
An awkward and homely girl, Jennifer Murdley lives daily with ridicule from other students.  She wishes she could be like them.  On the way home from school, Jennifer notices an unknown street and a store, Elves Magic Shop.  She purchases a big toad from the very odd proprietor.  The secretive toad starts talking to Jennifer after she leaves the shop.  Through the story, Jennifer learns about his very strange life and the witch out to get him.... Lots of adventures follow.

This book was written by Bruce Coville and was published in 1992 by Harcourt.
It is worth a read, even if you are beyond third grade or graduate school or an old curmudgeon .  Good writing is good writing, no matter the audience.

JENNIFER MURDLEY'S TOAD by Bruce Coville
Source

Just a note: I have ordered this book from the local Barnes and Noble and will share it with my granddaughters.  Why didn't I use Amazon?  I support local business and stores.  B & N is a long time friend with a then-novel relaxing approach for customers.  I like that.


23 comments:

  1. I remember when B&N and other large bookstores knocked out the smaller local bookstores. Now they are in trouble because the convenience of Amazon has taken over. However, I am with you, I love my B&N.

    I will look for that book for my granddaughters to read, but I will read it first because you peaked my interest.

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    1. That was a heart-breaker, and now B/N is on the receiving end. Oh, how I miss my favorite store "The White Rabbit"!

      I don't know what Amazon will do--I hope B/N can hold on to the faithful.

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  2. Sounds like a great book. I'll look for it for the grands.

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    1. I find myself in the children and YA sections more and more. It feels like coming home!

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  3. When my children were in grade school the world of good kids' books like this was also my world, and I LOVED these kinds of books. This one sounds so good, I want to read it myself!

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    1. With my gr-daughters now voracious readers, I know they will love this book. You will enjoy it too.

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  4. Yep, doesn't matter the age or the book, if the writing is grand and one isn't a stick in the mud, can be good for all ages

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    1. Since you are actively producing children's books, you might enjoy this book. Hope you give it a chance.

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  5. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossip and net stuff Cccam Server and this is actually annoying. A good site with exciting content that is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I can’t find it.

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    1. No, no newsletters here. My blog posts are more on perspective and observations, as well as family stories. Apparently my family has some interesting history.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Dear Susan, last Tuesday when I came to your blog, you told us about" Millions of Cats" and I have my name on the library list to read. It has the exact cover that you showed us. Today you give me a new book--not cats, but a frog-- and I'll look for it in the library also. I, too, so enjoy children's books but only in the last four years have I really read a lot of them. I have a few treasured books from my childhood, but I've missed so many truly wonderfully written children's books throughout my life. So thank you again and yet again for sharing your favorites with us. Peace.

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    1. Good children's books are so important!

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  7. I LOVE children's books. I read them, and reread them. And some of them are firmly ensconced in my memory bank so I can recite great slabs from memory. Thank you (I think) for putting further temptation in my weak willed way.

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    1. This will a be fun-read, as it is a new way to look at an old fairy tale.

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  8. My grandchildren are voracious readers, and I am the circuit librarian, returning their books on the way to work and bringing more home. I too have missed a generation of books, and when I look at some of the titles I'm bringing home the librarians generally give me a quick overview and tell me it's good for them. Then I check out A Tale of Two Cities and heave a sigh of relief. The librarians also tell me they hope this lot never leaves town; their numbers will plummet.

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    1. I do hope that the children who become adults remain in the community. That happened to my generation. We left, didn't return. I don't know how the community is doing now. My own small hometown has all but disappeared.

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  9. I've never heard of this book, which isn't surprising, I so rarely go into the children's section of any bookshop or library. I should, and see what is available now that wasn't when I was a child, or later when my children were young.

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    1. This book was in the mid 1990s, but is still available through order, since Bruce Coville is still a very active YA writer.

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  10. The better the writing the less it matters the age group

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  11. The toad is a good way to get her mind off of the disapprovers at school, and I bet way more fun/exciting. :)

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    1. This is a new take on the usual fairy tales. Very fun.

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  12. I love children's books. There is no better way to learn then though a good book.
    http://littleladyplays.blogspot.com

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!