Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook

This week I purchased a title I've read a lot of buzz about online and I'm happy to report it's as well organized and targeted to youth as they say. Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook was written by children's authors, Anne Mazer (the Amazing Days of Abby Hayes series, Sister Magic series, etc.) and Ellen Potter (the Olivia Kidney series, Pish Posh, etc.), illustrated by Matt Phelan. Working in an elementary school, I know just how popular these authors have become. I love their quirky, endearing characters.

If you work with kids and need a resource to help you, help them, to write, or if you know a child with an interest in writing - heck, writers of any age will benefit from the information - get a copy. 23 chapters (or sections) cover everything from Ugly First Drafts, Suspense, Writers Are Strange Creatures. Thank Heavens!, Criticism and ends with a great question and answer session. The writing within the book is entertaining and age appropriate. There's nothing dull about learning to write here. The exercises, aptly titled, I Dare You, offer opportunities for readers to try their hand at the concepts being discussed.

I'll be using Spilling Ink as a resource for my own presentations with students during school visits - hauling my copy around Alberta (along with my other wonderful writing texts!) and encouraging writers of all ages, as well as educators to check it out.

Side Note of Irony: A friend pointed this out to me as she skimmed the book while I raved on and on about it....but on my copy of Spilling Ink, the back cover has a typo in the praise quote from Bruce Coville. "...have craftedsuch a wonderful" - did you catch it? Should be "crafted [space] such". The lack of a space between these two words doesn't diminish the quality of the information in Spilling Ink. I intend to draw attention to this oopsy and use it as an example of how, even big publishers, aka books with lots of "eyes" on them, can still have errors. Again, Spilling Ink teaches right to the last page, and then some. ;)

1 comment:

Tami Klockau said...

Great review, Tracy! I actually hadn't heard of the book until now!