In this combination memoir and writing handbook, Newbery Medalist Fleischman (Joyful Noise) writes with humor and frankness about growing up in Santa Monica, Calif., in the 1960s. With supportive parents who encouraged inventiveness and exploration, Fleischman developed both an insatiable curiosity and wanderlust at a young age. From building a shortwave radio at age 10, to creating his own satirical news pamphlet in high school, to traversing the country with little more than the clothes on his back, he details how early experiences provided inspiration for his characters and stories. His amusing anecdotes also lead nicely into the “Writing Know-How” tips he sprinkles throughout the book. Though his stories are easy to read and engaging, Fleischman’s advice for writers—asking questions, drawing from your own experiences, and keeping a notebook handy to jot down observations and thoughts—is fairly standard, and may even get lost amid the volume’s memoir components. Still, the book serves as an inspiring look at how an award-winning author eventually found his voice, and may prompt a budding young writer to find the courage to put pen to paper. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/25/2019 Release date: 10/01/2019 Genre: Children's
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