Hope in the Mail

Wendelin Van Draanen. Knopf, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-9848-9466-3
In her first guide to writing, bestselling author Van Draanen (Wild Bird) shares “not the boring autobiographical stuff” but, instead, advice that “pertains to writing and silver linings.” She includes anecdotes about her childhood and early writing years, providing personal insights into how she became a success. Most fun of all, she reveals how the ideas for her stories developed. For instance, readers learn that Sammy Keyes, a teen sleuth whose adventures kept the author busy for 18 books, bears a keen resemblance to a young Van Draanen, who wrote the first four books when she was teaching full-time and raising two children in Santa Maria, Calif. Throughout, Van Draanen provides both practical suggestions and encouragement to writers in a genuine, nondidactic tone. Suitable for both teens and adults, her amusingly told path to publication may serve as a beacon of hope for some struggling writers, and her creative suggestions may prove useful to those looking to sharpen their writing abilities. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/07/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 304 pages - 978-1-9848-9467-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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