NONFICTION

Brave the Page

Viking. Aug. 2019. 304p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780451480293.
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Gr 5 Up–Every November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) provides an excellent opportunity for young people to flex their creative muscles. However, writing a novel in a month is pretty overwhelming, especially for those new to the craft. Fortunately, this title will motivate aspiring authors. The book’s strength lies in its humorous and conversational reassurance. When learning writing techniques in school, students are often given clear, even strict parameters related to outlining and research. While these parameters can help students understand expectations, not everyone intuitively responds to the same methods. This book gives writers permission to figure out what works for them and acknowledges that writers are hardest on themselves, with an aptly named “Inner Editor” nitpicking every little mistake. Wonderful pep talks from well-known writers such as Scott Westerfeld and Marissa Meyer inspire an even bigger boost of confidence. In addition to offering emotional support, the book has enormous practical value. Fun writing exercises, ideas to expand setting and characterization, suggestions for keeping track of word counts, and strategies for approaching the editing process help to keep the writing on track while breaking it into manageable components.
VERDICT This book is a fantastic reminder that writing is fun. A must-have for anyone participating in National Novel Writing Month

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