How To Write Your Best Story Ever!: Top Tips and Trade Secrets from the Experts

128p. illus. Barron's. Aug. 2016. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781438009094.
Gr 2–5—A great guide for students interested in developing their creative writing skills. This manual takes prospective writers on a journey to create new worlds and tales, with spelling, grammar, and punctuation tips along the way. The topics are arranged in a manner that allows students to browse and flip through to find whatever interests them most. A range of genre-specific subjects are explored; for example, the chapter "How To Write Your Best Scary Story Ever!" includes tips on how to set the scene and avoid clichés, as well as a word web ("The Language of Horror") with relevant vocabulary (e.g., poisonous, catacombs, macabre). Everything from character development to script writing to genre mash-ups is covered and accompanied by brightly colored cartoon illustrations. The layout can be a bit busy, but overall this is a valuable resource.
VERDICT Recommended for elementary classroom collections in need of an accessible introduction to creative writing.

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