Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book?

Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? 336p. Scholastic. Mar. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338212266; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781338212273.
Gr 7 Up—Carter and a host of popular young adult authors answer young people's questions about how to write, edit, publish, and promote a book. These varying perspectives offer practical advice from how to create diversity in characters without stereotyping or appropriating to how to write professionally. While Carter answers the bulk of the questions from her own experience, the guests' contributions offer a balanced approach and ensure multiple viewpoints from this field. For instance, David Levithan shares his perspective on writing characters who are unlike himself, Zoraida Cordova writes about how her world-building informs her characters' development, and Marie Lu shares the secrets to creating multidimensional villains. While the structure is logical and organized, there are some issues with clarity. Carter's sections differ from her guest's by a slight change in font, making it unclear at times who is answering the question. Aside from that, however, this book is an informative, conversational, and varied introduction to the world of writing.
VERDICT Young writers will devour this fun and engaging guide to the creative process.

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