Funny Stories

9781432975340. ea vol: 32p. (Writing Stories Series). diag. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. websites. Heinemann Library. 2013. lib. ed. $26.65; pap. $7.99.
Gr 2–4—Each volume walks readers through the steps of creating a story in the featured genre. Key concepts involved in the writing process are outlined: characters, setting, and plot. Then, each title breaks these elements down further to be genre specific: silly characters for funny stories; suspects, investigations, and clues for mystery stories; spooky characters and settings for scary stories. Each title also addresses creating strong and interesting characters, using a story mountain to plan the plot, and writing dialogue. The books have little to say about revising and editing, focusing more on how a story is constructed and its major features. Stock photos appear throughout, the graphics and examples are well done, and the glossaries are helpful to young writers.—Nancy Jo Lambert, Ruth Borchardt Elementary, Plano, TX
Each book introduces a genre of writing; perhaps unbelievably, the manufactured student examples are at a similar reading level to the useful instructive text. Often arbitrary stock photos, graphics, and drawings break up the text, and running footers offer suggestions and pose questions; "more top tips" are appended. There's a significant amount of repetition across the volumes. Reading list. Glos., ind. Review covers these Writing Stories titles: Adventure Stories, Fairy Tales, and Mystery Stories.

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