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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

From Gridlock to Road Trip Melissa Stewart Marion Dane Bauer Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Shifting Gears Maurice the Unbeastly Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Drive Rufus Blasts Off!

Bookstorm™: Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin Suite

Competition is a part of young people’s lives: art, sports, music, dance, science, cup-stacking … many children spend a good part of their day practicing, learning, and striving to do their best. Giant Pumpkin Suite is about two types of competitions, a Bach Cello Suites Competition and a giant pumpkin growing competition. Rose and Thomas [...]

Melanie Heuiser Hill

Melanie Heuiser Hill

Our Bookstorm this month features Giant Pumpkin Suite, the first novel from Melanie Heuiser Hill (Candlewick Press). Often called debut authors, a first-time author is intriguing for a reader. Is this someone we’ll look forward to reading for many years to come? How will this author grow as they become more experienced at crafting a [...]

From Gridlock to Road Trip

If you were stuck in bumper to bumper gridlock, heading south on Hwy 100 last week, you may have noticed a woman laughing all alone in her car as she waited patiently (with eyes on the road) for things to start moving again. The very next day you might have caught a glimpse of that [...]

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

I have had the pleasure of entertaining a few young writers in my office in the last couple of months. They come with a Mom, usually. (My office doesn’t really hold more than three people at a time.) These Moms are so thankful that I would do this “generous thing” of having them over that [...]

Why Young Writers Need an Authentic Audience

Melissa Stewart

For me, writing nonfiction is a fun adventure. A game to play. A puzzle to solve. A challenge to overcome. But many students don’t feel the same way. According to them, research is boring. Making a writing plan is a waste of time. And revision is more than frustrating. It’s downright painful. Why do young [...]

On Growing Older … Old

Marion Dane Bauer

Why is “older” an acceptable word and “old” almost forbidden? To answer my own question, I suppose it’s because we’re all growing older, even the four-year-old next door. But old … ah, old smacks of incompetence, of irrelevance. Even worse, old smacks of that truly obscene-to-our-society word … death. I am approaching my birthday month. [...]

Skinny Dip with Patti Lapp

Patti Lapp

A dedicated educator in Pennsylvania, we invited Patti Lapp to answer our twenty Skinny Dip questions.   Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? Mr. Jordan was my favorite teacher who taught 7th grade. He was funny and straightforward; all of us students respected him, and he certainly kept everyone in line. I [...]

Shifting Gears

Lisa Bullard

The only argument I’ve ever witnessed between Teenage Nephew 1 and Longtime Girl-friend was a doozy. And I couldn’t help chortling with glee because the basis of their disagreement was so close to my heart: What makes for the best possible story? Actually, the way they put it was, “What’s better, ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Harry [...]

Pumpkin Muffins

Author Melanie Heuiser Hill believes that Gram, from her book Giant Pumpkin Suite, would be baking these pumpkin muffins this month.

The Book Box

Candice Ransom

For a fiction workshop, I asked participants to bring in childhood books that influenced them to become a writer. Naturally, I did the assignment myself. Choosing the books was easy, but they felt insubstantial in my hands, vintage hardbacks that lacked the heft of, say, the last Harry Potter. When it came my turn to [...]

E.B. White

A couple of weeks ago I was in the basement of the Science and Engineering Library at the University of Minnesota getting a little writing in before work. It’s a good spot—there’s a nice coffee shop, nothing in the stacks is intelligible to me on that floor so I’m not distracted, and it’s quiet and [...]

Getting Inside the Head of the Long Dead

Pamela S. Turner

Don’t be alarmed by the ghoulishness of my title. Trying to resurrect the life of someone who turned to dust centuries ago is a challenge, especially if the person left behind no personal writings such as letters or diaries. But it can be done. In preparation for writing Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto [...]

To Bee or Not to Bee

Jackie:  It’s good to be back on this blog this month. We took a necessary break, but cannot be away from talking about books for too long. The pressure builds… Phyllis is busy writing in the North Woods, so I am bee-side myself with enthusiasm for doing this blog. We have a make-shift birdbath on [...]

For The Beast in Us All

Maurice the Unbeastly

The theme of being yourself is familiar. Many books, movies, and plays are devoted to this idea. When it’s done well, we all sit up a little straighter, laugh more confidently, and dream about all the things we’d like to do to be true to who we are. Children need to hear this message often [...]


Lisa Bullard

I was planning a road trip to Northern Minnesota to teach at a Young Author’s Conference and decided to include a small detour to my past: the town of Bemidji, where we lived when I was in 2nd through 5th grades. So after the conference wrapped, I spent a couple of happy days traveling down [...]

Skinny Dip with Stephanie Calmenson

Stephanie Calmenson

Author of the beloved Dinner at the Panda Palace, Stephanie Calmenson has shared her love of literature with early childhood and elementary readers by channeling her enthusiasm for their experiences into her books.   Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? I loved my kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cogan, who taught with warmth and joy. [...]

Qualifying Credibility

I long for the good ol’ days when everyone agreed that facts were true and fiction was make-believe and made-up facts were lies. Several years ago, the disseminating of current events entered the truthiness zone—only to emerge in today’s surreal “alternate facts” parallel universe. It is understandably difficult for many people—and especially young people—to know [...]

No Pigs in Space?

Rufus Blasts Off!

Some of my readers know that the very first story I wrote (in second grade) was Pigs in Space. I still have it. I still wonder whatever prompted me to write it. This was before the Muppets launched their pigs into space. And it was definitely before Kim T. Griswell and Valeri Gorbachev launched their [...]