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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Knock Knock

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Liza Ketchum: Serendipity

Serendipity is one of my favorite words. I love its dancelike sound and the way it trips off the tongue. According to my dictionary, serendipity means “the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.” I find the etymology of words fascinating. Even as a child, I liked to study the maps that show the relationship […]

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Avi: Bags of Cement

For reasons both boring and complex, I currently find myself under obligation to deliver four novels before the next twelve months are out. Two are written, but undergoing revisions. A third has started. The fourth has nothing on paper; only in my mind. Is it an accident that my shoulders have been aching, as if […]

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Melissa Stewart: A Different View

Recently, I spent several weeks struggling with a work in progress. Day after day, the words just wouldn’t flow. Over the years, I’ve learned that there’s no way to force a stubborn manuscript. I just have to focus on something else until my mind somehow sorts things out. Sometimes I begin work on a different […]

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Debra Frasier: A Series of Mistakes

Fifteen years ago my ten year old daughter came home with a story. “Mom, “ she said, “today I figured out that “miscellaneous” is NOT a person.” I burst out laughing. “So who did you think it was?” I asked. “I thought she was that woman on the green spaghetti box…” I saved her gift-of-a-mistake […]

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Candice Ransom: Being Ten

Every summer I wish I was ten again, the perfect age for the perfect season. At that age I was at the height of my childhood powers. And as a reader, books couldn’t be thrust into my hands fast enough. Every morning I’d eat a bowl of Rice Krispies, with my book at the table […]

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Lisa Bullard: My Superpower

When I do school visits, the students treat me like a superhero. The time with them is exhilarating, and it would take a much more hardened heart than mine to resist the curiosity and imagination these young people exhibit. But my classroom days also leave me bone-deep exhausted. One afternoon, midway through a weeklong residency, […]

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Lynne Jonell: Justice in Another World

by Lynne Jonell I just met a woman who lived through horrifying emotional abuse as a child. I had been told about her history some years before; but when I met the woman, we didn’t mention it. We talked instead about books, a subject of common interest, and teaching, her passion. I made an effort […]

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Virginia Euwer Wolff: Considering Flaubert

by Virginia Euwer Wolff For years I’ve taken primitive comfort in Gustave Flaubert‘s mid-nineteenth century remark in a letter to a friend: “Last week I spent five days writing one page.” And Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac reminded us (Dec. 12, 2014) that Flaubert often put in a comma one day and took it out the […]

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Mary Casanova: Three Questions

A year of school visits has just concluded, but I can’t unpack quite yet. I’ll soon head out on a book tour to support the release of my latest titles. The questions I get when I meet readers depend on the book—whether it’s a new release I’m promoting or an older book a class has […]

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Elizabeth Verdick: A Look at “Autism Fiction”

by Elizabeth Verdick I spent the month of April reading children’s fiction featuring characters with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). April was Autism Awareness Month, but that wasn’t my only motivation. I love children’s literature, I have written nonfiction about ASD, and I’m raising a son who’s on the autism spectrum. I wondered, Which middle-grade stories […]

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Marion Dane Bauer: The Power of Novels

by Marion Dane Bauer [I]f you are interested in the neurological impact of reading, the journal Brain Connectivity published a paper “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain.” Basically, reading novels increases connectivity, stimulates the front temporal cortex and increases activity in areas of the brain associated with empathy and muscle […]

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Jen Bryant: It’s Not Pretty!

by Jen Bryant I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with the word “inspiration.” On the one hand, I acknowledge the illusive, inexplicable aspect of the writing process that I can’t control, when the lines, paragraphs, pages seem to flow from somewhere outside of myself, knitting together almost seamlessly. On the other hand (and this is […]

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Partners in the Dance: From Fiction to Nonfiction and Back Again

by Liza Ketchum This week, while I prepared for a talk at AWP (Association of Writing Programs) on writing non-fiction biographies for kids, I thought about how I enjoy researching both nonfiction and fiction titles. Yet a gulf often separates the two genres. In my local library, you turn right at the top of the […]

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Avi: We Need to Honor That

Every parent, teacher, and librarian wants children to read. The reasons they wish for this are endlessly varied, ranging from educational skills, entertainment, to learning a lesson. Sometimes, however, we need ask, what is it about reading that children like? I’ve come to believe the answer lies in the different way kids and adults read […]

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Melissa Stewart: A Fresh Look at Expository Nonfiction

by Melissa Stewart Narrative nonfiction. The words have a nice ring to them, don’t they? Expository nonfiction? Not so much. Rhymes with gory, purgatory, derogatory, lavatory. Gesh, it’s no wonder expository nonfiction gets a bad rap. And yet, plenty of great nonfiction for kids is expository. Its main purpose is to explain, describe, or inform. […]