Pamela S. Turner

Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-Winning Children’s Book Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing

“Non­fic­tion Writ­ers Dig Deep is a gift to read­ing and writ­ing teach­ers and to stu­dents. Fifty chil­dren’s authors share sto­ries of their process, and the book is orga­nized in a way that makes it a must-have tool for teach­ers. This col­lec­tion of essays will give stu­dents the men­tors they need as writ­ers of infor­ma­tion­al pieces.”

Fran­ki Sib­ber­son, past pres­i­dent of NCTE

Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep

About the Book

In Non­fic­tion Writ­ers Dig Deep: 50 Award-Win­ning Chil­dren’s Book Authors Share the Secret of Engag­ing Writ­ing, some of today’s most cel­e­brat­ed writ­ers for chil­dren share essays that describe a crit­i­cal part of the infor­ma­tion­al writ­ing process that is often left out of class­room instruction.

To craft engag­ing non­fic­tion, pro­fes­sion­al writ­ers choose top­ics that fas­ci­nate them and explore con­cepts and themes that reflect their pas­sions, per­son­al­i­ties, beliefs, and expe­ri­ences in the world. By scru­ti­niz­ing the infor­ma­tion they col­lect to make their own per­son­al mean­ing, they cre­ate dis­tinc­tive books that delight as well as inform.

In addi­tion to essays from men­tor authors, Non­fic­tion Writ­ers Dig Deep includes a wide range of tips, tools, teach­ing strate­gies, and activ­i­ty ideas from edi­tor Melis­sa Stew­art to help stu­dents (1) choose a top­ic, (2) focus that top­ic by iden­ti­fy­ing a core idea, theme, or con­cept, and (3) ana­lyze their research to find a per­son­al con­nec­tion. By adding a piece of them­selves to their drafts, stu­dents will learn to craft rich, unique prose.

100 per­cent of the pro­ceeds from this book will be divid­ed among the Nation­al Coun­cil of Teach­ers for Eng­lish (NCTE), We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), and the Soci­ety of Children’s Book Writ­ers and Illus­tra­tors (SCBWI).

An excerpt from my contribution to this book:

In “Ani­malia,” I write:

“My first mem­o­ry: reach­ing through the wood­en bars of a playpen, try­ing to drag a pup­py in by his ears. Although my dog-han­dling skills have improved, I’m still drawn to ani­mals in a way I can’t ful­ly explain. Per­haps it’s their oth­er­ness, the pres­ence of a gulf that seems almost cross­able but isn’t. …

Crow Smarts was a very per­son­al book for me because I vol­un­teer as a wildlife reha­bil­i­ta­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in crows and ravens. At the moment, in fact, I have a juve­nile crow recu­per­at­ing in my aviary after being trapped in a chim­ney for a week and los­ing about half its body weight. I have no idea how this crow got into the chim­ney, but intel­li­gent ani­mals are some­times too curi­ous for their own good!”

Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep

edit­ed by Melis­sa Stew­art
Nation­al Coun­cil of Teach­ers of Eng­lish, 2020
paper­back ISBN 978–0814133521

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