National Council of Teachers of English Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
Bank Street College Children's Book of the Year
Scholastic Book Fairs
Nominated for Cybil Award from YA and middle-grade bloggers
Amazon.com Weekly Bestseller
Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts (NCTE)
The accomplished children's and young adult author speaks directly to young writers, providing advice on all aspects of fiction creation. Sections titled "Liftoff," "Heart and Guts," "Plowing Through," "Digging Deeper," and "Writing Forever" address such topics as coming up with story ideas, developing characters and plot, and finding opportunities for publication. The tone is friendly and direct, getting quickly to the point in each short chapter, which closes with writing prompts. Levine encourages readers to take their work seriously while remembering to have fun. An informative and encouraging must-read for young writers.
★ School Library Journal
Writing Magic is a great introduction to writing for children. The "voice" is upbeat and not condescending. It is clearly written, and includes examples when they are needed. As far as I know, there is nothing else like this available.
Levine, best known for Ella Enchanted (1997), offers middle-graders ideas about making their own writing take flight. Though her concentration is primarily fiction, she notes that her suggestions can help all sorts of writing. Among the topics she covers are shaping characters, beginnings and endings, revising, and finding ideas. But the best part of Levine's book is her honesty as she shares with children the truth that there are no perfect books, that rejection can be as useful as success, and that you thank the creative part of you by using the ideas that it sends. She even dips into the details of getting published, which will inspire the most serious in the audience. Each chapter concludes with writing exercises, some surprisingly inviting, all of which end with the injunctions: "Have fun" and "Save what you write." A terrific item to have on hand for writing groups or for individual young writers who want to improve. Ilene Cooper