Levine, Gail Carson. Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly. HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN 0060519614. $16.99. 167 p.
Reviewer: Gillian Streeter
Reading Level: Intermediate, Young adult
Genre: Informational books;
Subject: Fiction--Authorship--Juvenile literature; Books--Reviews;
Levine's Writing Magic has a specific task: to get the reader writing. She completely side-steps an introduction and instead starts off the book with a writing exercise. The text style is informal, friendly, and encouraging. The chapters, which vary in length but tend to be short, focus on different aspects of story and character development. She focuses mainly on getting people writing and less on getting them published, though she does share some thoughts on publication towards the end of the book. This book is not intended to be read in one sitting (it's rather dull if read that way), but to be used as a workbook, read in between writing sessions and referred back to during the course of an exercise. All these elements and the interesting insights into Levine's own experience as a writer and as a published author create a helpful and personable resource for young writers. In the course of the text, Levine also suggests a few other resources that readers might consider, such as The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published. The index included at the end is useful for quickly looking up different books Levine references, as well as writing exercises. This would be a useful resource for classrooms, school libraries, and young aspiring authors.
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