Hello! Welcome to “Lacey Recommends,” a monthly column updating you on some of the latest and greatest books being published for girls.
I know lots of you LOVE to read. I do, too! In fact, my whole life pretty much revolves around the power of stories and writing. I always loved writing and wrote my first novel when I was 15. I also wrote a lot of fan-fiction and letters to over 50 pen pals. As an adult, I took jobs as a writer, an editor, a reporter, and a librarian. In fact, my first editing job was with New Moon Girls. All these jobs let me read a lot!
I often recommend books to be reviewed in New Moon Girls Magazine, so publishers send their newest releases to my house for consideration. Since there isn’t room to cover all the great reads that come across my desk in the magazine, I’m sharing some of them here.
November is one of my favorite months of the year. I like the crisp weather, the cozy nights curled up with tea and a good book, and of course, all the WRITING. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), when many people accept the challenge to write a whole novel in a month. I have completed NaNoWriMo five times. And although I am not participating this year, November always makes me think of writing. So this month, I’m recommending a few great writing books. (If you click on the link to buy one, your purchase helps New Moon Girls!)
- No matter what kind of writing you’re doing, Inkblot: Ideas, Advice and Examples to Inspire Young Writers by Nadia Higgins, Rebecca Langston-George, Laura Purdie Salas, and Heather E. Schwartz is a great place to start. It contains chapters on setting up conflict, creating characters, revising, and more. It is also divided into sections depending on whether you are interested in writing fiction, poetry, plays, or non-fiction. Consider giving all four a try! You won’t be alone on your journey, as the book is full of author bios, from the ancient to the modern. And of course, there are plenty of writing exercises to get the ideas (and the ink!) flowing.
- Ever wonder how great authors create their books? Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, Fairest, and other favorites, shares her tricks and tips in Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly. She’ll let you in on how you can create great beginnings, middles, and endings full of memorable characters. And the book has lots of writing exercises to get you started, too. (Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Gail Carson Levine in early 2016!)
- Writing can be a great way to connect with friends and loved ones, whether near or far. Whether you already enjoy writing letters and want some ideas to spice them up, or whether you want to start a letter-writing habit for the first time, look no further than Karen Benke’s Write Back Soon! Adventures in Letter Writing. The book covers the basics of letter-writing (how to make sure your letter gets where it’s going) to more creative aspects like how to make your own envelopes. And of course, there are LOTS of ideas about who to write to, and what to write once you’ve decided. (You also might want to check out Karen Benke’s other books for young writers, Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing and Leap Write In! Adventures in Creative Writing to Stretch and Surprise Your One-of-a-Kind Mind.)
- One of the most common questions girls ask at our author chats and interviews is, “Where do you get your ideas?” In Been There, Done That: Writing Stories From Real Life, 20 writers share the true stories of what sparked their interest in writing. After reading a few, consider writing your own story about how your interest in writing began.
Do you have additional recommendations for writing books, books about writers, or books that inspire you? Tell me about them in the comments below!