Make Something: Role Reversal

Today’s make something assignment was to do someone else’s job for awhile. I was to create something at that person’s workplace, or at least based on the experience of doing their work.

Most of the day I was in my own office, ticking things off my consulting to-do list, answering calls and email messages, and preparing a client presentation. My husband was two floors above me, in his office, doing what sales guys do. I asked if I could make a call for him, or at least prepare a call report to summarize one of last week’s appointments.

He said no. And I really can’t blame him for that.

Fortunately, my calendar included an afternoon break with my friend Amy, who works in the children’s department of a local library. As Amy and I sat down for a cup of tea, I explained the day’s creative challenge and asked what I might do if I were to take up her job for a bit.

She suggested I write a bibliography. I could search the library’s collection for a selection of books on a particular topic. And I could do it from anywhere, thanks to the library’s online card catalog.

So tonight after dinner, I pretended young library patrons were clamoring for books about writing. I tried several search terms and found dozens of books. To keep the list manageable, I narrowed my bibliography to 13 titles (purely because today is February 13).

In truth, I’ve only read a couple of these books. I loved Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher, and I keep Janet Wong’s You Have to Write on my shelf of writing resources.

The rest? I’m not familiar. And if I were really channeling my friend Amy, I’d check them out and pore over them for an evening or two, to be sure I could recommend the works in good conscience.

So if you’ve read any of these books and have an opinion, please share. Otherwise (probably regardless), next time I’m at the library I’ll be checking out several of these books.

A Bibliography for Kids Who Want to Write

  1. Bauer, Marion Dane. What’s your story? : a young person’s guide to writing fiction. New York: Clarion Books, 1992.
  2. Bullard, Lisa. You can write a story! : a story-writing recipe for kids. Minnetonka, Minn.: Two-Can, 2007.
  3. Fletcher, Ralph. Poetry matters: writing a poem from the inside out. New York: HarperTrophy, 2002.
  4. Fletcher, Ralph. A writer’s notebook: unlocking the writer within you. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
  5. Gutman, Dan. My weird writing tips. New York: Harper, 2013.
  6. Hambleton, Vicki. So, you wanna be a writer? : how to write, get published, and maybe even make it big! Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Pub., 2001.
  7. Heiden, Pete. Penelope and Pip build a prose poem. Chicago, Ill.: Norwood House Press, 2011.
  8. Hulme, Joy N. How to write, recite, and delight in all kinds of poetry. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1996.
  9. Janeczko, Paul B. How to write poetry. New York, NY: Scholastic Reference, 1999.
  10. Leedy, Loreen. Look at my book: how kids can write & illustrate terrific books. New York: Holiday House, 2004.
  11. Prelutzky, Jack. Pizza, pigs, and poetry: how to write a poem. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2008.
  12. Rhatigan, Joe. In print! : 40 cool publishing projects for kids. New York: Lark Publishing, 2003.
  13. Wong, Janet. You have to write. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002.
Photo credit: Kurt Groetsch on flickr

Photo credit: Kurt Groetsch on flickr

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