From the Fall 2009 issue of A Different Drummer, the quarterly newsletter of the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted (OATAG), is a review by Darlene Robinson of The I Love To Write Book (Crickhollow Books, 2008)
The I Love to Write Book by Mary-Lane Kamberg is a “must read” for children and teens who want inspiration and guidance to get a jump start as new writers or to strengthen their current writing skills. Appealing to all ability levels, this 136-page volume is an inspirational book that provides both motivation and guidance with a positive focus. Ms. Kamberg includes practical tips and techniques drawn from her own experience. This has created material that is not only very user-friendly and easy to use, but also fun to read.
The book includes a step-by-step practical guide with methods to develop writing concepts and styles. Each chapter features examples and practical exercises with hands-on directions, such as how to write book reviews, news articles, thank-you letters, poetry (including apology poems), fiction, “how to” articles, and approaching writing as a professional.
The review concludes with:
I would strongly recommend this book for any older child or teen with an interest in writing. There is something for everyone in these pages, be they neophyte or experienced wordsmith. The concepts are strong, and the focus is practical. The activities, worksheets, and examples for developing ideas are upbeat and entertaining.
Thanks for that wonderful praise for this excellent book!
I also enjoyed this summary of the Talented and Gifted (TAG) child, from the OATAG website:
Q: What are some of the traits of a Gifted and Talented child?
1. Has advanced oral and/or written language skills; expressive language
2. Makes unique connections; understands systems; sees the “big picture”
3. Asks many questions; seeks in-depth information
4. Is nonconforming; risk-taking; independent
5. Has broad and varied interests, at times, simultaneously
6. Is resourceful at finding unique solutions
7. Exhibits keen powers of observation; is highly sensitive and insightful
8. Has intense and sustained interests; transfers learning to new situations
9. Exhibits an early moral concern; is empathetic
10. Makes nontraditional responses and/or products
That should be, and to some degree is, every child. To me, it describes much of the natural state of childhood . . . with its strong curiosity, powers of observation, desire to make connections, and constant questioning!
But it’s interesting that language skills tops the list. I’ll note that reading is often the primary focus. But encouraging a kid’s writing skills – especially in the broad, lifelong, personal way that reading enthusiasm is supported . . . encouraging a kid to do it for fun at home as well as in school for classroom assignments – is less often addressed by educators or parents.
Good news . . . The I Love To Write Book can help any kid with that!