Last year in school my oldest daughter's class read Ella Enchanted, and I was surprised at how wonderful it was. My daughter loved it. It, and the author, probably never would have popped up on my radar without that school-required reading, and all I can tell you is that my children's school has excellent taste in literature.
Looking for book gift ideas (one of those things we do, I can't seem to stick to the "something to wear, something we...care...whatever, but we plan enough that all of the kids get a book for the holidays and birthdays...) I found writing books by Gail Carson Levine. The one I read I would say pre teen and up, but she has a children's writing book as well, which is on my kids' book present list, called "Writing Magic". And, yeah, I'm sure I'll either read it after they open it, or read it aloud so I can get to enjoy it, too.
The book I found was a different publication called "Writer to Writer: From think to Ink"
I've talked about before how important the tone of the advice is in writing books. It's what turns it into a journey instead of a lecture, and this is so lovely and lighthearted that it was a breath of fresh air.
But none of the important stuff is skipped.
It's based on questions she has received on her blog about writing, which is at http://gailcarsonlevine.com/blog/. That makes the content she deals with REALLY useful. It's all things we've struggled with or worried over.
You'll find everything from coming up with ideas to poetry (and how to incorporate that into your larger work of fiction, if you want to). The selected work for examples is wonderful.
My favorite had to be Levine talking about how she works all the time, writing in spare moments and uncomfortable spaces.
That's an important lesson nobody has really addressed with me before. Many authors have quiet time in their days, and right now, that's not anything I even have time to dream of. So, I've started writing (mostly on my little portable Alphasmart) when the kids are loud, awake, when everyone is watching television, while I'm waiting for dinner to cook (assuming it's something simple and I won't burn it by being inattentive).
Some of us won't get the perfect time for ourselves.
And that's okay. We just have to be adaptable.
I really did enjoy this book. I was happy to hear this author was teaching writing workshops to young writers because I think she is perfect for that, and perfect to write a book on how to help anyone work on their creative fiction.