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You Have to Write Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689834098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689834097
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-This book's gentle but direct approach to creative writing may not appeal to all youngsters, but it may help some students to address some common struggles and to find their own voices. Through free-verse poetry, Wong targets a group of youngsters looking for good topics for a writing assignment. "You want it to be good, to make us cry or bust up laughing when the room is quiet." They are encouraged to look around, and not to be discouraged by the worldliness or experiences of others. "Wait. Did you forget who you are? Who else can say what you have seen? Who else can tell your stories-." A photo albumlike page shows a variety of pets, holidays, hobbies, vacations, and family outings that could be possible topics. "Reach inside. Write about the dark times. -Write about the bright times. -Take your mind for a walk back to this morning, back to yesterday-." Examples are given of parents fighting, a wet library book growing mildew, childhood fears of storms, and taking out the trash. For "Weave them together- half of Draft 1, a word from Draft 4, a whole line from number 5. Try. Because you have to write, and you want it to be good," the illustration shows each child laying out stretches of many drafts on the floor. The simple realistic gouache paintings are rather ordinary but appropriate for the "writing from life" philosophy that is espoused.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. It's the dreaded class task: write something! "You have to write. You hate to write." Wong's poetic text, which encourages kids to use their own experiences, is practical and also sometimes amusing. The with-it rhymes set the tone while gouache illustrations depict four diverse kids as they sift through the advice, thinking and envisioning. One scene shows the students at their desks picturing different locations they might write about. A variety of page compositions effectively exemplify various choices by using overlapping scenes and albumlike framed images. "Take your mind for a walk" and "think about the plain, the everyday." The direct, you-can-do-it approach will stimulate kids to write and also help them with that dismaying assignment. Lots of classroom teachers will find this a great motivator. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Janet S. Wong (www.janetwong.com) is an award-winning author and anthologist of more than two dozen books for young readers, teachers, and parents. One of the most distinctive things about Janet Wong's body of work is its variety. There's at least one book for anyone--and EVERYONE!

Picture Books

This book was an L.A. Times Best Book of the Year for children--a lively read-aloud about a toddler's busy morning routine. Kids love buzzing along every time you point to the word BUZZ!

This book is not just for kids--with its hipster illustrations, it's a quirky gift for anyone who is good at "creative recycling." Give it to a 5-year-old future engineer along with a box full of assorted junk or to your dad for helping you clean your garage.

This book landed Janet a gig at the White House Easter Egg Roll--a "slice of community" story celebrating diversity.

Gorgeous illustrations by E.B. Lewis enhance this story about making a house feel like a home.

Poetry Books

TWIST: Yoga Poems
This book is for all ages, from 3-year-olds who love looking at Julie Paschkis's detailed illustrations (and can bend themselves into all of the yoga poses) to 73-year-old yoga teachers. In "Finding the Center," the author compares herself to a doughnut.

KNOCK ON WOOD: Poems about Superstitions
Teachers looking for books to use with the Common Core will enjoy discussing the Author's Notes about what the superstitions mean and comparing them with the way superstitions are presented in poems. A follow-up exercise is to have students interview family members about those same superstitions.

Janet Wong received the Claremont Stone Center Recognition of Merit for these two classic collections about the Asian American experience.

BEHIND THE WHEEL: Poems about Driving
Forty poems for teens about driving also use driving as a metaphor for a wide variety of life issues.

THE RAINBOW HAND: Poems about Mothers and Children
Children's favorites from this book include "Smother Love" and "Crazy Mother," while new mothers appreciate poems reflecting on the motherhood experience such as "The Gift of Breathing Slow."

ONCE UPON A TIGER: New Beginnings for Endangered Animals
As with KNOCK ON WOOD, this is another title that teachers will find useful in their teaching of the Common Core. Most of these poems about endangered animals are "pourquoi tale" poems with a folkloric feel, and yet critical readers will be able to recognize embedded facts once they read the nonfiction notes.

These mostly-lighthearted and nonpartisan poems about various aspects of an election--from debates to the electoral college to broader issues such as liberty--will spark discussion in classrooms and at home. TheDeclarationOfInterdependenceBlog.blogspot.com.

Chapter Books

The pressures of standardized testing in 4th grade push Rolly Maloo to ask Jenna to cheat; but only Jenna is caught. Should she keep her secret, or tell on Rolly Maloo? This hybrid graphic novel will be useful in starting discussions about cheating (why we do it, how to say no, and how to deal with being caught in a lie). A Horace Mann Upstanders Award Honor Book (recognizing books where a character stands up for something important).

This "easy reader for 5th graders" focuses on the unlikely friendship between a lizard-loving girl and a tech geek. A Washington Sasquatch finalist and BCCB Blue Ribbon Award winner.

In this sequel to the popular MINN AND JAKE, Jake visits his old home in Los Angeles and learns "you can't go back home again"--but a string of hilarious mini-disasters involving self-tanning lotion, ants, buffet meals, and Disneyland can teach you to appreciate your new friends more than ever!

Books that Teachers Like:

A picture book about the writing and revision process--cited on Common Core lists as useful.

A "Meet the Author" book that gives insight into the writing process with a "just do it" message to put ideas down on paper "before they wriggle away."

A K-5 anthology of 218 poems by 76 poets, with curriculum connections for each poem. Edited by Janet Wong and children's literature professor Sylvia Vardell. (This is available in a Common Core version and in a Texas TEKS version.)

The three e-books in this series are also Vardell and Wong ventures; accessible poems at irresistible e-book prices; and easy to project onto a Smartboard or screen so that the whole classroom can read and discuss these poems at the same time.

About Janet Wong:

When Janet Wong is not writing, speaking at teacher conferences, or sharing writing tips with children in schools, she spends most of her time trying to grow blueberries and carnivorous plants at her home in Princeton, NJ.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Adrienne Navarre on April 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I used this book in a 3rd grade classroom where I am student teaching. The students hate to write, but they loved this book. They realized that they really do have a lot to write about. We brainstormed a list of possible writing ideas for the days when they are stuck. They love to get out their list and pick something to write about. This book is a must have for any classroom!!!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Nelson on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You Have to Write is a great book to use to encourage young writers to look at their own experiences as the launching pad for their writing. Uses kid language and thought to stimulate ideas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Petra Siprian on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You Have to Write is a must for every teacher who teaches writing. It is perfect for generating ideas. Students will identify with the struggle of what to write.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Fournier on March 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a kid's book that explains you always have something to write about, even if you think your life is boring and plain. The book gives you ideas of things to write about like the moldy overdue book in the corner, and how your grandmother cracks her knuckles. The illustrations depict kids of various cultures putting their lives to paper in fun ways.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Janet Wong's for a little while. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this work with children. This is a great way to inspire children to write.
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