- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 940 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (August 29, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374304564
- ISBN-13: 978-0374304560
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories Hardcover – August 29, 2017
|New from||Used from|
$0.61 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—You might expect that the writing method of the author of such no-holds-barred tales as Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, and the Newbery Award—winning Dead End in Norvelt would be chaotic. You might picture him plucking bizarre anecdotes from his own frenzied noggin and slapping them together in a blind delirium of inspiration. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Gantos has taught writing for almost as long as he has been a published author, and it shows in this entertaining yet disciplined guide to the writing process. He takes a true craftsman's approach—sketching inspirations and taking notes, assembling the work piecemeal before fitting it together, and then going over the whole in multiple passes like a carpenter embellishing, sanding, and varnishing his work. The author's explanations of these steps, illustrated by his goofy cartoons and exemplified by captivating pieces of short fiction, are sensible and straightforward. "Don't be that writer who waits all day for the perfect first sentence," he advises, "or you will grow old while learning to hate yourself and writing." Readers as well as writers will benefit from this structured approach. Being able to identify story elements is essential for critique: If characters don't ring true, is it the result of inadequate exposition of their interior life, or is it the dialogue that doesn't work? Even experienced reviewers will learn a thing or two. VERDICT A must for aspiring writers.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson
“Never less than entertaining and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, [this is] a focused, fun, and uncommonly useful guide for young, aspiring writers.” ―Booklist, starred review
“An excellent guide for aspiring authors . . . And while the book is directed at serious writers in the making, there's enough exaggeration and grossness to keep readers laughing.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A must for aspiring writers.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
"Gantos’s journey as a young writer learning his craft and the stories he actually wrote in middle school, all told with his characteristic humor, will appeal to fans of his novels whether or not they aspire to a writing career. Teachers will also find Gantos’s breakdown on the creation of a story valuable for teaching critical reading as well as writing skills." ―VOYA, starred review
“A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with Jack.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“With humor and swift pacing, the author of the “Joey Pigza” books and “Dead End in Norvelt” spills all of his writing secrets about making stories out of everyday life. [Writing Radar] will probably make you want to read Gantos’s stories as well as to create your own.” ―Washington Post
“Oh man! Do NOT read this book. Unless you want to become a real writer. Gantos has given up almost every hard-earned writing secret in his trademark sharp, funny, crazy, and brilliant way.” ―Jon Scieszka, Inaugural National Ambassador for Young People's Literature
“When I was a kid, Jack Gantos visited my classroom and gave me encouragement that I'll never forget. Now, with this book, young writers everywhere will be able to learn from this master storyteller. What a gift Mr. Gantos has given to the world by taking us through his creative process.” ―Jarrett J. Krosoczka, New York Times–bestselling author/illustrator of the Lunch Lady series
“This is my Book of the Year. I can't think of one I’d rather put into kids’ hands. It is laugh-out-loud funny, poignant in spots, and it will teach young people how and why to write. It will be a life-changer for kids and for those of us who teach them.” ―Lucy Calkins, Director of the Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University
Praise for Jack Gantos's writing workshops:
“Fostered a love of reading and writing. Sparked the thought 'I can do this too!’ for some of my struggling students. Went straight to the store to get a journal and pen after hearing Jack Gantos!”
“NEVER laughed so hard in my life!!”
“Jack Gantos was amazing―I did not plan on [attending his presentation] at first but am glad I did! I ended up at all three! I enjoyed his mix of enjoying the literature with how I can encourage writers in my classroom in practical ways!”
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
He also shares his writing expertise with generosity and humor, using examples from his own life and writing. He encourages reading and explains, “Reading good books turns on the powerful Writing Radar story-finding talent within you.”
Even young people who never knew they wanted to write are in danger of being hooked into becoming serious writers. They are sure to be encouraged and drawn in by cool statements like “You need a certain writerly attitude as you walk down the street—a kind of stealthy, snoopy, slinky, shifty, sinister, and silent confidence.”
Even though I do not fall within the 9-12 age group, I learned a lot from the lessons Gantos shares so generously. I also laughed a lot and enjoyed the many funny stories sprinkled throughout the book. This is by far the best writing guide for aspiring young writers.
Multi-award winning author, creative writing professor of 20 years, and the only author who has ever made me choke with laughter on a sandwich while trying to drive and listen to his audio book, Jack Gantos has the street cred to pull off this hilarious and inspirational writing manual. Aimed at middle graders, this is for anyone who interested in creative writing.
Inspired by Harriet the Spy and the confidence that he could write better than the cheerful, flowery fluff that he found in his older sister’s stolen diary, a young Jack Gantos swore an oath to himself to write a book that would someday appear on the library shelf. He received encouragement from one Mrs. Hammer, a tough-minded librarian who had lost her two previous jobs because of “abusive behavior.” She supported his quest to write and encouraged him to put his writing on the shelf in the school library. Later, his English teacher gave him writing advice that he adheres to today.
In this book, packed with practical suggestions, almost unbelievable anecdotes, and just the right balance of support and instruction, Gantos speaks directly to the reader. Kids will be inspired to take their own authorship oaths.
Add this to your gift list for the aspiring writers in your life and be sure to include a notebook and a cool pen and pencil to go with it. This book goes on my worth-every-penny list.
I especially loved the NaNoWriMo webcast interview with Gantos from Friday, Oct. 20th, 2017. If you can find it on YouTube, you'll have a greater appreciation for this book, and you'll be even more excited about getting started writing and harvesting your journal for buried story treasures!