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You Have to Write Hardcover – July 1, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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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
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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: 7.5 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to use in my 6th grade writing class to help inspire kids to write about everyday life. I am very disappointed & will probably not use it at all. The scenarios are very elementary & the way to persuade young writers is not like this. I get the point of the book, but it's not practical for kids who are already reluctant to write.
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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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Format: Hardcover
Just received this book and am returning it pronto. It starts out picturing a kid in a classroom feeling he has nothing to write about because he's not rich like the other kids. It actually suggests giving kids ideas for writing through such life experiences as their parents fighting and them having holes in their socks, to such imaginary experiences as a tree falling on their house and killing their mother in her sleep!! Give me a break! There are MUCH better books out there -- I plan to keep the other 6 writing books for kids that I ordered from Amazon.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my elementary school's library. The 3rd grade teachers use it every year with their curriculum. It is wonderful!!!
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