Every now and then, there's a writer whose work is so profound and so beautiful that for a moment you want to be them. That writer right now for me is multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Andrea Davis Pinkney who also happens to be an exquisite human being. I'm lucky enough to know Andrea and when Hillary Homzie and I started the Chapter Book Alchemist course, we named the scholarships for it after her. Now that the Alchemist has become an Instant Access course, we wanted to keep honoring Andrea with a new scholarship for our Middle Grade Mastery course, where Andrea is also sharing her writing knowledge for students here.
When I said that I wanted to be Andrea, just for a moment, it is because when I thought a little deeper about the pain and heartache she must have gone through researching and writing the extraordinary prose poem middle grade novel The Red Pencil, I don't think I could hold that much sorrow and transform it so eloquently. It takes a special kind of courage and fortitude to take on such a daunting task of creating a 12 year old character who you love and then take them through the dark landscape of war and loss with beauty and humor and hope. Perhaps it's because of my own background as the daughter of war survivors but I don't know if I could do it.
I made one of my new sneak peek reviews of this book, this one is less than 4 minutes and due to the length there's so much that I couldn't include so I'm just going to give a brief overview of some of the many themes explored in the novel:
Coming of age
Family and community
Education for girls
Voice and voicelessness
Desert life and animal husbandry
Telling stories in innovative ways
Here's the wee video followed by some of Andrea's many books:
Find out more about Andrea at her website http://andreadavispinkney.com/
Apply for a 2016 Middle Grade Mastery course scholarship here
Find out about the Middle Grade Mastery course itself, right here
Mondays with Mandy or Mira consists of Mandy Yates and Mira Reisberg. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy and was so impressed with Mandy when she was a student in one of the interactive courses, that she invited Mandy to share the blog. Mandy has as an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine. We hope you enjoy and find our offerings helpful.
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