Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults – by Cheryl B. Klein

314 pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Illustrations: Yes (small black and white photos)
Suitable for eReaders: Yes

Rainy Day recently attended a very intensive one-day workshop on Plot, by Cheryl Klein. It was marvelous, though the intensity made it rather like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Rainy Day was delighted to be able to buy a copy of her book to read at her leisure.

After reading this book, Rainy Day is somewhat disappointed in the Title – it appears to be limited to those who write for children and young adults. Rainy Day thinks writers who write for adults, too, should read it! It just happens that Ms. Klein is an editor of books for children and young adults, and this book is a compilation of talks she has given to various SCBWI* groups across the nation.

Because these are talks she has been given, there is some overlap and duplication within the chapters; however, the chapters are filled with information from how to start a book to how to end it with an Editor's help.

The workshop Rainy Day attended had homework. The easiest and most fun was the required reading of Marcelo in the Real World –by Francisco X. Stork, the most difficult was making a 'book map' per her directions. Reading Marcelo gave all of us in attendance a common ground which she used for illustration purposes, and which she also used in her book (no, you don't need to read Marcelo to read this book, but you probably do need to read Marcelo just for the enjoyment of reading a great book). The book map was the hardest to do, and the most rewarding. (We had to breakdown a novel we'd already written, and then see where we need to make revisions. It took time, but when finished, Rainy Day could see the value thereof!

Second Sight gives the writer the tools needed to not only make a book map, but to develop characters and scenes. If you are a writer, this is a book Rainy Day thinks needs to be on your reference shelf – read, marked, and dog eared;-)

*Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators