I really enjoyed this spin-off of the familiar Peter Pan story. Jocelyn Hook is a feisty, funny, and strong character. She doesn’t fully realize just how strong she is, or what is holding her back from achieving her goal, until the climax. A great book for middle grade kids, as a read-aloud or a read-alone. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Tag Archives: TeachersWrite!
This is not a book about death. Even though Jesse, one of the main characters has been given a death sentence, the book is not about him dying. It’s about how his best friend/girlfriend, Sam, helps him to live. It’s about how Sam suffers through pain, guilt, jealousy, and loss, but still manages to love with her whole heart. However, it’s also a book about learning to depend on others to guide us through our darkest times. In this way, The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla serves as a message, to teens especially, that it’s ok to seek professional help when tormented by negative experiences and thoughts. This book ripped my heart out. It will probably do the same to you. But I also think it will leave you with a strong sense of hope, and an appreciation for the love you give away.
Kate Messner’s guest on Teachers Write today is Heidi Schulz, and she teaches us about Creating Compelling Characters. Here are two brief interviews with my protagonist and a supporting character.
LILY: More than anything, I want to be reunited with my mother. This never changes, but I realize that I can’t wait for her to figure out where I am. I have to do something to help her get back to me. However, I learn that something may be preventing her from finding me, so I have to go search for her. I’m afraid that, even if she has a job now, she still won’t be able to take care of me, and that I’ll have to stay in this orphanage until I’m 16 and am forced to live on my own. I would sacrifice anything to have my Momma and me together again.
SISTER MARY ROSE: I want more than anything to teach all children the love of Jesus, and how to live in order to glorify Him. However, Lily is teaching me that children must feel loved themselves, before they can understand Jesus’ love. Secretly, I wish I had never lost my family when I was around Lily’s age, and this makes me want to do what I can to help her be reunited with her mother. I’m afraid that she will be heartbroken that her mother cannot support her. I would sacrifice anything to protect Lily and the other children.
This was a great exercise for helping me get to know my characters a little better. I plan to “interview” all of my characters in my novel.
I’m approaching this year’s camp with a different outlook. I have about 3/4 of a rough draft completed on my WIP, which got its start last summer during camp. I’ve spent the last 11 months working with my critique group, three wonderful writers who I “met” through Teachers Write! and who continue to inspire and push me every day. I’ve set up a writing schedule that incorporates dedicated writing time when my family is asleep or otherwise occupied, and I’m easing into the routine of keeping that schedule. I’m also reading texts such as Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write, Real Revision, and her two historical novels from her new Ranger in Time series: Rescue on the Oregon Trail and Danger in Ancient Rome.
What makes this year different is the preparation I mentioned above. I’ve never put this much planning and prep into camp before camp actually begins. It feels different. I feel different.
This year I feel like a writer.