Friday, January 12, 2007

An Essential Guide for Parents, Students, and Teachers

BOOK REVIEW: Encouraging Your Child’s Writing Talent by Nancy Peterson. Waco: Prufrock Press, 2006. 161 pp. $14.95. Paper.

The question pops up frequently in my writing classes: “Phil, would you recommend a book I can read to help my child become a better writer?” My answer is always, “Yes,” but rarely is it “You must start with this book.”

Until now. Nancy Peterson’s Encouraging Your Child’s Writing Talent is a quick read, chock full of valuable information and eye-opening insights. In five quick chapters replete with illustrations, reference lists, and penetrating insights, and practical advice, Peterson manages to provide an excellent primer for parents of beginning elementary-age writers as well as useful material for the classroom composition teacher. Just a glimpse of the chapter titles should suffice in convincing a parent or teacher that the book is worth a look: Your Child—A Writer, What Your Child Needs as a WriterWorking with the School to Encourage Your Child as a Writer, What You Can Do at Home for Your Gifted Writer, and Enrichment Resources for Your Young Writer. Better yet, the author comes through on what she promises to deliver.

Peterson’s conclusion cleverly describes helping children “take off” as writers by borrowing from the Wright Brothers’ three-stage approach to flight: lift, control, propulsion—inspire them, hone their skills, and keep them energized. Undoubtedly, this metaphor relates to adult writers as well.

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: