Monday, August 30, 2010

Middle Grade Titles

I like names in titles. Here are some examples (old and new) that spring to mind:

  • Beezus and Ramona (Beverly Cleary)
  • Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister (Liz Kessler)
  • Maggie Bean Stays Afloat (Tricia Rayburn)
  • Midnight for Charlie Bone (Jenny Nimmo)
  • Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism (Georgia Byng)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (J. K. Rowling)
  • Rufus M. (Eleanor Estes)
  • Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (R. L. LaFevers)
  • Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode (Eleanor Estes)
  • James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl)
  • Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (E. L. Konigsburg) -- because if one name is good, five must be better …
Names in titles let me know that waiting in the pages of the book, there’s a character worth getting to know.

It works in adult fiction, YA, and picture books, too. Jane Eyre! An Abundance of Katherines! Skippyjon Jones!

What are your favorite name-titles?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic

Schedules, lesson plans, updates to parents, anecdotal notes, data records ... well, at least I'm writing something! My classroom is slowly but surely coming together. Soon I'll have things organized to the point that I can begin writing non-work-related stuff again.

Meanwhile, here's a link to "Fishy Count", a cute counting game for little ones on My students will love it--if the site's not blocked by the school's internet filters.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Write Fifteen Minutes A Day

Teacher orientation meetings start next week, and it's also the week of WriteOnCon ... and that means I'm going to be busy. That's why I was so happy to find out about the Write Fifteen Minutes A Day challenge on Laurie Halse Anderson's blog. All you have to do is write fifteen minutes a day. No word count requirements; no genre requirements; no pressure to finish anything--just write! That should be possible, right? No matter how crazy things get... it's only fifteen minutes!