Text Styles…new writing series from Crabtree Publishing


Text Styles (series). New York: Crabtree Publishing Company, 2015.  978-07787-… 32 p. $20.00. Gr. 3-6.

Flatt, Lizann. How to Write Realistic Fiction. -16563
Hyde, Natalie. How to Write an Adventure Story. -16556
Hyde, Natalie. How to Write a Fantasy Story. -16549
Kopp, Megan. How to Write a Drama. -16532
Kopp, Megan. How to Write Science Fiction. -16570
(Also in series: How to Tell a Fable; How to Tell a Folktale; How to Tell a Legend; How to Tell a Myth)

This interesting series aims to walk a person through the process of writing drama, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and realistic fiction.  The all-color “pieces” of the process are presented in orderly fashion, beginning with examples to review, moving to characters, dialogue, plot, theme, point of view, character flaws, etc.  Each book has two pages devoted to “creative response to (drama, etc)” wherein a well-known example of fiction is used and questions are posed to further the imagination process. For example, in How to Write a Fantasy, Peter Pan is used as an example, and encouraged responses are: “write a description of your own fantasy island.  Add different landscapes and homes for creatures.” Or “In Peter Pan’s world, the rule is that you need fairy dust to fly.  Think of different way that flying could be possible.  Write the scene using this new way.”  While not in each case specific to the reader’s story, these ideas encourage them to see a story in new light.    These books are well-suited for their intended audience of 3-6th graders.  Their content could easily be used 1-2 pages at a time to guide students in creative writing workshops, or to explain and practice writing dialogue, or mapping out a plot.  Of most help to Language Arts lessons would be the pages on dialogue or point of view; “How is the story presented to you?  That’s the point of view.” (Thankfully, this is further explained.)  Strong readers will sort out the differences and the process, but weak readers will be put off by the intrusion or over- examination of reading.  Brief but well-executed.  Each volume includes a short Glossary, Index and Further Resources List (print and online).
808.3 Writing process    Melissa Scott, Shenango High School