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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Talking With Young People

Recently, I spent some time in the local middle school tutoring eighth graders on writing and taking evidence from text. I found the students eager to learn, eager to find answers, and very eager to please. They wanted to know. I saw a brightness - a sparkle in their eyes whenever I told them they were doing it correctly. We discussed different ways of looking at evidence and how to find themes and concepts in what they were reading - all this in preparation for a test they were to take in February.

Talking with adolescents one-on-one greatly reinforced to me how vulnerable and uncertain they are, their need for reinforcement from adults, and their need to succeed. Kids in their early teens, just at the brink of life, are searching for answers to lots of things. Seeing them, hearing their questions, also reinforced to me why I write for this age level. I look back at the books I read as a teen and remember the messages in those books. They helped me overcome fears, realize that I was okay, and that no one is perfect - least of all adults. I only hope that my books and the messages I send are helpful to readers.

I believe it is essential for writers to examine the messages they are sending to readers with their books. We want our young people to become strong, self-assured adults. Are we helping?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A wonderful New Year is in the works. I can feel it in the air. Can you? Sometimes, though, it's good to look back and maybe change a few things that need changing. Recently, I re-wrote (to a small degree - made some good changes) my book "Champ". Now re-titled "Champ, A Race To Find The Truth", the newly re-formatted book is, I think, more attractive to young readers, and will bring them to read this good story about family and forgiveness.  The new book can be seen at
Be the best you can be in the New Year and always.