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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog


READ LIKE A WRITER is for teachers, librarians, writers, and bibliophiles who want to know the why and how of crafting quality literature. One type of literary criticism is deconstruction, where language is questioned. In this blog I’m using the term in a more general, practical sense, as I deconstruct writing elements of children’s books. It is through studying quality literature that we learn how to improve our writing.

Warning: there will be spoilers! If you don’t want to know what happens in a story that I am using as an example, then don’t read the blog until after you have read the books I’m discussing. Personally, when I read a book, I read it once for enjoyment. If I love the book, and am curious how the author constructed the plot or wove certain elements, then I will read it again, very slowly, and take notes. If, by chance, I’ve read something about the book, and sneaked a peek at the ending, it does not bother me; I still enjoy the ride the author takes me on. But if you are not one who can stand spoilers…well, you’ve been warned.

Authors: if you want me to consider your book to be deconstructed, send me a copy and tell me what element you think it is worth using for examples of excellent craft. Please do not e-mail me texts or PDFs. I don’t want to read it on screen and it’s not fair to ask me to print it out. (I write in my books--gasp!) I cannot use everyone’s book. If I don’t think it is the best example of what element I’m blogging about, then I will not use the book. I am not going to review your book. And I donate nearly all books—except the ones I write in--to a local Carnegie library or Paint Rock school library in Texas.
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