Thursday, April 28, 2011

Word After Word After Word

I just finished reading Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia Maclachlan's Word After Word After Word (Katherine Tegan Books, 2010). 
The first time I read it, I was swept away by the story. The second time I read it intentionally with a writer's eye. It was hard not to get swept away again. I stopped several times. Re-read paragraphs. Re-read sentences. Underlined passages. Made notes in the margin. Until I felt the layers of her work, wrap me in a quilt.
It was inviting.
                   A treasure.

Word After Word After Word, told through Lucy's eyes,  is about visits to a fourth grade classroom from a well-known author, Mrs. Mirabel, and how she opens their eyes to the the magic of words and writing. We learn a great deal about Lucy and her friends and what writing comes to mean to each of them and how each child has their own story. Their own words to share. And how they're all great writers.

A brilliant book in my opinion to be shared with readers young and old. I can't wait to see what my second grader says when she reads it. I have a feeling I'll be shopping for a new journal for her after she's done. Because the old one will be full. Yes, it's that inspiring.

A few of my favorite sentences from the book:

Page 79...

"She said we are good writers."
He looked at all of us.
"We are writers!"

Page 114...

"Remember this if you remember anything from our time together," said Ms. Mirabel. " You are brave." 

Page 115...

"No. It was too hard to say. But I could write it," I told her.

There are so many other great lines in this story, and the poems written by the children take your breath away. MacLachlan's love of language seeps onto every page. Filling you up until the river overflows.
So in closing...
We write to remember,
to solve,
to change,
to forgive,
to heal
and to feel.
Because everything we write

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