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Word After Word After Word
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Word After Word After Word

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,401 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
Every school day feels the same for fourth graders Lucy and Henry and Evie and Russell and May. Then Ms. Mirabel comes to their class—bringing magical words and a whole new way of seeing and understanding.

From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes an honest, inspiring story about what is real and what is unreal, and about the ways that writing can change our lives and c
Audiobook, 1 page
Published May 18th 2010 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger, realism
This book on writing, aimed at elementary-schoolers, opens with a quote from Joan Didion:
I write to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
While I wouldn't say I disagree with this sentiment -- those are valid reasons to write and things I'm sure most writers get out of the process -- it does not speak to me. It is not why I write and does not typify the sort of things I prefer to read. Which is probably why neither Didion nor
In the hands of a lesser author, this story about a published author who visits a classroom to teach the children about writing could have turned into a self-congratulatory work about how wonderful said author and her writing is. Thank goodness, Patricia MacLachlan did not take this delightful book in that direction.

I enjoyed watching the children discover writing as a method of sharing their lives and expressing their feelings. Although the book is brief, I felt that I grew to know each child a
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too short and sweet for me. I bet it's actually written for classroom teachers like the character Miss Cash.
Lisa Vegan
May 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This short children’s novel took less time to read than it would have to read 3 or 4 children’s picture books.

I should have loved this book. It has: a group of fourth grade students, girls & boys who are close friends, who have some genuinely difficult challenges in their lives, who are introspective and thoughtful. A pair of teachers, one in particular who is there to teach creative writing, and the kids’ writing about their lives, their writing appearing as part of the book. Musings about
Sarah Grace
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All ages
As always, absolutely beautiful. Patricia MacLachlan has a way of putting a deeper meaning on a book that young readers probably won't pick up on, but it's there for older readers, which I love. Also, no one handles delicate subjects in a child's perspective like divorce, a parent with cancer, etc, with as much tact, and delicacy as Mrs. MacLachlan! Highly recommended!
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-fiction
First thought: These are not the words of 4th graders.

But I liked it anyway.

Henry, Russell, May, Evie, and Lucy are enjoying classroom visits with an author, Ms. Mirabel, who encourages and inspires student storytelling through writing: You have a story in you.... Words will whisper in your ear.... You will know....

What I appreciated about the story:
> Lucy's feeling of sadness over her mother's cancer, and her inability to write anything without that sadness creeping in
> Russell's optimi
Manuel Alfonseca
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth time I have read this little book, which displays in fictional form the lessons about writing given by a well-known writer to a group of children, and how she teaches and pushes them to write and makes them understand and change their lives.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
In an author's note at the end of the book, Ms. MacLachlan explains that she wrote this small novel in answer to requests about what it is like to be a writer. She says she appears in the book both as her child-self and as her adult author self. This sweet little book allows us to spend six weeks in a fourth grade classroom while the well-known author, Ms. Mirabel, leads the class in a writing seminar. We see how a little group of five friends responds to Ms. Mirabel's writing assignments and to ...more
Brilliant look at creative writing for kids. I think everyone should keep a journal just to jot down the thoughts as they hit you.. A great way for younger children, tweens and teens to express their feelings and maybe a place where they can release their frustrations in a healthy way. Writing poems can heal the soul and help one find peace in the moment. Poems that they wrote or poems and quotes they found that makes their day. Something to look back at and have fond memories. I also think adul ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I think this would have made a better story had it been longer, more fleshed out. The story focuses on a group of 4th-graders who are being taught how to write by a real writer, Ms. Mirabel. Each of the characters in the book discovers something about themselves through writing. I did appreciate MacLachlan's crafting of this tale--no words wasted, every word counted. She says a lot in a few words. I also liked some of the poems in the book. My favorite is the one by Russell at the end, which sum ...more
Good story, but unrealistic characters...never have heard 4th graders talk/write/think like the kids in the book do (sharing so many feelings, etc). It would be great to gets kids so excited about writing though!
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so damn beautiful and honest. It's meant to inspire kiddos to be writers, but I felt inspired right along with them. <3
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Over the weekend, I received the unexpected present from a friend of Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan. My friend said the book looked like it belonged to me. In that the book is about writing, stories, and how words can change lives, I’d have to agree with her. :-)

Every day feels the same for fourth-graders in Miss Cash’s writing class. Then along comes a visiting author who encourages students to see their lives in terms of words. First, there is Evie, whose parents have been s
Coley Adkins
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wow-books
When the colorful Ms. Mirabel comes to Miss Cash’s class to teach writing, her students think they do not have a voice of their own. Each student that encounters Ms. Mirabel is enchanted by her cadence of speech, her positivity, her vibrant wardrobe and her way with words. Our protagonists are a group of fourth graders who are the typical sort- overcoming divorce, overcoming sadness, dealing with lots of energy, and dealing with siblings at home. The story is woven together in such a way that we ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Fourth grade was dull until the author-in-residence arrived. Ms. Mirabel brings a love of words and writing as well as her ready laugh to the class. Through the course of several months, she inspires five fourth graders to write, express themselves, and by doing that change their lives. The five characters are many for a book this slim, but through their writing they become very distinct. One of the greatest pleasures in the book is the poetry included throughout, giving us a clear understanding ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah W
Patricia MacLachlan's book about writing and what it means to be a writer takes the form of a fourth grade glass where a well-known writer becomes a guest teacher for creative writing. Lucy, Henry, May, Evie and Russell all leave pieces of their writing and their hearts in this book. Russell writes a poem from his dog who died. Evie is dealing with her parents' separation; May's parents are adopting a new child. Henry writes to save everything to memory. All Lucy can find to write is sadness. Th ...more
What a wonderful book on the impact writing can have in a life. Every 4th grade child should have a teacher like Ms. Mirabel!

Many commentors have remarked that the voices of the children aren't true to the typical 4th grader, and I would agree with that. Sixth grade would have been more true to the voices. Another thought I kept having throughout was, no way would Henry be friends with a bunch of girls and vice versa. But if you can read around this little detail the insight contained in this l
This book made a lot more sense to me when I read the afterword, which maybe should have been first. It is the Newbery Award winner's answer to the questions about why she writes and how she comes up with her ideas and what writing means to her. As such, it is inspired. Without that purpose it is sort of a mixed up book. The text is really big, but the reading level is higher then the text would indicate, and the children talk in ways real children don't. They are less real children then ways of ...more
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Luann by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Usually when I read a Patricia Maclachlan book, I see a whole world filled with the story's characters in my head. When I look back at the book's text later, I can't find all those details in just the words of the book. Yet they are there somehow. It didn't work that way for me with this book. I had trouble "seeing" the world and its characters. I kept getting the kids mixed up, and I couldn't remember which character had which problem. This does have some nice poems and an author's note at the ...more
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tale of certain writing fourth-grade friends who embark on an expressive journey to reach their definition of the writing world. As they sharpen their understanding of words with a writer that brings them to a new light of themselves, you'll find a hidden meaning in your own life too. I find many fascinations in this book seeing how different people take the meaning of words into their own matter and incorporate them into their heart, word after word after word.
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
This. Was. The. Most. Wonderful. Book. Short, sweet, touching. I will be trying to fob it off on every third grader who asks for a recommendation. I think they'll be old enough to really get the emotions of the characters and since so many of them don't want to exert themselves, I can show them how big the print and margins are and lure them into a great story about the art and pleasure of writing. Am I sneaky or what?
Michelle Nero
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-books, mentor-text
Reread Aug. 2012: I will definitely give this book a 4th star. This is a true writer's workshop: allowing the time for students to explore and play with words. The author's note reminded me of the importance of a writer's story. And we are all writers.

Oct. 2011: I really love the concept of this book. Everyone has a story. A good read aloud when introducing writer's notebook.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the power of words and poetry. A fourth grade class is visited by a poet and the kids learn how they can express their own experiences through the written word. It is a beautiful story. Although I think it presents a rather idyllic classroom setting, the characters are touching and inspiring nonetheless.
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I don't know that it accomplished what it set out to accomplish, and it wasn't terribly interesting.
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, bubu-s-reads
My daughter and I read this together (she's 7) and we loved it. But I don't think Patricia MacLachlan has ever written anything that I don't love.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Loving, moving, rich book deep without a lot of fuss ...and brought me back to the sweetness of my childhood.
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED. On every level. And I cried..obvio.
Chocolate Panda
It felt more like reading someone's diary than reading a book.
and too much unnecessary explanation about stuff that you couldn't care less. Like:

"Ms. Mirabel wore a white blouse and blue pleated skirt and loafers. Not the kind of clothes she usually wore."
"Ms. Mirabel in her feathered jacket and earrings."
"Ms. Mirabel wore white today. White skirt, white shirt, a white crocheted headband..."
"The breeze rippled the feathers on Ms. Mirabel."
"She wore long earrings that had feathers."
"She wore a
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastic read - big print and will catch so many reluctant readers with that alone - a group of kids have a resident writer and the book is about their journeys as writers and poets - this would be a great, short read-aloud before a poetry unit, bridge between fiction and nonfiction - she does a great job of developing the characters and give them real struggles
“I, myself, write to change my life, to make it come out the way i want it to,” she said. “But other people write for other reasons: t
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Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western Massach ...more
More about Patricia MacLachlan...
“You will have a story in there. . . or a character, a place, a poem, a moment in time. When you find it, you will write it. Word after word after word after word.” 24 likes
“Some words may make you happy, some may make you said. Maybe some will make you angry. What I hope. . . what I hope is that something will whisper in your ear.” 9 likes
More quotes…