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Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids
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Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  59 reviews
From award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman comes a collection of quirky, smart, and vulnerable childhood works by some of today’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators—revealing young talent, the storytellers they would one day become, and the creativity they inspire today.

Everyone’s story begins somewhere…

For Linda Sue Park, it was a trip to the ocean, a bran
Hardcover, 1 edition, 208 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  236 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Start your review of Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
How much fun is this?! Twenty-six children's book authors and illustrators (dare to) reveal their childhood stories and art. The authors and illustrators include lots of my (and probably your) favorites, like Marla Frazee, Linda Sue Park, Gordon Korman, and Ashley Bryan. The stories of their struggles and successes as children will inspire others who have writing or drawing dreams, I think. It's clear that these folks are all real people who are a lot like you and me. ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love it, I love it, I love it. My favorite is Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's excerpt.

This is a compilation of the first stories and drawings famous illustrators ever wrote and/ or drew. In every story and drawing you can see how authors are just people who liked writing stories and worked hard, and ended up making money by doing it. It's a really neat glimpse into the lives of writers we all adore-- we are often fed interviews with famous actors and actresses, to the point that certain celebrities
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
25 children's authors and illustrators share childhood stories about how they became who and what they are. The memories of writing, drawing and storytelling bring their books to life in new and different ways. I love reading them and look forward to sharing them with my students at the beginning of the year when we are learning about how we are individuals. I look forward to sharing them as examples of personal narratives that highlight just one part of one passion and interest. And I love the ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unquestionably five stars. I loved reading and seeing the early work by some of the greatest children’s book authors and illustrators out there. Reading their versions of how they started out and how they got to where they are now is fascinating! As I’ve been working on illustrating one, and have ideas pouring out of my head on books I want to write and illustrate, this was so motivating and exciting to read. I would have jumped out of my skin, if I knew how to get back in it, when I read that C ...more
Liz Todd
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I love the idea behind this book and found it to be incredibly inspiring! I loved seeing childhood work samples from some of my favorite authors/illustrators. Would be fun to share with young writers and artists!

The book felt a little unpolished... maybe because of the work samples, or maybe because it was a little "scrap-bookish" in spots. I will admit that I scanned through some is the longer, more difficult to read work samples, favoring the adult narratives. On the other hand, I think the au
Zach Koenig
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
What were some of the most prominent YA authors/illustrators writing in their formative years? That is what Elissa Brent Weissman sets out to find, editing together the thoughts/works of twenty five industry luminaries, including such names as Kwame Alexander, Candace Fleming, Tim Federle, Gail Carson Levins, Grace Lin, Brian Selznick, and Rita Williams.

The sections for each author/illustrator are basically the same format each time: Some thoughts from the person being interviewed, and then a se
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review will be written soon. I can say this is a amazing book! Love it!!

edited to add a full review of this book.
I reciceved this book through a good reads giveaway. I really was drawn to this book because of the subject. When I got it I loved it!! This book will be one of my treasures! This book has 25 children authors and illustrators sharing their childhood stories. The book contains their childhood writings, drawings and such. It such a joy to look through the pages and read each and ev
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun to see what children's authors and illustrators were writing when they were children.
Great book to encourage young authors.
Katie Strawser
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, 2017, memoir
I would have loved to read this as a child! What an awesome inspiration for all young future authors/illustrators!
Joslyn Allen
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review published: https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress...

As a bibliophile and book blogger, I have a not-surprising weak spot for books about books, especially those that surrender to the madness that is an all-consuming love of reading and surrounding oneself with paper worlds. I have had the good fortune of receiving advance copies of two new releases of this kind recently.

First, let's take a moment with "Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks" by Annie Spence, which I found t
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Twenty-six authors and illustrators share their experiences about how they started their writing or drawing careers. The book includes some of the very first stories and illustrations by Gordon Korman, Grace Lin, Jarrett Krosoczka, and many more. Readers will get to read about some of their favorite authors and illustrators and learn about how to start writing and drawing their own books.

Recommended for grades K-8. Lexile Level: 930
Reviewed by Christine Hwang, Youth and School Services, Vernon A
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, writing, juvenile
Aspiring writers of any age will find the stories of how some children's authors got their start inspiring. ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rated 4 1/2 stars
Ages 11+
Casey Jo
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book for kids who want to be writers to see what published writers were doing as kids. Not a reading book so much as a browsing book.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a daughter who loves to write. In fact, just a few weeks ago, she showed me a story she is writing. She keeps it on her Google Drive and adds to it whenever she can. Who knows? Maybe she will be written about in a book like this someday! If anything, this book will inspire her to keep writing!

Some famous children's authors and illustrators have shared how they started out writing, drawing, and dreaming in OUR STORY BEGINS. This collection of short essays features 26 authors and illustrato
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book for aspiring writers and illustrators. The artists show their earliest works and their talent is amazing. It is interesting to see at what ages they got started and whether success came easily or not. It offers a glimpse at their early lives and interests and makes them seem that much more human.
Ana Cob
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-n-f
This was brilliant! I loved seeing these amazing authors and illustrators having different kinds of childhoods. Yuyi Morales' story broke my heart. Tom Angleberger's encyclopedia writing fixed it back together! ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
**Thank you to Wunderkind PR for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Our Story Begins is a collection of stories from well-known authors and illustrators of children’s fiction. They include Kwame Alexander, R.J. Palacio, Candace Fleming, Gail Carson Levins, Grace Lin, Brian Selznick, and many more.

The sections for each of the 26 authors / illustrators follow the same format. They give you insight into how, when or why they started writing or drawing, f
Quick read. Many authors in this book have been life-long writers so it is natural that they are now published as adults.
Jackie Nolan
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Logan’s Review:
5 out of 5 stars

I really liked this book. Some of the stories were really funny. The stories were entertaining and kept my attention so I was able to finish reading in just a couple hours. My favorite story was Marla Frazee’s where she was talking about John always dropping stuff. In Dan Santat’s story, I liked when he was talking about how even though he couldn’t draw very well, he never gave up. That teaches you to keep trying no matter what. I thought it was awesome that Jarret
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Everyone’s story begins somewhere.” Authors are inherently able to reminisce about that moment when they felt the power of story start to change their lives. Sometimes it was through the received recognition or struggle or heartache that the seeds to their future careers began. Join Elissa Brent Weissman as she collects individual memories and samples from 26 authors and illustrators and revel in their variety, inspiration, and child-like gifts of bringing stories to life. Kwame Alexander share ...more
Rachel Fellows
I love books in which authors talk about their writing. This one was especially cool: children's book authors showcasing their own youthful writing and artwork. It confirmed for me that Brian Selznik has always been extremely gifted...his crosshatching style is one that he has been using since he was a child! ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The subtitle explains what this book is about. I would have given the book 5 stars except that several entries of pictures of what the authors wrote as kids were difficult to read as the copies of their works was too light for the reader to decipher. In addition, the book is made with shiny pages which would create a glare when one is reading under lamp light.
The editor/compiler shared 25 authors including herself. I was not familiar with any of them and originally thought that this would make t
Theresa Wade
I enjoyed reading this book and concept. I love reading about illustrators who do some amazing drawings and also provide a story to go with them. I am always impress on how they have the skill and desire to be so creative at a young age. Some of the original written stories are old, faded and small letters. They are very hard to read even with a magnify glass. Even with the old paper work I believe you could have enlarged the text to make them more readable. A book worth having on my coffee tabl ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a quick non fiction read about authors and illustrators and their first works. I was looking for more info about their childhoods and growing up, but the some of the artwork these young souls have created is amazing. I love how some of the works that they created were saved by family members, and that quite a few can name the person that helped them become the author or illustrator they are today.
Allison Renner
This is a fun children’s book profiling some authors and illustrators and how they got their start. It is told in each author’s or illustrator’s own words, and often includes samples of their early work. I love this because I recently found a lot of my old work and it’s delightfully embarrassing. I love getting a glimpse of all of that from established authors and illustrators to help encourage me! Hey, it could happen!
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A great book to see how many of our favorite authors and illustrators were developing their passion as children/teens. My favorite part was seeing the actual artwork and/or writing for each of the 26 people as children. I hope this would inspire other children interested in the juvenile publishing industry to see that we start somewhere in developing our talents.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because I am a lover of children’s literature.
It was fun to read samples of authors’ childhood writing and see illustrators’ early artwork ( I also got a kick out of their elementary school photos ). I highly recommend this book to young people who have a passion for writing and/ or illustrating.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Great collection of inspiring stories from some of our best YA novelists/authors. Loved the photos of them when they were kids and their bits and pieces of stories written when they were young. I hope any aspiring your writers out there will pick up this book and read it! Who knows, your picture may be in the next volume!
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved getting a glimpse of the work of authors and illustrators when they were children, and I think my students will, too. I really enjoyed how the book looked like a scrapbook, with photos and copies of the original works included. Bring on book #2!
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Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for young readers. Best known for the popular Nerd Camp series, she and her books have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, NPR’s “Here and Now,” and more. Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa spent many years in Baltimore City, where she taught cre ...more

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