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The Best Story

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  374 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
The best story is one that comes from the heart The library is having a contest for the best story, and the quirky narrator of this story just has to win that rollercoaster ride with her favorite author! But what makes a story the best? Her brother Tim says the best stories have lots of action. Her father thinks the best stories are the funniest. And Aunt Jane tells her th ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 29th 2008 by Dial Books
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The Reading Countess
A little girl is on a quest to write an award-winning story for the chance at a cool prize. Asking her family members one by one for advice reminded me of my beloved Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge ("Something that's as precious as gold, my child...), and though different, the similarities made me go HMMM. I'm not naive enough to think all stories are original. I know we borrow from each other. But this was quite the take. Still, I'll read it aloud to my kids as we begin to forge our personal ...more
Megan Bernhard
The Best Story is about a little girl who finds out about a story writing contest and the winner get to ride a roller coaster with what happens to be her favorite author. She looks to her family for help in deciding what to write her story about. She learns that the best story you write has to be your own and has to come form your heart. Many young readers and writers can relate to this story because many people have trouble deciding what to write about. The characters in this book are believabl ...more
Alice
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am not sure if I am just not in a bad mood, or that I am in a good mood, or I have just read 4 really great books in a row.

Whatever the reason, I liked this book. I like the girl, I like the writing (as a person who likes to write stories too, I have to say "you go girl") I like that she does it for the joy of accomplishments and not just for the reward (I wish some of my Lego contest participants would be in it for love of the build not the prize)

Emma
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The ending was a little too Full House for me, but a cute story and good for talking about revision with students.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another picture book to add to my favorite books to use as writing mentor texts. LOVED this one.
Alexa Rothman
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
“The Best Story” by Eileen Spinelli had such a great story line to follow along to. The main character, who doesn’t have a name in the book, is trying to write her own story for a contest that would win a ride on a roller coaster with her favorite Author. The girl doesn’t know how to go about writing a story so she gets advice from her family members. She keeps redoing her story because everyone keeps giving her different things to write about and she doesn’t know which one is the right one. Whe ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Spinelli, Eileen. (2008). The Best Story. A. Wilsdorf. New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Literary Genre: Picture Storybook

A young girl (unnamed) is inspired to enter the Red Brick Library’s writing contest. Her brother suggests writing a story with action, her father advises having plenty of humor, her aunt thinks the best stories make you cry, and her teenage cousin wants to see some romance. Bright watercolor paintings illustrate the wacky story the girl keeps modifying to satisfy all the suggestions
...more
Abriana Chamberlain
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Best Story starts off with a girl who sees a contest at her local library. An author Anne Miles is having a contest of who ever has the best story get to go on a roller coaster ride with the Author, who actually happens to be her favorite author. She is so excited to start her story, that as soon as she get home she starts brain storming! At first she can't really come up with anything so asks her parents for some help, they give her so many great ideas. She starts writing but then gets stu ...more
Tasha
May 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Red Brick Library was having a contest for writing the best story. So the main character heads home and asks her various family members what makes a story the best. She incorporates each idea, including lots of action, humor, and romance. She ends up with a jumbled story, until her mother tells her the the best story is the one that comes from the author's heart. She sits down and writes a completely new story about the things she loves, and no longer worries about whether she will win the c ...more
Kelly
Feb 09, 2015 added it
Kelly Wiegand
February 9, 2015
EDL54500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: The Best Story

Author: Eileen Spinelli

Plot: When a little girl sees that the person who can write the best story will win a roller coaster ride with a famed author, she sets her sights on winning. The problem she has is deciding what would make her story the best. The little girl has trouble formulating a story after consulting with her family and hearing their varied opinions, her mother then explains that the
...more
Lashae Rhodes
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it
The author uses the craft of playfulness of time in the story. The character decides to enter the contest and write the best story. The family of the character gives her advice on what to right about and she tries out each story genre. Every time she tells the story it is different based upon what the family member said. In addition, there was a clear focus in the story, and that was the time spent at home to create a story. The author did well at presented the craft. Every genre suggested by he ...more
Robyn Schaefer
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Here is a subject matter kids can relate to. It is the story (a funny one, at that) of a young girl who tries to write the perfect story for a school-wide writing contest, one that may win her a day with her favorite author. The trouble is, she gets conflicting advice from every member of her family. Dad says to add humor, her brother tells her to add action, her aunt convinces her to add emotion, and her cousin persuades her to add romance. Despite multiple revisions, the story doesn’t seem qui ...more
Oksanna Scheidt
"And all I could think was this writing stuff was hard and lonely, maybe I needed help...." After two pages into The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli, you can feel the tone being set with the words above. The frustration in the girls voice can be felt and seen with pictures to help prove it. She asks everybody in her household to help her because she wants her paper to be perfect but nothing seems quite right to the little girl.

I think everybody can relate to the feeling of writing something and f
...more
Kristen Thompson
The book is great for encouraging children to write whatever they want! It is about a girl who wants to get 1st place in a writing contest at her library in order to win a ride on this amazing ride on a fun rollercoaster. Her parents, cousin, aunt, etc. tell her that she should write in in cerain ways. Her Dad says the best story would be funny, her aunt says it would make people cry, her cousin says it can't be a good story unless it's romantic. After re-writing her story over an over the girl ...more
Lanyisha
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book because of how the author used the ending. He used the ending as a way to give advice to young writers. I read this book to my tutee for our read aloud on our last day together to encourage him to keep writing because he has a very creative mind. The author went through the story by showing that the main character was finding it hard to be satisfied with a story that she was writing because she was listening to everybody's ideas. At the end of the story she chose to us ...more
Mattie Weck
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it
As a child, I remember always feeling like deciding what to write about was one of the hardest parts of writing. This book encourages children to write from their heart and make a writing piece truly their own. I think this helps prompt the development of a student’s writing style, which is important in successful writing. Before starting a creative writing assignment in class, reading this book aloud could help to ease the feeling of being overwhelmed with finding what to write about. This book ...more
Roshini R.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This charming tale is about a young girl’s hope of winning first prize by writing the best story. Writing it is not quite as easy as she thinks it will be. She ends up receiving unsolicited and solicited advice from her family. Everyone has a different idea about what makes a best story. Is it action? Is it humor? Is it romance? Should all these ideas be in her story? Her imagination runs rampant as she explores these ideas. Eventually, she finds the right path to the best story by writing from ...more
Elizabeth Littleton
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli is about a girl who gets advice from her family on how to write the best story so she can win a contest. After multiple revisions she discovers that the best writing comes from the heart. This book would be good for beginning a creative writing assignment. I would give each student a piece of paper cut in the shape of a heart and have them list and draw things that are important to them. Afterwards the students could pick one of their topics and write a story ab ...more
Ellen Ramsey
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An aspiring young writer wants to win the Red Brick Library contest. Attempting to follow advice from family members, she writes stories with lots of action, lots of humor, lots of sad things, lots of romance. None of these stories work out well. Finally she writes her own story--about her two best friends and her cat and snow days and strawberry jam and fireworks and rainbows and bike rides. We don’t know whether she wins the contest or not, but she loves her story—and so do we!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A young girl tries to write a story for a contest at the library. Each of her family members gives her different advice based on the genre of book he or she likes. It showed that the process of writing a story isn't easy, and introduced readers to the various types of stories. I liked the cat, which was in every picture, doing something mischievous, like playing with dad's shoelaces. Nice read.
Teresa
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, writing
This story is about a girl that wants to participate in the school's writing contest. She is trying to write the best story ever and asks her family members for input on what makes a story so good. They ask for action, romance, and much more. When she takes their advice the story just doesn't seem right. The last person to give advice says to write what she thinks is best. Good story to show how you can do things on your own with just a little help from someone.
Heidi-Marie
A sweet book with a sweet (and true) message. Makes me think of an Austen quote I once heard. At least, I think that's who said it. Anywho. I like that the pictures are consistent throughout and full of fun. I like the suggestions. I like the characters' personalities. I think this is better as a read-on-your-own or a lap-read with a school-age child. Some younger might get it. And it's never to early to teach the message.
Kalynda
Upon staring at a blank page, "And all I could think was this writing stuff was hard and lonely"(p.2). I can most definitely relate to that--something that I cherished as a child, the solitude, and something that leaves me wanting more as an adult. Similar to the story, going to friends and family turns me right around...and although they may leave me with more questions than answers, like the determined main character, if I follow my heart...I win! :-)
Auttumn C
After reading this one day to my class my students were so excited and ready to get busy writing their own amazing masterpieces. This book can help students understand that not all books have to have action, romance, and comedy to be a good book but as long as they come from the heart the story will be good. It is important to note throughout your read aloud that the stories she writes have a lot of imagination and it would be good to add that authors have great imaginations!
Haley
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-books
This book would be great to show children the creative process. Children in the younger grades some times have a hard time not using examples that the teacher gives or using ideas that others give to them. In the story the little girl is writing the best story ever and everyone has different views of what that is. And in the end the best story is what she feels, what is in her heart to write about.
Sarah Kiesche
A girl wants to win first prize in a writing contest, but she can't think of anything to write. She gets advice from all of her family members about what makes a good story, but finally learns that the best story is the one that comes from her heart. I think this would be fantastic to read at the beginning of the year when introducing writer's workshop. K-3
Gwen the Librarian
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a really sweet story about writing a story of your own. What are the elements of a good story? Comedy? Tragedy? Romance? How about the story that comes from your heart? And why was she writing a story? The best quote ever, "First prize was a ride on the Sooper Dooper Looper roller coaster with my favorite author...Wow! First prizes don't get any better than that."
Jessica
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Another great story to read to kids who have a hard time finding a topic to write about. She goes to everyone in her family and writes a story about what they say makes a good story. At the end, she finds that when she writes about things close to her heart, that they are the best stories.
Cassidy Wells
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eled-340
I really liked this book and the message that it carried behind it. Not only a very sweet and humorous book for young children, but it also taught them a good lesson about what writing is and what is important in writing. Picture Book.
Elaine
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to encourage little imaginations to write. Love the quirky, silly illustrations. I like that the main character is willing to ask for suggestions and try different plots before she finds her story.
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Eileen Spinelli, wife of famed children's author Jerry Spinelli, is an award winning children's book author from southeastern Pennsylvania.
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