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Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  21 reviews
This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisnernos. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girlsand Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.

What makes a writer? What inspires them? Where do their stories come from? Striking illustrations and a popular graphic novel
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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This was BEAUTIFUL at first. I loved it. The graphic novel format suits each chapter well, and I enjoyed learning more about the childhoods of popular authors, especially those that I grew up reading. Better yet, because Haidle wrote this with a specific focus on encouraging young writers, she shares specific details about how the authors developed their skills, and quotes a line or two of writing advice from each of them at the end of their chapter. As I read this, I was full of warm, happy ...more
La Lin
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed

Elizabeth Haidle is a brilliant illustrator herself. Not only does she never cease to amaze me with many experimental illustrative works, but she also proves herself to be a very good graphic novel artist/writer. Compiling different stories of 10 famous writers and their childhood, Haidle takes on the challenge of making this book with such skilful illustrations and insightful summaries of the authors' lives. As an emerging illustrator who is also a book nerd, this book would be in the top of my
First sentence: What makes a writer? Many of us wonder about the stories behind the stories of best selling authors...

Premise/plot: What do you call a nonfiction book that uses the graphic novel format?! This one is nonfiction. It includes brief biographies of ten--yes, ten--writers. (5 Men. 5 Women.) The writers included are Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Dr. Seuss, Sandra Cisneros, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Gene Luen Yang, Beatrix Potter, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. Some of these writers
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
this was a lovely introduction to some fantastic authors. I loved that the breadth of authors highlighted (sure there's CS Lewis, but there's also Gene Luen Yang and Sandra Cisneros!) and the small details that connect to some of the famous works by the authors. The art compliments the narratives very well, and the color palette used isn't overwhelming and adds to the charming tone of the book as a whole.

this is definitely not a one sitting book, but the strength of this book is in the ability
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-9-12-picks
“Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids,” by Elizabeth Haidle, is a collection of biographies sure to appeal to young readers, and adults too. In her introduction, Haidle stresses that writers have varying styles, and work habits, but each has a commonality — writers are first and foremost readers, long before they put pen to paper they’re addicted to story, to words on the page.
Included in Haidle’s graphic book style compilation are men and women who have enjoyed great success —
Cindy Hudson
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of kids’ favorite writers, people like Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, and Madeleine L’Engle, were also young before growing up to become famous. And learning about the lives of these writers-in-the-making can provide inspiration for children, possibly prompting them to learn more or even to write stories of their own. Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids by Elizabeth Haidle talks about these budding writers as well as others, profiling 10 in all.

The graphic format combines illustrations
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once he grows up.”

Each author’s chapter includes quotes from their writing and a timeline of major publishing events. The biography portion format has a graphic novel feel.

A common theme among all the authors’ bios is how their childhood experiences influenced their writing. Another common theme is finding solace in writing and/or in books. A third theme is the importance of family, mentors and/or friends.

Mark Twain: “The different
Valerie McEnroe
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-3, nonfiction, biography
This is a cute book. I ordered it thinking it's written for a middle grade audience, but it's definitely for younger kids. I would call it a nonfiction picture book. Packed with illustrations and just enough information to be interesting, but not dull. Authors covered are Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Dr. Seuss, Sandra Cisneros, Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling, Gene Luen Yang, Beatrix Potter, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle
Suad Shamma
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2019
I seriously enjoyed reading this book! Sure, it was a quick read, but how interesting! I loved the illustrations, and the simplified, yet interesting, manner that Elizabeth Haidle uses to tell her stories and the stories of these incredible writers.

I actually found it to be quite educational and also, inspiring. It kind of makes you want to get up and do something productive with yourself. Definitely recommend reading it with your children, I think they will be really enamored by some of the
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm familiar with nearly all of these authors, but I was surprised to find there were some facts about them I didn't know! Also lovely to learn about Sandra Cisneros, whose works I'm not familiar with.

I especially loved the timeline at the bottom of the pages, so you can see when key moments in the authors' lives played out.
Jarm Boccio
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a writer interested in the childhood of fellow authors, this hit the spot. And its graphic novel format would entice middle-graders or even younger as well. Half the authors were familiar, and the other half, not so, but all had fascinating lives that of course, influenced their work. An easy read, but informative!
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-beehive
This was a different perspective on authors as kids. It seems like they were normal kids, who had normal struggles. What I like about these highlighted authors, is that they really aren't all that special. They are people who pursued a passion and it paid off!
Edward Sullivan
Appealingly crafted collective biography.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Loved this book! What a great idea to have author biographies as a graphic novel.
Carrie Froese
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. A must for every elementary school library and aspiring author!
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the panel-style illustrations that incorporated the authors' writing work as well as quotes from interviews. A little bit of literary criticism in there as well!

Very cool.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great style of writing. I was surprised only one author was left off the cover. Didn't make sense to leave off just one. Interesting! Good book for aspiring writers!
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite sort of kid's nonfiction books are collected biographies and this one is lovely. The artwork is beautiful and the vignettes highlighted about each author are fascinating.
Mary Hamer
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From Twain to Rowling...this is a lovely compilation of children author biographies done with graphic novel style.
Amanda Cox
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really inspiring quotes and cute animations. A quick and easy read. Would be good for kids but still interesting as an adult. Many stories about overcoming adversity.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, non-fiction
I learned a lot of interesting facts about Mark Twain.
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