Mary Ann's Reviews > Word After Word After Word

Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan
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's review
Jul 05, 2010

it was amazing

wonderful, truly wonderful book. can't wait to share it with families and classes. I think it will make a great read aloud. It reminds me of Love That Dog, in its emotional tone and connection to children. Kids really respond to Love That Dog. I'm guessing they'll love this as well.

Fourth graders Lucy and Henry and Evie and Russell and May meet every day under Henry’s huge lilac bush to talk about things. School’s boring, until Ms. Mirabel, a visiting poet, starts coming to their class to talk with them about writing. The children are curious about why she writes and how she goes about writing, whether what she writes is real, and how much she gets paid. "I, myself, write to change my life, to make it come out the way I want it to," Ms. Mirabel tells them, and through her visits she helps them become more aware of their writing and emotions. Lucy’s mom has cancer, and Lucy feels that all her stories are consumed with sadness. Evie’s parents are separated and she’s struggling with how to cope. Each of the friends has their own problems, and yet they share these feelings under the lilac bush and explore how to write about them. At its heart, this book is about the ways that writing and friendships can connect us to our own stories—word after word after word. It is a beautiful, authentic, grounded novel that you won’t want to put down, much less your children. This is absolutely perfect for a family read aloud.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nancy I just finished this! I read it after your review and I love it too. She shows not tells how to write. I have always loved the way this author paints with words. What a joy to read. Thanks for your review.

Mary Ann Nancy, thanks for your note. I'm so glad you liked it. What grades do you think you'll read it aloud to? I see 3rd as a perfect fit, and think that my 1st grader is too young for it. But I'm not sure. What do you think?

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