Summer is the perfect time for a new adventure. At Teaching Authors, we’ve been sharing our favorite summer adventures. Mary Ann offered wonderful ideas for reluctant readers.
Carmela discusses the power of writing camps.
JoAnn gives us a lovely Unfinished Poem about her favorite summer adventures in the backyard.
As a writer, I take advantage of the summer to dive into my research, tracing the footsteps of my characters as they lived. In writing Girls of Gettysburg, I traveled to Gettysburg several times, walking the length and width of the battlefield to recreate the lives and times of my characters. You can read more about that adventure, traveling to Gettysburg, here.
Summer is a ripe time for traveling. Visiting the homes of your favorite authors can be a grand adventure. Such adventures can bring a deeper understanding of your favorite characters, and their creators. You are literally (all puns intended) entering the world where they lived. Among my favorites, the Mark Twain house. You can just hear the indomitable Becky Thatcher thrash Tom Sawyer and his friend Huck for their misadventures. And Louisa May Alcott’s house, in Concord MA, is the perfect home for the strong -willed and creative Jo March and her sisters, as they put on their plays. Emily Dickenson's Museum includes the house, and the enchanted gardens, where the poet lived and wrote. There are so many I have yet to explore! Let me know about your favorite author's home in the comments below! Joy Lanzendorfer at Mental Floss gives a wonderful top ten list of historical author’s homes to visit.
As you can imagine, historical fiction is also my favorite genre, and summer is the perfect time to catch up on my reading. You may remember my discussion (here) on the (rather) complicated definition of historical fiction. I used Doctor Who, the quintessential adventurer, to help explain it: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause and effect…but actually, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.” Perhaps the same thing can be said of plot and the historical fiction. Reading historical fiction is like traveling through time and space, where “… we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me... nothing will ever be the same again!”
Where can you find the best historical fiction? Legendary editor and author Anita Silvey offers many titles, including audio books, on her blog, Children’s Book Almanac.
Children’s Editor Extraordinaire Harold Underdown lists the winners of the Scott O’Dell Award on his site, The Purple Crayon.
Another great list is by the authors of Bookworm For Kids, a resource blog for teachers, parents, grandparents, and all others interested in encouraging children to love reading.
Happy Summertime Adventures!
|Photo Credit: Mark Twain House|