Playing Possum (Clarion Books, 2020) by Jennifer Black Reinhardt is such an adorable picture book.
I love it from the first page:
Alfred was born a possum. And when a possum feels nervous, it freezes and plays dead.
This was unfortunate for Alfred. He was a very nervous possum.
Don’t you have immediate sympathy for poor Alfred? You can imagine all the places he doesn’t do well. Making friends is “too terrifying to contemplate.” But then he meets someone who is also scared. Together they…
Nope, not telling. You have to read it yourself.
Author/Illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt‘s delightful illustrations finish off this lovely story. You can read about the other books she’s done here and checkout more of her artwork here.
When it comes to people – don’t write about who you know, but what you know of human nature.
The Unteachables (Balzer & Bray, 2019) by Gordon Korman is an inspiring upper middle grade novel with big splashes of humor.
Unusually (for a middle grade) it’s told from multiple points of view, including adults. We get a look at the misfits and delinquents who are isolated from the rest of the student body and put in one class together. These are the kids no one knows what to do with. And this year, their teacher is burned out and only hanging in ’til retirement. But something unexpected happens.
Meet Kiana who doesn’t belong, Mr. Kermit who’s sure it is a conspiracy, Parker with his provisional driver’s license, Aldo who definitely has anger issues, Elaine rhymes with pain, and more. Here’s a book trailer.
Don’t miss this book!
Author Gordon Korman has written over 95 books! Click here to his main book page and then choose what category you’d like to see more of his books.
You can “meet” Gordon here as he talks about how he got started and his most recent novel Restart.
If you are not discouraged about your writing on a regular basis, you might not be trying hard enough. Any challenging pursuit will encounter frequent patches of frustration. Writing is nothing if not challenging.