Writer Reading List: Fictional Authors

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly ClearyDEAR MR. HENSHAW by Beverly Cleary (Morrow, 1983). While writing to his favorite children’s book author, Leigh deals with his parents’ divorce and being the new kid at school. Ages 8-up.

KISSING BRENDAN CALLAHAN by Susan Amessé (Roaring Brook, 2005). Sarah wants to be a writer. She wants to enter a local writing contest, judged by her idol–romance writer Antonia DeMarco, and she wants to win first place. Unfortunately, her just-the-facts mom says she’s ineligible to enter and has a less-than-stellar opinion about Antonia herself. But Sarah has a solution, a pen name, and an offer to act as Antonia’s assistant. What’s more, she has inspiration in a certain Brendan Callahan. A comedic story of a young girl with a dream. Ages 10-up. More on this title from Cynsations.

WHAT DO AUTHORS DO? by Eileen Christelow (Clarion, 1995). In this story, the children’s author-illustrator is inspired by her cat, Max. Ages 5-up.

Author Interview: Louise Hawes on THE LANGUAGE OF STARS from Cynsations. PEEK: “In 2008, I stumbled on a newspaper article about a group of Vermont teenagers who’d been caught throwing a party in the historically preserved summer home of Robert Frost. They’d vandalized and set fire to the place, but few of them were over eighteen.”

Social Media Suggestions

The following titles are crowd-sourced from my social media followers. She hasn’t read them (at the time of posting), so consider this a springboard for your own research and reading selections.

Picture Books

AUTHOR’S DAY by Daniel Pinkwater (Macmillan, 1993). From School Library Journal: “Most libraries will welcome this selection, and schools where author visits are common will find it a useful preamble to the inevitable pitfalls of a perfectly planned day.”

Middle Grade

SKULLDUGGERY PLEASANT series by Derek Landy (HarperCollins). PEEK: “Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction.”

Young Adult

RAGE IS A WOLF by K.T. Mather (Whiskey Tit, 2020). From the promotional copy: “…the biting, hilarious story of a teenage girl trying to answer life’s questions–Is not telling your best friend something the same as lying to her? Can you have a crush on more than one person? Why is the movie Aliens so perfect? What’s the point of sex? What’s the point of life? Can one person change the world? Can a story? Can love?”