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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 12, No. 2, December 2004

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 12, No. 2, December 2004

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Opening Stories, Opening Lives

  • Al Capone Does My Shirts

    Gennifer Choldenko

    Abstract: The author of Al Capone Does My Shirts offers a look at her process of becoming a published author and a chapter from this recent book.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Candy

    Kevin Brooks

    Abstract: The author of Candy talks about the reality that a book is only paper until someone has read it and responded to it emotionally. “When I write a book it’s alive in my head, but it only really comes alive when it finds a life in someone else’s head.” His essay is followed by a chapter from Candy.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer

    J. T. Petty

    Abstract: This young adult author claims his most enjoyable task as a writer is “intellectual danger, getting into other people’s trouble.” He asks his readers not to trust him, and then, as evidence, tempts us with a look at a chapter from Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Fat Kid Rules the World

    K. L. Going

    Abstract: Joy is the inspiration for this YA author who admits that life isn’t without its angst, as well. But life, she says, is a fascinating continuum, and living life fully is bound to take us to several points along its path. An excerpt from Fat Kid Rules the World pulls us into one such journey.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • The Five Ancestors-Book 1: Tiger

    Jeff Stone

    Abstract: Losing a job is an awfully low point—until it turns into the opportunity to pursue writing full time, and a book like The Five Ancestors: Tiger results. Jeff Stone looks back to his own experience as a young reader and taps that experience to help frame his own writing. An intriguing snapshot of his new book follows.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • The Flame Tree

    Richard Lewis

    Abstract: Lewis’s own experiences living in Indonesia are fertile ground for telling “a ripping good story,” one found in The Flame Tree. He hopes people will enjoy the tale and appreciate the differences of an unfamiliar culture. The excerpt from The Flame Tree will reel readers in quickly.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Funny Little Monkey

    Andrew Auseon

    Abstract: Auseon likens getting to know his characters to a rowdy party to which the “weirdos off the street” have been invited. He comes to believe they’re real and then spills them onto a page so we can get to know them, as well. Many boys will identify with Auseon’s insecure and awkward protagonist in Funny Little Monkey, an excerpt of which follows the essay.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Jude

    Kate Morgenroth

    Abstract: Morgenroth recognizes the isolation writers must endure, as well as the fickleness of the process by which words flow onto a page. She has found that, for her, every book emerges through a slightly different process. We can only conclude that whatever she does, works. The chapter of Jude that follows proves it.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Names Will Never Hurt Me

    Jaime Adoff

    Abstract: Just watch your characters and tell the story of what they’re thinking and doing. It sounds easy, but Adoff confides that he becomes attached to his characters in the process of living in their heads, and sometimes awakens wondering if they’re okay. It’s that level of intimate storytelling that he hopes will connect with readers, allowing them to see themselves and each other with respect and hope. An excerpt from Names Will Never Hurt Me introduces us to several kids who lead lives your students will identify with.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Perfect World

    Brian James

    Abstract: “[Teen literature] is the only genre of writing that is connected not by theme or style, but by an emotional stage of the reader and characters that populate the stories.” Brian James embraces the complexity and unpredictability of his teen characters in hopes that readers will discover something about themselves in a confusing time of life. We understand just how complex things can be after reading his chapter from Perfect World.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Splintering

    Eireann Corrigan

    Abstract: Corrigan remembers well the angst and conflict of adolescence, as well as how important the right book at the right time could be in helping kids understand themselves and others. That ability to identify closely with teens permeates her story in verse, Splintering, several verses of which are included here.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • The Trial

    Jen Bryant

    Abstract: Growing up in Flemington, New Jersey, put Jen Bryant in the heart of the lore behind the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. Family stories of the events of the day and extensive research led to The Trial, a novel in verse. The first several parts of this novel are included here.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Trouble Don't Last

    Shelley Pearsall

    Abstract: Even as a child, Pearsall questioned social injustice and prejudice. In her own community in Ohio and, as she grew, all over the world, she saw social inequities she could neither understand nor accept. Her novel Trouble Don’t Last, takes place during the era of the Underground Railroad. The chapter included here pulls us in immediately with a sense of urgency and fear.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • The Year of Secret Assignments

    Jaclyn Moriarty

    Abstract: The path to “novelist” was a convoluted one for Moriarty, who began writing fiction as doctoral student at Cambridge University. Her interest in young adults stems from an appreciation for the “troubles, strengths, and surprises of that age group.” Now, in a uniquely formatted book titled The Year of Secret Assignments, we peek inside the mind of a young woman struggling with her own desire to be a writer.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • EDITOR'S MESSAGE: How the Earth Became the Center of the Universe

    Kylene Beers, editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • A HAND UP: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do . . . Maybe

    Chris Crutcher, editor

    Abstract: Author and psychologist Chris Crutcher relates the terror and euphoria of having his first book accepted for publication.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary


    Howard M. Miller, Chair

    Abstract: This column brings you the latest from the Middle Level Section by way of the Section Chair, including notices about policies, initiatives, events, elections, and awards.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • BOOK TALK: Make New Friends but Keep the Old: New Books from Our Favorite Authors

    Teri S. Lesesne, editor

    Abstract: In an issue that abounds with new authors, Lesesne reminds us we still have pleasure to discover in some more familiar ones. Here are enticing synopses of eight new books from authors you and your students have come to know.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Call for Manuscripts

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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