Sunday, November 17, 2013

National Novel Writing Month: Books with Writers

It's National Novel Writing Month. We've already looked at books about writing, but today we'll look at books where the characters are, themselves, writers.


Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Freshman year, Lupita's mother gets uterine cancer. Despite the fact that she's the oldest of eight, Lupita and her mother have a close relationship and it grieves her to see her vibrant and wonderful mother struggle with the disease. This verse novel follows Lupita through high school and beyond, and we see her and her family deal with her mother's illness. One of the reasons I love this book is because Lupita is a poet, which is why the book is told in verse.

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes. After the accident, Paige was shipped off to France so her mother could do damage control. Paige is expected to step back into her picture-perfect life when she returns, but she finds it has shifted and moved on without her. From her new prospective, she's not entirely sure she wants to step back into it, anyway. But, while she figures it out, there is a lot of time spent writing at coffee shops.

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. Every Friday Mr. Ward's English class turns into a poetry open mic, allowing each student to express their thoughts and feelings. Told in the verse that these kids share each Friday, we meet 18 voices as they find a safe place each week.


The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. In this YA prequel to Sex and the City, Carrie's trying to navigate high school, her youngest sister has turned into a juvenile delinquent, and she's trying to decide what to do next with her life. She's been rejected from the New School's writing program and will probably end up at Brown, which is where her father went and wants her to go, but she's not excited about. Follow it with Summer and the City.

Forever Princess by Meg Cabot. In this final book of the Princess Diaries series, Mia's gotten into every college that's accepted her, but told her friends she's been rejected from all of them. She's also told them all that her senior thesis is a history of Genovian Olive Pressing, so they won't ask to read it. She's really written a romance novel. The tenth book in a series, start with The Princess Diaries. You can also read the romance novel she wrote, Ransom My Heart, but this is an adult romance novel, and is pretty steamy.

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge. When Kevin gets mono, he's devastated that he'll miss the baseball season. After snagging his father's poetry book, he starts writing about his feelings about missing the team, girls, and the fact that his mother recently passed away. Follow it with Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs.


Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. James Whitman's a poet, and his parents have kicked his older sister out of the house and won't talk about it. They won't pay for the therapy he needs for depression and anxiety, so he consults Dr. Bird, an imaginary pigeon.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Jessica ("Not-So") Darling is one of my favorite characters in YA literature, her sarcastic and cynical look at New Jersey high school life is wonderful. In this book, she's mourning the fact her best friend, Hope, has moved away and can't escape Marcus Flutie, the stoner best friend of Hope's older (and recently deceased) brother. There's a new girl at school that seems nice, but when it turns out she's a writer... There are five books in the series, follow it with Second Helpings.

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar. Serena has just gotten kicked out of boarding school and is looking forward to hanging out with her friends again, especially Blair, and returning to her snooty school, Constance Billiard. But Blair has kinda enjoyed the spotlight ever since her taller, thinner, blonder, prettier best friend has been away and doesn't want to give it up. This book follows a large cats of characters, including Dan, a writer. The first in a series, follow it with You Know You Love Me.

What are your favorite books with writing charachters?

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