GiGi Amateau

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Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays

Editors: Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe

This book came directly out of one teacher's experience in the classroom. Rebecca Stern’s fifth grade students were bored to death with essay writing, and the one thing Rebecca needed to inspire them—great examples appropriate for kids—was nowhere to be found.  Inspired by a challenge, Rebecca joined forces with her friend, social entrepreneur Brad Wolfe, and the two came up with a terrific proposal—gather together a collection of essays that don’t suck by some of the best writers around, many of whom kids already love reading.

Includes essays by NICK ABADZIS, STEVE ALMOND, GIGI AMATEAU, KHALID BIRDSONG, STEVE BREZENOFF, CECIL CASTELLUCCI, CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN, LISE CLAVEL, JOE CRAIG, SLOANE CROSLEY, CHRIS EPTING, ALANE FERGUSON, ALAN GRATZ, MICHAEL HEARST, CHRIS HIGGINS, CRAIG KIELBURGER, SARAH DARER LITTMAN, JENNIFER LOU, MICHAEL DAVID LUKAS, WENDY MASS, MAILE MELOY, KIRSTEN MILLER, JOSHUA MOHR, MARY-ANN OCHOTA, SARAH PRINEAS, RANSON RIGGS, LENA ROY, MARIE RUTKOSKI, CASEY SCIESZKA AND STEVE WEINBERG, APRIL SINCLAIR, LAUREL SNYDER, ELLEN SUSSMAN, NED VIZZINI, SCOTT WESTERFLED, DAISY WHITNEY, RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA, ELIZABETH WINTHROP

Featuring "River Girl" by Gigi Amateau. Release date: June 2013.

About the book: Hardcover Anthology | Roaring Brook Press, 224 pages | 5th grade and up, 10 -15 years | ISBN-13: 9781596437371


Breakfast on Mars Reviews

Publishers Weekly, 05/06/2013

Battling against the rigid, five-paragraph essay structure, the editors of this compilation claim they have “let essays out of their cages, and... set them free. We’ve allowed them to go back to their roots.” The result is a refreshing and useful tool for every middle- and high-school writing teacher to keep handy. Thirty-eight short essays—many humorous, some poignant—come from Sloane Crosley, Sarah Prineas, Ned Vizzini, Scott Westerfeld, Rita Williams-Garcia, and more. Assigned a genre (personal, persuasive, etc.) and topic (“What made your upbringing unique?” “What makes someone or something ‘cool’?”), the contributors write essays that inspire and entertain, as well as reveal familiar authors in new lights (here is Kirsten Miller arguing for the existence of Sasquatch; there is Marie Rutkoski on memories and memory loss). In the final essay, “Break the Rules,” Ellen Sussman cleverly encourages students to get creative with their writing: “What if I get an F in English? F is for Fear! F is for Fraidy Cat! F is for Funless!” Funless? This collection is anything but. Ages 10–up. Agent: Lindsay Edgecombe, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (Starred review)

Kirkus Reviews: March 20, 2013

A guide for writing teachers that is truly useful. Good models abound for teaching fiction, nonfiction and poetry, but accessible ones for young essay writers? Not so much. Though essay writing is a staple of the junior and senior high curricula, examples of good essays accessible to young readers have not been readily available. So this handy volume fills a gap. Thirty-eight essays for young readers by contemporary writers demonstrate that “essays can be just as enjoyable to read as fiction (perhaps even more so!).” Essays on fears, favorite places, a time a friend helped you, memories of being young, crazy experiences, a time you felt like an outsider will inspire students to write their own essays. Highlights of this collection include “Breakfast on Mars,” a persuasive essay; Gigi Amateau’s “River Girl,” an elegant and beautifully descriptive personal essay; and Scott Westerfeld’s “Warning: This Essay Does Not Contain Pictures,” an informative essay. Teachers might use this volume best by offering three or four choices and models at a time, so students can choose one that best connects with them. A companion volume might be one in which three or four essayists write on the same topic, demonstrating how different writers approach the same idea. An important collection that ought to become a staple in writing classes. (Essays. 10 & up) (Starred review)

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