Since both Joyce and I are writing books from multiple points of view, we're very interested in reading and studying them. These books offer readers the advantage of seeing characters' conflicts from a variety of perspectives, thus providing rich learning opportunities. Due to generous donations by authors, agents, and publishers, we have four giveaways, all showing multiple points of view!
by Lisa Kline
My Sisters in All Seasons series is written in the voices of stepsisters Stephanie and Diana, in alternating chapters. I’ve always loved reading books written from more than one point of view, because they give such a multi-faceted answer to the question, “What is the truth?” I have always tried, with both friends and my husband and daughters, to see things from other people’s points of view. Since fiction is a way of inhabiting the world of another person, I suppose this is a good quality for a writer to have!
As I wrote, I tried to listen to the girls in my head as they talked. I heard Diana speaking with a Maryland accent, with an undercurrent of anger. Stephanie had grown up in Charlotte, so I heard her speaking with a southern accent. She had a lot of physical fears, a pleaser personality, and was extremely sensitive to the reactions of others. Differentiating the voices had to do with word choice but also the types of thoughts, emotions and observations each girl had. Diana said “Mom” and “Dad,” while Stephanie said “Mama” and “Daddy.” Diana would notice a squirrel hesitating before crossing the road but Stephanie wouldn’t. Similarly, Stephanie might be worried that her mother was on the verge of tears but Diana might not notice. I produced a document with all of Diana’s voice and a separate one with Stephanie’s voice, and read them out loud, to help emphasize differences in how they thought and expressed themselves.
Differentiating two first-person voices was a definite challenge. Trying it made me admire writers who do it successfully even more.
Lisa Williams Kline is the author of eight novels for young people, including Eleanor Hill, winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award, and the five-book Sisters in All Seasons series. She lives with her veterinarian husband in Mooresville, NC and their grown daughters visit frequently.
Kevin also drew the two narrators
(see bottom corners).
Carol Heyer commented, "It was interesting to see how different our takes are on the characters. Mine is a kinder gentler version. Even our horses are different. I made mine unicorns, while Scott kept his plain old horses! My art always has a border around it with pretty corner designs, while Scott's art is a full bleed."
Books with multiple viewpoints help to develop empathy as well as critical thinking skills. Show your students this Readers Theater version of ONCE UPON A COOL MOTORCYCLE DUDE. Discuss the two viewpoints and how together the storytellers and even the two illustrators came up with a more interesting story.
Use this book or choose another classroom favorite and do one of the following.
Readers Theater: This is a great way to help students explore multiple perspectives. Choose a passage. Break students into small groups according to number of characters in the passage. Assign or have students choose reading parts for narrator and various characters. Have them read the passage. Then ask each person to explain how their character felt in that passage and why.
Diary Writing: Choose a passage with two characters in conflict. Ask students to write two diary entries about the event - one from each character's viewpoint.
Gender Based Activity: Work in gender-based groups. Encourage boys and girls to add three interesting details or change of action/dialogue to the story. Have groups share these details with each other. Or they can tell their revised stories and observe the differences.
Common Core Standards: Key Ideas & Details - Literature,
Range of Reading - Literature
Introduction by Bethany Brubaker
In this book, you will experience something sweeter than Cady’s cake recipes. Cady is an orphan girl who has a talent for baking. Her friend Marigold doesn't know her talent, but that doesn't keep her from searching for it. Meanwhile, a mysterious man, “The Owner” who deviously procures talents, is looking for a special powder blue, St. Anthony’s suitcase that he lost fifty-three years ago. This suitcase holds a single piece of paper, which has the power to change his future. Will the owner find his special suitcase, will Marigold find her talent, and will Cady ever be adopted? Find out in a Tangle of Knots, a book where the mystery unfolds as each new character shares their part of the story.
Introduction by Gregory Brubaker
The Life Is Sweet candy factory is once again providing space for the contestants of the annual candy making competition. Each of the contestants has very different backgrounds and each is working on making the candy they hope will win. Phillip Ransford III is an obnoxious boy who dresses like a businessman. On the other hand, Daisy is cheerful. Miles makes up his own languages, always carries a backpack, and has a secret. Logan just seems to radiate goodness. The left side of his body is covered with mysterious scars; however, he does not mind people looking at him. Do all the competitors really know what is going on in this competition or in this candy factory or will the truth surprise them?
Introduction by Bethany Brubaker
Sophie, her cousins, and her uncles are going on an adventure they will remember for the rest of their lives. They are sailing from Connecticut to England to see their “Bompie” (Grandpa). Sophie has heard that Bompie might not be in good health when they get there and may not even survive to see them arrive. Through this heartwarming journey, they learn more about each other and about the importance of family.
Bethany (11) and Gregory (12) live in Newnan, Georgia. Bethany is in 5th grade at Willis Road Elementary where she is a member of the Morning News Crew team. Bethany loves birds and hopes to become an Ornithologist. Gregory is in 6th grade at Lee Middle School. He is a member of his school’s Chess Team, is an avid reader, and hopes he can find a career that marries both of his loves, reading and talking!
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Create a "Talking Story" folder where you file old issues. Then you'll have them handy when you've got time to read, and you'll always be able to view past issues.
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Send us an
and we'll enter your name to win one of the following four giveaways.
(Or better yet, enter right now!)
by Nancy Bo Flood
Congratulations to our winners from the
Donna Earnhardt won a copy of Sami and the Time of the Troubles.
Leanne Ross won a copy of Prisoner of Night and Fog
Robin Tzucker and Becky Makla won copies of I Was Almost Five
two points of view. The videographer brings you close to the characters' viewpoints.
Graphic illustration for writers and students!
* * *
Check out Carol's blog:
for brief reviews of
three multiple POV books.
* Lisa Williams Kline for article and book donation
*Carol Heyer for the illustration
* Bethany and Gregory Brubaker for introducing books
*Joanne Hunsberger for proofreading
*Bloomsbury Books, Adams Literary, & Nancy Bo Flood for book donations
We Welcome Young Reviewers!
Do you have a teen who loves to read? We'd love to hear from you with name and contact information. We ask reviewers to read three books and write brief introductions.
A great opportunity for young people to get experience in writing for publication.
Please email us if you know someone who would be interested! Thanks.