Follow Up to What to do with a Gifted Writer

I received some wonderful feedback on my last post about my youngest son and his writing plans. Most of the feedback was suggestions for books to read this semester that are biographies or autobiographies of writers, specifically books about their childhood.

Here is what we have so far.


1. Brown Girl Dreaming – This book was released last year, and I have had it on my shelf for a while. I have a feeling this may end up being a favorite as the boy seems to enjoy books that use poems to tell their story.


2. Dead End in Norvelt – This book (and a few others) was recommended to me by another homeschool mom who always recommends the best books. The author of this story mixes autobiographical accounts with fiction, and this book won the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year’s best contribution to children’s literature and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. We are both looking forward to this one.


3. Boy and Going Solo – You can’t really go wrong with Roald Dahl, and what’s even better is that he has two books dealing with his earlier life. Boy will be a re-read, but it has been a long time, and Flying Solo is new to us.


4. When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo: A Memoir – This is a memoir of the childhood of the Chilean poet Poli Délano, and his memories of growing up in Mexico around another author, Chilean Nobel Prize Laureate Pablo Neruda. Each chapter includes one of Neruda’s poems which I know the boy will love. I have plans to read the poems together and to discuss them with him to give him an opportunity to share his thoughts with me.


5. Nevermore: A Photobiography of  Edgar Allan Poe – This will interest the boy because it sheds some light on why Poe became a master of Gothic writing. The photographs only add to this wonderful biography.


6. Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art – The boy loves to draw almost as much as he loves to write, so I wanted to find a few books on authors who were also illustrators. This book is about an author whom he enjoyed very much when he was a pre-schooler, and I hope he enjoys reading about her life.


7. In the same vein I am thinking about also picking up Bemelmans: The Life and Art of Madeline’s CreatorThese books are more straight forward biographies with art showcased throughout, but I still hope he will get something out of them.

This is by no way my completed list. Instead this is my jumping off point, and I hope the list grows with more feedback and research.  In the meantime this should keep the boy happy and interested for at least a few months.