Ron Koertge

A little prose diversion for today.

This past weekend I was checking out some of the 101 Best Websites put together by Writer’s Digest every year. Since I’m planning on writing a children’s book this year for NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d check out some of the sites related to writing for children.

And am I glad I did.

One of the sites was Cynsations, a blog by writer Cynthia Leitich Smith. On her blog I found a guest post by Ron Koertge. All I knew about him before that was a poem that he wrote that I have read aloud to my students: “Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?” (It’s a great poem – you should read it.)

Well, I discovered that he writes books for young people. His blog post was about a sequel he had written to a previous book. What caught my attention was a book called Shakespeare Bats Cleanup. I quickly went online and found that they had a copy at my second-closest Barnes & Noble. In running errands on Sunday, we didn’t make it over there, but I went Monday night and picked it up.

Here’s the blurb on the back page:

At fourteen, Kevin Boland is a straight-talking MVP first baseman who can’t tell a ballad from a salad. But when he is diagnosed with mono and is forced to spend months at home recuperating, Kevin secretly borrows his father’s poetry book and starts writing, just to pass the time. Inside the book, Kevin discovers more than haiku and sonnets. He gains insight – sometimes humorous, sometimes painful – as he records his candid observations on junior-high romance, daydreams of baseball stardom, and sorrow over the recent death of his mother, and learns how words can open doors to the soul.

Makes you want to read it, doesn’t it? I bought it. I can’t wait to read it. As soon as I’ve finished it – which might not happen until I finish my first set of report cards for this school year – I’ll post a review here.

If I like it, I may read parts (or all) of it to my students as part of my Elementary School Poetry 180 project.

/ / /

I’m raising funds for The Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit organization that sponsors National Novel Writing Month in November. Please check out my Night of Writing Dangerously post.

Thanks to Brenda and Joss for their donations. You are writing heroes. I’m almost one-fourth of the way to my goal. Thanks!

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