Monday, November 02, 2015

MMGM- Been There, Done That

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

24875978Winchell, Mike., ed., Been There, Done That: Writing Stories from Real Life
November 3rd 2015 by Grosset & Dunlap
ARC from publisher

When Mr. Winchell first approached me about a book he was considering, he mentioned that it would align well with Common Core standards, since there is a push toward nonfiction. This collection is a nice mix; as the title says, a variety of middle grade authors give an account of a real life experience they had, and then write a short story that has its genesis in their own life. Most of these are realistic fiction; Claire LeGrand's leap into a fantasy world was an interesting insight into how the mind of a fantasy writer works. The roster is impressive and includes many of my students' favorites: Chris Rylander, Kare Messner, Dee Garretson and more. I will definitely be mentioning this book to the language arts teachers in my school, and it is a great starting point for many assignments.

Also, since the Guys Read series has been popular in my library, I can see students who like short stories finding this to be very interesting. I always find it difficult to review collections of short stories; should I review every story or just a few? And is that fair to the ones I don't review? Suffice it to say that this is a volume well worth picking up and sharing with middle grade readers in a variety of circumstances.


  1. What a fun idea and one that should capture many new readers. I can't wait to pick this one up for myself. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. I've heard of this book and I'm happy to see you're impressed by it. I know some kids who don't like to read nonfiction -- this mix of fiction and non-fiction could be the nudge they need.

  3. Love the title of this book. I know it's hard to review a series of short stories, but you've given us a good over view. Like that it contain nonficition, realistic fiction and fantasy.

  4. That's a very different idea for a short story collection. I always like getting insights into the writing process. Wonder if I could convince my reluctant reader son to try short stories?

  5. This sounds like a fun collection. I will have to check it out. Thanks for telling me about it.

  6. I really liked this book (my review is scheduled for next week). It would have been perfect when I was working in the library and had fifth grade classes coming in every week for read-alouds.