Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids

Edited by: Elissa Brent Weissman

Published: July 4, 2017

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers


I have a daughter who loves to write. In fact, just a few weeks ago, she showed me a story she is writing. She keeps it on her Google Drive and adds to it whenever she can. Who knows? Maybe she will be written about in a book like this someday! If anything, this book will inspire her to keep writing!

Some famous children’s authors and illustrators have shared how they started out writing, drawing, and dreaming in OUR STORY BEGINS. This collection of short essays features 26 authors and illustrators sharing stories from their own childhoods. They dreamed of writing or being artists and their dreams have come true. Actual scanned images of pages from their notebooks, typewritten pages, and sketches fill the pages along with their childhood dreams. Not all of the authors were known to me, but their books were. My favorites included R.J. Palacio, the author of WONDER, who had parents that supported her dreams. Palacio had a great love of horses and her first published work was a poem titled “Winged Steed” during third grade in the school newspaper. Kwame Alexander’s poem he wrote to his mom for Mother’s Day is still framed on her wall. I loved how Weissman met author Gordon Korman at age 11. She wanted to be like him because he published his first book at thirteen. Now they are together in this book, sharing their stories of growing up.

These authors and illustrators are just like every other kid who feels vulnerable, left out at times, and has a dream…a dream of telling stories or creating pictures that tell a story. Each of them began their dreams as a child and through perseverance, luck, hard work, and true talent, their dreams have come true. I loved all the scanned images of the authors’ and illustrators’ real work as a child. I think these images make it so much more real for kids to dream big. They can physically see the silly stories these published authors were putting on paper as young kids. There are even childhood photos of the authors at the beginning of the chapters. Then each chapter closes with the accomplishments of the author or illustrator. This book is full of inspiration for your future writer or artist. I hope it inspires our daughter to keep writing!

Elissa Brent Weissman – source

Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for 8-to-12-year olds. Her most recent books, NERD CAMP 2.0 and NIKHIL AND THE GEEK RETREAT are sequels to the popular NERD CAMP, which was named a best summer read for middle graders in The Washington Post. THE SHORT SELLER, about a seventh-grade stock-trading whiz, was a Girls’ Life must-read and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in Baltimore, where she teaches creative writing to children, college students, and adults. For more info, check out her website, HERE

To purchase a copy of OUR STORY BEGINS, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama’s regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children’s and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.
Thanks to the publisher for sending this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com.

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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion on February 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I love this! I bet a lot of kids will find it inspiring.

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