• Jennifer Laffin

Here's a Book for That: Writing Advice for Student Writers


There are a plethora of books about writing that are written for the adult writer. Books that will help improve their craft, provide inspiration, and point the way toward reaching writing goals.

But did you know that there are books that will do the same thing for younger writers? Here are a few of our favorite books about writing that are written for students of all ages:

Pretty Much Anything by Ralph Fletcher:

In my opinion, no one relates to the young-at-heart writer as well as Ralph Fletcher. Any of the above books is sure to speak to any student writer, but Fletcher has a special knack for reaching the hard-to-reach boy writer. Fletcher uses storytelling and plenty of examples in all of his books on writing and writes in a way that encourages the reader to believe that with a little effort, the writing will flow!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman (2013):

The hilarious characters of Dan Gutman's My Weird School series are back to offer writing tips for young writers. Gutman delivers these tips in the same fashion as he tells his stories: quick, quirky, and fun! Tips include how to find your story, paying attention to grammar, and character development, among others. Gutman draws his readers in by sharing some of his "top secret" writing tips too! Fans of Gutman's writing will surely learn from this writing mentor. (This book also makes a fun read aloud during writing class.)

Writing Radar by Jack Gantos (2017):

Jack Gantos is a master at noticing the world around him. A lifelong journal keeper himself, Gantos shows his readers how to turn their noticings of the world around them into stories with voice, power, and punch. Filled with personal anecdotes and his own hand-drawn illustrations, Gantos takes his reader on a journey into the world of writing, inspiring them to pick up their pen and write!

Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter (2010):

Children's book authors Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter have come together to produce this writing advice book for adolescent writers. Written in short, blog post-like sections, Mazer and Potter offer lots of writing ideas, encouragement, and information about the craft of writing. Their writing voice speaks directly to their reader in a way that makes the reader feel they are being personally coached by Mazer and Potter.

Writing Magic (2006) and Writer to Writer (2015) by Gail Carson Levine:

In these two books, Gail Carson Levine shares the secrets of good writing and shows the reader how their words can make magic too. One of the things I like the best about both of these books is that each chapter ends with a call to write so the reader can immediately practice the tips Levine has shared. I also love her parting directions after each prompt: "Have fun. Save what you write."

If you have a writer looking to stretch, consider handing them one of these books. You never know the places these books may take them on their journey as a writer!

Next week, we will wrap up our series, "Here's a Book for That," and share some of our favorite picture books about writing that you can use in your writing classroom.

Looking for other posts in the "Here's a Book for That"series?

  • Sharpen your writing instruction skills with Five Books We Love for Teaching Writing.

  • Looking to grow as a teacher-writer? Read, Here's a Book for That: Our Favorite Books for Teachers Who Write.

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