Some Fridays, I share middle grade titles. Others, I share picture books. Today, I offer a special combo – a middle grade biography filled with pictures. Check it out!
Title: Some Writer! The Story of E.B.White
Written and Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet
Hougton Miflin Harcourt, biography 2016, 176 pp.
Suitable for ages: 7-10
Themes/topics: Writing, E.B. White
Elwyn Brooks White became a writer while he was still wearing knickers. He was seven or eight years old when he looked a sheet of paper “square in the eyes” and thought, “This is where I belong, this is it.”
Overview (from worldcat.org):
“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White’s granddaughter.
Activities and Resources:
If someone wrote a biography of you in a similar fashion, what “pieces” of your life might be included?
This book can, no doubt, inspire all kinds of writing activities such as the samples we see from White’s life: journals, sketches, maps, etc.
Write and illustrate a chapter from your life.
Why I like this book:
As soon as you open the cover and begin turning the pages, you know this book is special. It’s like unpacking a box of treasures from E. B. White’s attic. Interspersed with text are photos, maps, quotes, letters, journal pages, manuscript revisions, sketches, and even a diagram of a typewriter. Sweet’s illustrations blend seamlessly with the realia from White’s life. The meticulous details invite your eyes to linger over each page. Fans of White will be fascinated by the history behind his books – where his stories came from, how they developed, the revision process, and public response. Those who have not read his childhood classics will be inspired to do so…
[True confession: I’m probably the one kid in America who never read Charlotte’s Web. Don’t know how I missed out on that one. But now, I’ve got my very own copy, ready to read. And share!]