On today's episode, Linda Urban highlights the importance of embracing joy, specificity, and small moments.
As creators, the moment we say we could, should, or have to do something, the moment we think it counts, constraints stymie our creativity. So, Linda embraces joy and pays attention to what she's paying attention to. When she learned about Santa school, she didn't second guess herself, she signed up! That led to her heartwarming, holiday novel, Talk Santa to Me.
I fell in love with her middle grade novel, Almost There and Almost Not, because of a specific, small moment in the book. There's a ghost dog in the book. Need I say more?
Anyway, there's a lovely scene where the dog falls asleep resting its muzzle in the crook of California's legs, and California knows everything will turn out right. That is EXACTLY how I felt anytime Buck fell asleep nestled up in the crook of my legs with his head resting on my calves. I can't wait to book sell this novel to my class.
Linda recommends the books below because they validate both the huge life changing things and the tiny small things like eating sunflower seeds, or the made up language that you had when you were a little kid, or the silly pet phrases people have for one another, that specificity is what makes a story authentic. By the way, Linda's specific answer to the book recommendation question raised the bar to a whole, new level.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds(middle grade)
I love this book and the series. Can't recommend it enough. Educators, do heed Linda's advice about previewing.
Chicken Soup, Boots by Maira Kalman(picture book)
I can't wait to buy this book based on Linda's recommendation.
Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri(young adult)
Tried this once before but didn't get through it. May pick it up again over December break or get it through Libby based on Linda's praise.
As always a shout out to Sarah Brannen for Chalk + Ink's podcast art!
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