How to Write an Essay Gr. 7-12

On The Mark Press
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From the bestselling author of the National Book Award winner Let the Great World Spin comes the perfect graduation gift: a lesson in how to be a writer, and so much more.

Intriguing and inspirational, this book is a call to look outward rather than inward. McCann asks his readers to constantly push the boundaries of experience, to see empathy and wonder in the stories we craft and hear.

A paean to the power of language, both by argument and by example, Letters to a Young Writer is fierce and honest in its testament to the bruises delivered by writing as both a profession and a calling. It charges aspiring writers to learn the rules and even break them.

These fifty-two essays are ultimately a profound challenge to a new generation to bring truth and light to a dark world through their art.

Praise for the fiction of Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin
Winner of the National Book Award

“One of the most electric, profound novels I have read in years.”—Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times Book Review

“There’s so much passion and humor and pure life force on every page that you’ll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed.”—Dave Eggers

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

“Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

“Another sweeping, beautifully constructed tapestry of life . . . Reading McCann is a rare joy.”—The Seattle Times

Thirteen Ways of Looking
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

“The irreducible mystery of human experience ties this small collection together, and in each of these stories McCann explores that theme in strikingly effective ways.”—The Washington Post

“Extraordinary . . . incandescent.”—Chicago Tribune
While many books decry the crisis in the schooling of African American children, they are often disconnected from the lived experiences and work of classroom teachers and principals. In Change Is Gonna Come, the authors look back to go forward, providing specific practices that K–12 literacy educators can use to transform their schools. The text addresses four major debates: the fight for access to literacy; supports and roadblocks to success; best practices, theories, and perspectives on teaching African American students; and the role of African American families in the literacy lives of their children. Throughout, the authors highlight the valuable lessons learned from the past and include real stories from their own diverse family histories and experiences as teachers, parents, and community members.

Patricia A. Edwards is Distinguished Professor of Language and Literacy in the Teacher Education Department at Michigan State University and President of the International Reading Association, 2010–2011. Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon is Associate Professor of Literacy in the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Jennifer D. Turner is Associate Professor in Reading Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Patricia Edwards, in opening this book, seamlessly integrates her own personal narrative of growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South with the intellectual history of our nation’s efforts to address the achievement gap in literacy. Her story is powerful because it embodies a core set of principles about human learning, which is based on a strong body of empirical evidence.” 
—From the Foreword by Carol D. Lee, Northwestern University, President, American Educational Research Association, 2009–2010

“Edwards, McMillon, and Turner have hit a grand slam with Change Is Gonna Come. This is a page-turner that you won’t be able to put down. After the first reading you’ll return to visit the history of African Americans’ struggle as students, the power that teachers have to support or destroy dreams, ways to create home-to-school connections and, most significantly, how to support learning for African American students who come from homes where there will, most likely, never be a school–home bond.” 
—Diane Lapp, Distinguished Professor of Education, San Diego State University

• Literacy Research Association's Edward B. Fry Book Award, 2011

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