I’m probably what you could consider a super-fan of Jason Reynolds. I read practically everything he writes—his stories for young adults, his stories for kids, his well-compiled essays that print every so often. The most recent Reynolds read I picked up was his 2018...
I’m always a sucker for novels in verse. Ann E. Burg is one of my favorite authors who writes in this style. Her book Serafina’s Promise is a middle grade story about life in Haiti and a girl who dreams of a better future than her community can offer her. It was a...
I kept seeing Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Short on the library shelf, and I finally decided to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad I did. The book is about a girl who just lost her dog, whom she loved, and, to cheer her up for the summer, her mom signs her up for a local...
- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert McKee
I know this is a screenwriting book, but it’s probably the most comprehensive book on storytelling. A great resource! Dense reading, but full of great information.
- The Hero With a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell
Another dense read, but Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite commentators on story and story structure. Every writer should read this one at least once.
- The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell
This was actually a series of interviews Campbell did. It’s better to listen to the audio version or watch the DVD. He’s so passionate about story, and that’s contagious!
On Writing (general)
- Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron
Great book on the science of the brain and how to craft well-told stories that will appeal to the storytelling side of the brain. I got this book years ago but still pull it out every now and then to refresh my memory.
- Steering the Craft, by Ursula Le Guin
This one’s not so much a technique kind of book as it is a book reminding writers of their obligation to their readers. Some of her ideas are a bit old-fashioned, but most of them are still valuable today.
- The Fire in Fiction, by Donald Maass
Another great one on creating books that appeal to readers. Again, I always read these kinds with a grain of salt–because my goals are a bit different, but we all want readers, so I think we can always find value in the suggestions offered, even if we don’t become hardcore users of them.