Later this Spring, 826DC will publish its twelfth Young Authors’ Book Project (YABP), a collaboration between 826DC volunteers, DC students, and professional writers and designers that promotes and celebrates student voices! Together, we work through every aspect of the writing and publishing process.
This year, we are writing zany, imaginative fiction with the wonderful third graders at Bridges Public Charter School, supplementing our creative writing curriculum with the students’ science curriculum to create a collection of environmentally-focused, fantastical stories inspired by fairy tales.
We have already finished up our in-class sessions with the authors, and are now embarking upon the production journey: copyediting student work, organizing the Table of Contents, and generally making book magic happen. As we find ourselves immersed in the new and exciting worlds our students have created, we are getting in the mood for this book release by reading some nature writing, some science fiction, and some fantasy. 826DC recommends…
Unseen City by Nathanael Johnson
Unseen City is inspired by Johnson’s daughter’s endless curiosity about the natural world in San Francisco. Part nature guide and part instruction manual for amateur naturalists, Unseen City both takes you through the unexpected natural world of San Francisco while also teaching ways we can stop and observe the nature in our urban spaces.
The Wild Iris by Louise Glück
Our writers started YABP by writing a story from the perspective of a plant, and Louise Glück’s poetry collection attempts a similar project. Throughout the book, she examines humanity, loss, the significance of names, collectivity, and resurrection through the grasses and flowers that populate her garden. Glück’s plants have voices similar to ours, but their perspective is different, resulting in a simultaneously haunting and delightful stroll of a read.
brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
brown girl dreaming is an autobiography told through poems. Woodson’s attention to detail to her upbringing as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s make its a quick but touching read as a young Woodson navigates the world and learns how to tell her own story.
Rapunzel’s Revenge written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Imagine your favorite fairy tale, but set in the Wild West. Rapunzel’s Revenge takes familiar fairytale characters and sets them in the tumultuous West, where Rapunzel escapes the grasp of Gothel and goes off to find her own mother and using her bravery and her very long braid.
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
From the author of Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine continues to rework popular fairy tales into new and interesting stories. Fairest, a retelling of Snow White, follows Aza, a young lady with a beautiful singing voice but a far-from-pretty face. When she becomes the young queen’s lady-in-waiting, she finds that her pursuit of beauty often has dangerous costs.
Little Robot by Ben Hatke
Little Robot is a graphic novel (think wonderful stories told through beautiful illustrations and quirky visual cues) about a young girl who befriends a robot in the woods. But some bad guys want her new robot friend, so she uses her trusty wrench to overcome her fears and save her friend.
Can’t get enough science fiction? Consider subscribing to a science fiction journal! The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction which has been publishing since 1949 and is now the most widely read science fiction magazine in the US, featuring writers like Stephen King. Clarkesworld is another award-winning science fiction magazine, featuring interviews, articles, along with works of original fiction.
This post was written by 826DC magic-maker Kennerly Roper! Kennerley Roper, a transplant from Las Vegas, is a graduate student at Georgetown University’s English MA program, studying American literature. She previously studied English at Brigham Young University and has interned at organizations like Ashoka Changemakers, HELP-International, and the Millennial Trains Project. Kennerley also volunteers with her local Cub Scout troop. When not reading or writing, Kennerley enjoys watching hockey, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and teaching herself to paint.