Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Mike Winchell
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Been There, Done That focuses on how real-life experiences influence fiction. Whether the event is recounted in exact detail or there is just a hint of reality in the piece of fiction, inspiration is everywhere. Written by young adult and children’s book authors, each author reflects on a memory and tells what really happened, then follows this real account with a piece of fiction that was inspired by their remembrance. There is a mix of short stories and verse as well as mini-graphic novels and illustrated pieces. Readers will be inspired to reflect and write their own stories based on their lives.
Been There, Done That beautifully demonstrates how author’s use their own experiences as inspiration for their writing. Some of the most well known authors of children’s literature have come together to share their stories. The varied styles in which the authors write, as well as how far they fabricate true experiences, gives readers a small glimpse into the creative process. The stories range from humorous to tragic. The authors write with conviction and passion for their craft. This is a wonderful addition to any classroom and a treasure to read aloud as well. This book would be a great tool for teaching students how authors use their own experiences to create works of fiction.