Gr 4-6-This guide for aspiring writers is similar to, although written for a somewhat younger audience than, Patrick Sebranek's Write Source (Write Source, 1987), a popular textbook for middle-school language-arts classes. Kemper covers the writing process, its various forms, tools and study skills, and spelling and punctuation, and includes a nearly 50-page appendix of tables and lists, including maps, a timeline, the sign-language alphabet, the planets, and more. The volume is illustrated with colorful cartoon graphics, and bold headings make it easier for readers to locate information. A useful addition for classroom or home use, this title is less appropriate for library purchase as it serves better as a textbook or personal handbook.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Colorful, abundant graphics and funky cartoon art may encourage children to pick up this nifty handbook that focuses on writing but contains much, much more. Along with advice on how to write everything from a sentence to a thoroughly researched classroom report to a tall tale, the authors give a few tips on using the library (computer catalogs are mentioned as well as the old-fashioned kind) and provide sensible guidelines for building vocabulary, reading, and math skills; preparing a speech; taking tests; and even reading maps. Also included are a wonderfully useful grammar review, a time line, and a section on word usage. A great refresher and reference source for classroom, library, or home bookshelf.