Gr 4-8 A readable and useful source for young writers of poetry, plays, and stories. Chapters alternate between idea-generating activities and anecdotal ``stories behind the stories'' from popular children's authors. In the practical part of the text, Asher encourages asking, ``How many ways can this be done?'' ``What would happen if?'' and ``Why?'' Exploring these issues, she gives examples from her own writing and provides starting exercises for readers to pursue. She encourages journal keeping, giving specifics for starting one. The authors' stories relate the sources for the ideas for their books or characters and support Asher's belief that ideas are available everywhere. Amusing black-and-white drawings accompany the light but informative text, which is followed by a well-developed annotated bibliography of further readings for young writers. Children who like to write will be motivated by this book, reluctant writers may discover a new hobby, and teachers and librarians who wish to promote creative writing will find this a useful tool. Cynthia Dobrez, Oak Lawn Public Library, Ill.