Debbie Glade reviews an outstanding anthology of children’s writing that should not be missed.

dancing-coverI thoroughly enjoyed reading Dancing with the Pen: A Collection of Today’s Best Youth Writing. It is an anthology of stories, essays and poems from more than 65 child writers across America and a few from abroad. There’s just something so honest and pure about stories and poems from a child or teen’s point of view. But don’t be mistaken, these are not amateurish writings; rather they are high quality written pieces from some very talented young writers. While reading the book, you’ll experience a gamut of emotions from laughter to tears and from surprise to awe. Some of the stories and poems are so wisely penned, I had to double check the ages of the writers in their short bios.

In order to understand the value of this book, you must get acquainted with the young editor, Dallas Woodburn. She founded Write On! Books Publishing in 2010 as an offshoot of her Write On! literacy organization that donates new books to underprivileged kids. Dallas recently received her BA in Creative Writing from USC and is now working on her Master’s in Fiction Writing at Perdue University. She has published more than 80 articles for national publications and is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories.

I applaud Ms. Woodburn for giving this group of writers a chance to express their unique voices and see their hard work published in black and white. Any vehicle that empowers our youth and encourages literacy must be celebrated. This book would be a great gift for a middle or high school student, a teacher, a writer or anyone else who just simply appreciates creative expression through the eyes of a child.

debbiegladeDebbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.

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