Real Revision: Authors’ Strategies to Share with Student Writers by Kate Messner is a must-have book for any teacher of writing, regardless of grade level. I can not recommend this book enough!
First of all, Kate gets it. She is a full-time author, full-time seventh grade teacher, and full-time mom. She teaches and actually uses the strategies she shares. And as a writer, she is a revision expert. She knows that revision is hard work and she understand the difficulty of giving revision enough time in age of timed tests and standardized writing. I am thrilled that she decided to write this book and share her wisdom with us! (And the wisdom of many of her author friends). Kate understands the current climate of testing, she gets middle school minds, and she knows how much pressure teachers feel in this day and age. Yet she still manages to make the book accessible, practical, and conversational. You can read Real Revision: Authors’ Strategies to Share with Student Writers straight through or a few pages at a time and you will learn something every time you sit down with it. My copy is flagged and I know I will be pulling it out constantly this year.
I read a lot of professional books about reading, writing, and general literacy. Kate’s Real Revision: Authors’ Strategies to Share with Student Writers by Kate Messner is the first book in a long time to grab me and make me want to continue reading long after I should have put the book down. She doesn’t just share her own classroom experiences, but also includes interviews and essays from various children’s and YA authors. The authors share their own methods of “real” revision and ways teachers can apply those methods in their own classrooms.
And teachers will love, love, love the “try it” sheets that are included throughout the book and in the Appendix. Many of the “try it” sheets are invitations for students to try a revision strategy shared by an author in the book. Because these are authors thats students are familiar with, I imagine they will love having the chance to “try” what their favorite author suggests.They can actually learn about the real revision work done for the books in our classroom libraries. How awesome is that?!
Highly, highly recommended for teachers of grades 2-12. There is something in here for teachers at all grade levels! Pick up a copy before the school year starts!