Laura's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

We’re wrapping things up at Northfield Elementary. Our third and final poetry workshop focused on odes. Tone is a difficult literary concept. The website Literary Devices defines it this way: “Tone, in written composition, is an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words or […]

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Monday, 23 May 2016

Greetings, poets and friends. The Northfield third graders are working on imagery today, by focusing on our five senses. The five senses are an important tool in communication, whether you are telling a story to friends at the lunch table, or writing a poem. Appealing to your audience’s senses creates that “you are there” feeling. Using […]

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Every once in a while, I read a book and — the moment I’ve finish the last page — I know the novel’s perfect poem. That’s what happened with my good friend Kathy MacMillan’s YA fantasy SWORD AND VERSE. Kathy and I, along with debut authors Ava Jae and Janet Sumner Johnson, did a mini book-tour together in […]

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Welcome back to the Northfield Third Grade! Our poets are continuing to work on list poems, using Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow” as a mentor text. You can read more about the model poem and  how the students are using it to create their own list poems at yesterday’s post. Mackenzie is a […]

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Hello, Readers! After my new middle grade novel launched in mid-April, I took a month off from blogging. In that month, I’ve visited schools and bookstores in Albuquerque, New Mexico, New York City, and Baltimore. Now I’m back in my own neighborhood, teaching at Northfield Elementary. I’ve been poet in residence with the Northfield third […]

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Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m traveling to Albuquerque next week, where I’ll be visiting two schools — including a real Emerson Elementary. That’s where I’ll be on April 21, which is national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Because I’ll be sharing the day with students, I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite ways to […]

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Over the past several months, I have grown as a reader. I’m not on literary tour of classic novels, or — finally — committing to reading every book I own. The books on my night-stand, in my purse, open as I drink my morning tea, have been 2016 debuts. Reading books by friends in my […]

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Happy launch day to the Emerson Elementary School fifth graders! Today, Ms. Hill’s student poets finally graduate from work-in-progress to published book. I’ve got something special planned for you, my friends. Welcome to my Launch Day Challenge. It involves poetry, of course — this is National Poetry Month. It also involves hamsters. (I’ll explain that in a […]

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Tomorrow is the official publication date for my debut children’s novel. I started working on what became THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY in July, 2008. You can imagine how many beta readers, paid-for critiques, SCBWI retreats, critique group meetings, and hand-wringing sessions it took to get me from idea to published book. In […]

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National Poetry Month is finally here! For the first time in several years, I am not doing an April blog project. I’ll be a little busy with my book launch. However, I am going to enjoy what the other Poetry Friday bloggers have to offer for our 20th anniversary NPM celebration. Jama Rattigan has a […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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