The truth about Grace Lin

The children wanted to know the truth about  Grace Lin.
They had been reading her books carefully.
They were left with many questions.
They knew that she based her books on real life events.
How much of it really happened to her?
How much of it did she make up?
These are interesting questions for any fiction reader.
Underneath there was one bigger question, particular to all of the young authors at Gordon.
How did she use her memories of day-to-day life as an elementary school student to create such compelling novels and picture books?
She went over the general basics.
She walked them through the steps that a book takes, from her idea notebook to her local bookstore.
She introduced them to the team that she needs with her.
She had them role-play the editor, the designer, the binder and the printer.
Then she went over the specifics.
Her family really did grow ugly vegetables.
Her house really did look like that when she was young.
She didn't bother to change her sisters' names much for her first novel.
She didn't really change their personalities, either.
She did not, however, have a dog when she was little.
And some things that really happened to her in elementary school were too unbelievable to put in a novel.
If any of the students were hoping to hear the secret to becoming an author, they were disappointed.
She did not give them an easy formula for turning their lives into art.
But she did show them that it could be done.
You don't have to be a magician.
And after today, each of these students can say with confidence, they know at least one person who lived out their childhood dream of becoming a writer.


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