Sunday, August 5, 2018

Panel: The Secret of Crafting Engaging Nonfiction: Barbara Kerley

Barbara Kerley is the award-winning author of numerous books for young people, including The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, What to do About Alice?, A Home for Mr. Emerson, many others.

Kerley brings to the table a vast knowledge of writing nonfiction, research the most important aspect. While researching the life of a person, Kerley keeps an eye out for the themes that reappear in their life. Themes that she can use to make a statement about, and work to build an arc around.

Friendship and family are common themes in Kerley's work. But she also considers what she wants to say on a particular topic or subject. For example, With a Friend By Your Side, Kerley strives to convey the importance of all children doing small things to make the world more peaceful place.

A most important takeaway: while researching, strive to find the "vital idea," or the theme of a person's life. That will help you to focus the abundance of research you will collect.

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