Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Read this Book!

I can officially add book reviewer to my many (unpaid) jobs. Through my involvement with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), I learned of an opportunity to review a not-yet published book. Knowing that I had the luxury of more free time than most of the full-time teachers and professors who also received this query, I decided to do it. Plus, it meant that I got to read a book that no one else did.

Fortunately for me, the book turned out to be really good...and I'm not just saying that (unpaid, remember?). I posted a review to the book-lovers site Goodreads, sent off a blurb to the publisher, and--now that the book is officially published--posted a review to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. What follows is a more specific review:

How I Got Rich Writing C Papers is a must-read for teachers and students alike. Teacher-author Andy Hueller has cleverly disguised an accessible, non-pedantic writing guide as a fun, quick-moving novel about high school senior Charles Remington Dremmel’s (not his real name, of course) graduation legacy. From the parenthetical footnotes to the illustrated grammar metaphors, I felt connected to this narrator and was on the edge of my proverbial seat as I read to find out how he could possibly prepare his classmate-clients to finally write for themselves. It is easy to see how Charles built a successful business of writing essays for his classmates based on his strong writing voice and awareness of the skills teachers are looking for as they assess student writing. And rather than just describe traits of good—and not-so-good—writing, Charles helpfully provides sample A, B, C, and D essays. As a fellow educator, I learned some things about writing myself, especially more effective ways to teach it. I have no shame in “borrowing” Charles/Hueller’s metaphor for explaining the pesky comma splice or encouraging my students to maintain “thought fart journals.” I finished this book re-energized about the teaching of writing and ready to start a Nerf War of my own.

If I haven't made it abundantly clear by now, you should totally buy/read this book.




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