Join the Wild Girls

I just finished reading The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, a writer whose work I had never read. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl who moves across country–from Connecticut to California–the friend she makes, and the stories they begin to write. It’s a book about writers and it’s a book for writers. There are lessons about writing in this book that are the equivalent of taking a writing class at Berkeley (the setting for some of the scenes). To tempt you further, you’ll meet the Queen of the Foxes, visit the Circus of Chaos, walk on stilts, and paint your face with lipstick to give yourself the nerve to read your writing in front of an auditorium filled with people. You know you can’t resist! Once you read it, I want to hear about what insights it gave you into how to tell stories that matter.


About kimgriswell

I'm an author, an editor, a writing coach, and a workshop leader. I spend my days asking questions and looking (or listening) for answers, and thinking up ideas for new stories to write for my favorite audience: kids! I guess I'm just about as curious as Rufus Leroy Williams III, the intrepid pink hero of my picture book series from Sterling Publishing, is persistent. Did you know that in 5000 B.C. people blamed 'tooth worms' for their cavities? Neither did I until I developed THE HAUNTED OUTHOUSE for the Bathroom Reader's Institute. Turns out, ancient dentists filled the wormholes with metals like gold or silver. Except the Aztecs. They used a mix of iron, water, and belly-button lint. As you'll discover by reading RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL, RUFUS GOES TO SEA, and RUFUS BLASTS OFF! I believe that reading opens up worlds for young people. Books did that for me, and I hope my books will do the same for today's kids.
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4 Responses to Join the Wild Girls

  1. Kathy Doherty says:

    I just ordered my copy at Amazon!


  2. Liz says:

    I just ordered it from Amazon & put a hold on it at the library. Thaks for the link, Kim. There’s an excerpt from chapter 1 there. I’m looking forward to reading the book and discussing it with everyone!


  3. Kathy Doherty says:

    I just finished reading THE WILD GIRLS two seconds ago. I enjoyed the story. I’m glad it didn’t have one of those sugary-sweet happy endings. The author never told us, but I wanted to know what was causing Sarah’s dad to be so pugnacious [the subtext]. My guess is he didn’t love himself. And I’m glad Sarah’s mom didn’t end up with Gus. I had suspected that might happen.

    What did I learn about writing from this novel? Observe people and ask questions. Pay attention to the underlying issues that drive what people do and say. Try to figure people out. Think like a psychologist. Then apply this truth to your writing.


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