Our Story Begins

Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids

by Elissa Brent Weissman, Kwame Alexander, Tom Angleberger, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Tim Federle, Candace Fleming, Marla Frazee, Chris Gall, Alex Gino, Chris Grabenstein, Gordon Korman, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Thanhha Lai, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Dan Santat, Brian Selznick, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia, Eric Rohmann

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ISBNs
  • 9781481472098
  • 9781481472104
From award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman comes a collection of quirky, smart, and vulnerable childhood works by some of today’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators—revealing young talent, the storytellers they would one day become, and the creativity they inspire today.

Everyone’s story begins somewhere…

For Linda Sue Park, it was a trip to the ocean, a brand-new typewriter, and a little creative license.
For Jarrett J. Krosoczka, it was a third grade writing assignment that ignited a creative fire in a kid who liked to draw.
For Kwame Alexander, it was a loving poem composed for Mother’s Day—and perfected through draft after discarded draft.
For others, it was a teacher, a parent, a beloved book, a word of encouragement. It was trying, and failing, and trying again. It was a love of words, and pictures, and stories.

Your story is beginning, too. Where will it go?

  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers; July 2017
  • ISBN: 9781481472104
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Our Story Begins
  • Author: Elissa Brent Weissman; Kwame Alexander; Tom Angleberger; Kathi Appelt; Ashley Bryan; Tim Federle; Candace Fleming; Marla Frazee; Chris Gall; Alex Gino; Chris Grabenstein; Gordon Korman; Jarrett J. Krosoczka; Thanhha Lai; Peter Lerangis; Gail Carson Levine; Grace Lin; Yuyi Morales; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor; R. J. Palacio; Linda Sue Park; Dan Santat; Brian Selznick; Cynthia Leitich Smith; Rita Williams-Garcia; Eric Rohmann
  • Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781481472098
  • 9781481472104

In The Press

"Twenty-six notable authors and illustrators of children's books—including the book's editor—introduce themselves via their childhood memories.The short, straightforward introduction begins with the editor sharing her inspiration for the book.... Two years of interviewing, collecting, and collating produced the accessible, enjoyable text that follows. Each creator shares a childhood photograph, a brief memoir, a short biography, and a photographed sample of a creative work from childhood.... The art and writing samples from childhood are occasionally exciting but more often typical of the age represented—and thus encouraging rather than intimidating to young creatives. The memoirs—all (unsurprisingly) engaging—range from humorous to serious, and some slip in good advice, both about the tools of the craft and about self-marketing. There is a wide diversity of ages and backgrounds, from Phyllis Reynolds Naylor to Alex Gino, from Eric Rohmann to Rita Williams-Garcia. Thanhhà Lai is especially memorable; as a Vietnamese refugee, she had no box of writings: "But it turns out, I don't need tangible objects. I have my memories." Her recollection of an oral prose poem from age 8 is one that stands out because it is indeed remarkable for one so young. Good for aspiring writers and artists."


About The Author

Elissa Brent Weissman is the author of The Short Seller, Nerd Camp, Nerd Camp 2.0, Standing for Socks, The Trouble with Mark Hopper, and the editor of Our Story Begins. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Visit her at EBWeissman.com.

Other contributors include Kwame Alexander, Tom Angleberger, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Tim Federle, Candace Fleming, Marla Frazee, Chris Gall, Alex Gino, Chris Grabenstein, Gordon Korman, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Thanhhà Lai, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Eric Rohmann, Dan Santat, Brian Selznick, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Rita Williams-Garcia.