Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, June 30, 2023

You The Story by Ruta Sepetys

You The Story: A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory
Ruta Sepetys

Viking. 2023

Our lives are stories in motion. 

“Each day, you add to your story, revise it, and view it from a different angle. You erase things. Tear pages out. And sometimes, in hindsight, wish you could put them back.”

So begins this assessable guide on how to write for aspiring writers by YA novelist, Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray; Out of the Easy; Salt to the Sea; Fountains of Silence; I Must Betray You). Sepetys encourages readers to keep a diary - not a journal - to record your innermost thoughts, wishes, dreams, and everyday interactions that will be fodder for your novels. 


Because, “You are the story.”

Divided into eleven chapters, Sepetys narrative is both instructional while using her own life stories to illustrate aspects of the craft of writing fiction. Chapter titles are: Plot, Character Development, Voice, Perspective, Setting, Dialogue, Research, Revision & Input, and, Courage. 

In her conclusion, Sepetys asks readers to use writing as a vehicle for not only understanding you, but someone else? “What if exploring your memories helps heal something painful by expressing it or transforming it into something better on the page?”

Sepetys is an amazing writer. Her books are powerful and hard to put down. In, You The Story, Sepetys offers hopeful writers a workbook on how to create their own stories. It is a perfect book to use in high school ESL classes or writing groups for teens in public libraries. 

The book includes a list of references of titles important to Sepetys. 

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