How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Repetition in Nonfiction

This week's READ-4-LUCK pick (the feature that acts as a recommendation, review, teaching tip, and writing lesson) is The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George, paintings by Wendell Minor.
This picture book tells the story of how, over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem.
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Year: 2008
Word Count: 785
Book Level: 3.6

 The wolves are lots of fun to look at. Raises lots of questions about why they left and why they're back. The book does a great job answering the questions, but I think the children would have to read or hear the book several times (or be older) for the knowledge to really sink in and be meaningful. 

 If you love nature, then you'll love sharing this with your children. Great for discussions about wildlife and animals living in their natural habitat.

TEACHERS:  Teachers can use this to teach about animals, biodiversity, animal behaviors, and ecosystems. A great help for a unit on Yellowstone National Park, or national parks in general.

 I enjoyed the repeating phrase, "The wolves were back." If you have a nonfiction ms, you might want to try incorporating a bit of repetition in it. YOUR TURN: If you have a story that isn't working for you, and it doesn't have any repetition, try to think of a repeating phrase. It may not help, but it could. And you'll never know until you try. 

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Adults need to read this, especially the ones in my home state that want to eradicate them again. Glad to see a book that can shed some light on this situation. Wolves are a beautiful species with a purpose. You should donate a copy to libraries and schools in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

  2. I saw a special on wolves on TV that said they were going to be hunted again because they posed a threat to livestock in the west. That they weren't on the extinct list anymore.
    I had a repeating phrase in my children's book of "Annie's Special Day" and it was edited out to make the book tighter. I think to the books detriment. Now the personality of the book is gone.


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