Writing About War for Young Readers

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Memorial Day is a time of reflection and patriotism. But we recognize that it can sometimes be challenging to explain what we're celebrating — and the realities of war — to children. In this episode, we talk with authors C. Alexander London (Dog Tags and Tides of War series), Kate Messner (Rolling Thunder), and Lauren Tarshis (I Survived series) who share with us why and how they write about war for their young readers.

Additional Resources:

Guests:

  • C. Alexander London has written books for children, teens, even a few grown ups. He’s the author of The Wild Ones series, Dog Tags and Tides of War series, as well as the Accidental Adventures and two titles in The 39 Clues series for young readers. He has also written books like One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War for older readers. When he is not writing books, he can usually be found wandering around Philadelphia talking to his dog. For more information, visit: www.calexanderlondon.com.
  • Kate Messner is the author of The Seventh WishAll the AnswersThe Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., winner of the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award for Older Readers; Capture the Flag, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner; Hide and SeekManhunt; and the Ranger in Time and Marty McGuire chapter book series. A former middle-school English teacher, Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family. Visit her online at katemessner.com.
  • Lauren Tarshis’s acclaimed and bestselling I Survived series, which has more than 23 million copies in print to date, tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters. Lauren has brought her signature warmth and comprehensive research to topics such as the sinking of the Titanic, the destruction of Pompeii, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In addition to being an author, Lauren is the editor of Storyworks, an acclaimed national language arts classroom magazine for grades 4-6 and the newly-launched Storyworks Jr. for grade 3. She lives in Westport, Connecticut, and can be found online at laurentarshis.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
  • Produced by Emily Morrow