From Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch, Volume 15 Number 5, May 2020

Writing to Make an Impact
Sandra Murphy and Mary Ann Smith
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807763964, $31.95, PB, 160pp,

Synopsis: Through ideas and practices straight from the classrooms of outstanding teachers, “Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom” is a lively resource that effectively illustrates writing that makes an impact on a reader, a writer, or a cause – writing that everyone wants to read. “Writing to Make an Impact” is rich with student work that shows how writing can make things happen in the world. The authors, Sandra Murphy and Mary Ann Smith collaborate to provide ready-to-use lessons that include a full range of writing, including poetry, narrative, petitions, proposals, emails, self-reflections, long-term projects, and critical analyses.

“Writing to Make an Impact”: Incorporates the voices and practices of many talented writing teachers; Employs an upbeat style with a clear, easy-to-follow framework; Encourages writing that changes minds, tells stories, calls for action, creates awareness or empathy, touches emotions, or promotes new thinking; Provides accessible teaching ideas, short exercises, and student models; Builds on students’ experiences with social media and their interest in social issues.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, “Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom” will prove to be an invaluable and effective curriculum textbook for creative writing classes at the college or university level, as well as creative writing seminars and workshops. While especially recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, aspiring authors and novelists that “Writing to Make an Impact” is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780807763964, $31.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.35).

Editorial Note: Sandra Murphy is former secondary teacher and Professor Emerita of Education at the University of California, Davis.

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