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Robert Newton Peck Talks about Writing
Meet the Author - Robert Newton Peck
I just came from hearing Robert Newton Peck talk about writing. Wow, this was a surprise visit to our writing class in our Florida retirement community. What a privilege to hear one of the great children's and teen authors of today. He's the author of 65 books and you'll find them stocked into every public library and school library across the country.
His book, A Day No Pigs Would Die, jump-started his writing career though it was not his first writing effort. His series, Soup, is tremendously popular.
(all photo taken by Virginia Allain)
A Day No Pigs Would Die
Robert Newton Peck advised the retired writers to write about what they know. At age 32, he used his time on the commuter train each day to write about what he knew. He said that he knew cows and horses, so that's what his book was about. The result was A Day No Pigs Could Die.
A coming of age story that one young reviewer calls "a great book of life lessons." He added that he couldn't put it down.
Teacher's Guides for A Day No Pigs Could Die
There are so many ways to use this book with students. Here are some pages giving lesson plans for A Day No Pigs Could Die.
- Teachers@Random Catalog | A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The site suggests some pre-reading activities for the book, then provides a variety of ways to connect it to class studies.
- A Day No Pigs Would Die Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources | BookRags.com
Overview of comprehensive A Day No Pigs Would Die Lesson Plan. Includes daily lessons, fun activities, essay topics, test/quiz generator, and more from BookRags.com.
- A Day No Pigs Would Die: Lesson Plans, Teaching Guides, Study Guides, and more (LessonIndex.com)
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck Lesson Plans, Teaching Guides, & more - this has many links (some free and some at a cost) for using the book in an educational setting.
First We Learned about Robert Newten Peck's Life
- He attended a one-room school for six year. His teacher, Miss Kelly, read a poem to them each morning. It might be Keats, Shelley, or Robert Burns.
- His nickname is Rob.
- He had a job in a lumber camp when he got out of the army after WWII. He called it "humanity's junkyard" as the rough and tumble life of a lumberjack drew many of the rejects from society.
Robert Newton Peck - Photo Gallery - Photos by Virginia AllainClick thumbnail to view full-size
Photo Op with Robert Newton Peck
Fellow writer, Jill from Canada, and I get our picture taken with the noted author.
I told him that I was a retired librarian and he responded that he liked librarians so much that he had married twice to librarians. His wife was with him and handled the crowd at the book sale table after his talk.
Writing Tips Shared by Robert Newton Peck
A big man, Rob Peck, proudly announced his age of 84 years. He exerted himself to share his knowledge of writing with a class of retirees in Florida.
- Show, don't tell. Think of yourself as writing with a camera, not a pen and paper. After writing a paragraph, read it to see if you are showing or telling.
- Don't make an outline. Create a character and write about him/her. It doesn't have to be a hero. Start writing and see where that character takes you.
- Write about what you know. Everyone has a novel inside them waiting to be written.
A Sampling of Soup Books by Robert Newton Peck
Get your kid to read Soup and then they'll be hooked. There's a whole series featuring Soup.
Soup for President, Soup 1776, Soup on Ice, Soup's Hoops, just to name a few.
Peck's Autobiography - Weeds in Bloom
As an example of "show, don't tell," Robert Newton Peck recited from memory, "Best Friend." The essay about the death of his dog is included in his autobiography, Weeds in Bloom. He considers it his best writing, "You'll write your best when writing about something you love," he advised.
I'm looking forward to reading this one. Since I'm working on some family history and stories to self-publish, I'm sure it will give me a feel for the style of writing that I'm trying to achieve.
Rarely a day goes by that I don't recommend one of his books to someone. - Evelyn Saenz (teacher)
How Many Books by Robert Newton Peck Have You Read?
Vote in the poll
Robert Peck's Book, A Year Down Yonder - won the Newberry Award in 2001
Every public library should have a copy of this award winner. Read it to learn how Peck grabs the reader and keeps them coming back.
If you want your own copy to keep, you can get it from Amazon.
© 2012 Virginia Allain