The Writing Thief:
Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing

Ruth Culham

It's been said that good writers borrow while great writers steal. Writing thieves read widely, dive deeply into texts, and steal bits and pieces from great texts as models for their own writing. Ruth Culham admits to being a writing thief—and she wants you and your students to become writing thieves, too!

A major part of becoming a writing thief is finding the right mentor texts to share with students. Within this book, discover more than 90 excellent mentor texts, along with straight-forward activities that incorporate the traits of writing across informational, narrative, and argument modes.

Chapters also include brief essays from beloved writing thieves such as Lester Laminack, David L. Harrison, Lisa Yee, Nicola Davies, Ralph Fletcher, Toni Buzzeo, Lola Schaefer, and Kate Messner, detailing the reading that has influenced their own writing.

Ruth's beloved easy-going style and friendly tone make this a book you'll turn to again and again as you guide your students to reach their full potential as deep, thoughtful readers and great writers. There's a writing thief in each of us when we learn how to read with a writer's eye!

© 2014 | 216 pp.
ISBN 978-0-87207-099-8


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The perfect companion to The Writing Thief is this exclusive, discounted collection of 21 mentor texts identified in the book as examples of great informational writing.

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