Last week I started teaching a Creative Writing course to a group of middle school kids. It's pretty exciting for me because I haven't taught in years, and this class is all about writing! Plus kids have such great energy! As they learn, I want them to stay fired up about writing. I know I'll learn from this experience as well.
This week or next, I plan to touch on similes and metaphors. I had that in the back of my mind as I was doing my own pleasure reading last night. When I'm really focused on something in my own writing, reading helps me learn and process my thoughts, seeing how someone else tackled setting, dialogue, first pages--whatever I'm zeroed in on at the time. Well, last night I couldn't help notice some excellent examples of similes I can share with my students. The book I'm reading: LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld.
For those of you who don't know about it, LEVIATHAN is the first book in the Leviathan Series. The third book of the trilogy, GOLIATH, became available September 20th. My son read LEVIATHAN when it just came out, and it has been on my to-be-read list ever since. Oh, my gosh, bloggy friends! Why did I wait so long? I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm flying through it. It's a total page-turner, and I recommend it.
Here's the blurb:
It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.
Aleksander Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way . . . taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.
I haven't read much steampunk, but it is so fun! Scott Westerfeld's super creative story and Keith Thompson's unique illustrations are fabulous together. The characters in LEVIATHAN pulled me right into Westerfeld's richly detailed world. I can't wait to find out what will happen next! The book has loads of action, amazing creatures, and compelling characters. And did I mention the wonderful similes? :)
Click here to see the trailer.
Have you read LEVIATHAN or anything else by Scott Westerfeld? Do you like steampunk? Do you have any words of wisdom for teaching Creative Writing to middle schoolers?