"Our story begins with a box in the basement. It's brown and heavy and one of many marked Elissa. And it's filled, to the brim, with stories from my childhood. Stories I wrote." — from editor Elissa Brent Weissman
Before these authors and illustrators were putting their work out into the world, inspiring children everywhere and turning them into lifelong readers, they were kids themselves. Our Story Begins is an honest, funny and heartfelt collection of some of the earliest works written and drawn by twenty-six authors and illustrators as kids. Included are Kwame Alexander, Tom Angleberger, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Tim Federle, Candace Fleming, Marla Frazee, Chris Gall, Alex Gino, Chris Grabenstein, Gordon Korman, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Thanhha Lai, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Eric Rohmann, Dan Santat, Brian Selznick, Cynthia Leitich Smith and Rita Williams-Garcia.
We read their candid words, thoughts and feelings as they spilled out onto looseleaf lined paper. We have the privilege of seeing their earliest literary efforts and stapled-together stories, inventive even at a young age. We learn who and what books inspired their love of words, pictures and stories, what they dreamt about, how they came to the realization that they wanted to write books for children and how they found their own voice. "Their stories were just beginning. Your story is beginning too. Where will it go?" — E. B. W.
Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids was edited by Elissa Brent Weissman and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.