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Joys of Journal Writing

The long hot days of summer are fast upon us, and with them there will be time for sports, time for camp, time to dream, and time to do. Time to start a diary or journal?

A journal can be written for only yourself, to write down the things that are important to you: lists of favorites (music, t.v., and movies), pictures of friends and family, and, of course, your innermost thoughts. Fun times deserve to be remembered, and sometimes writing about a bad situation can help you deal with it better as you think it through on paper. That kind of journal is personal, and you may not wish to share it with anyone.

When a teacher assigns a journal, she may be looking for your reaction to things that happen in the news or in your community. If you are assigned to write a journal, your teacher should give you more specific guidelines. For those times when you want a jump start for journal ideas—either how to begin or what to put on your pages, we have some books and web sites with excellent suggestions for getting your writing to show the real you. 

In the Library

Writing Your Own Journal

A Book of Your Own: Keeping a Diary or Journal by Carla Stevens
Writing a journal may be an assignment, a joy, or both. There are many ideas here to get the creativity going plus good advice and examples from famous journal keepers Anne Frank, Louisa May Alcott, and others.

It's All About You: Writing Your Own Journal by Nancy Loewen
Tips and tools for the youngest journal writers. Part of the Writer's Toolbox series.

What's in Your Heart, Katie? Writing in A Journal With Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin
In this installment of Katie's series for younger grades, she begins to write in a journal to share her feelings. Includes ideas for students keeping their own journals.

Writing Radar Using your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories by Jack Gantos
"Bursting with practical tips and tricks, such as creating actual story-finding maps of your neighborhood, this book will help you build confidence and establish good writing habits as you learn to use a journal to snoop out plots full of action and emotion about yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your pets. As Jack shows you hot to shape your rough ideas, organize plots, and polish drafts to shiny perfection, he also shares his own missteps - and ultimate success - as a would-be writer in middle school." Jack Gantos is the author of the Rotten Ralph and Joey Pigza books.

Diaries can be as interesting to read as they are to write. Check out our list, CRRL Kids: Dear Diary... for real-life, first-hand stories.