How I Became A Writer & Oggie Learned to Drive

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9780142501672: How I Became A Writer & Oggie Learned to Drive

Anyone anywhere near Garden Street knows to stay away from the Night Riders, and Archie is no different. He and his little brother, Oggie, know the gang is up to no good. When they steal Oggie's prized red wallet and his entire life savings ($50 is a lot for a six-year-old), Archie has to get it back. After all, Archie has been looking out for his little brother ever since their parents separated. But the only way the Night Riders will give the wallet back is if Archie joins the gang to retrieve it. Archie is afraid that he's headed for trouble, but can he really turn back now? It's going to take all of Archie's courage-and creativity-to come out on top.

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About the Author:

Janet Taylor Lisle was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut, spending summers on the coast of Rhode Island. The eldest and only daughter in a family of five children, she was educated at local schools and at fifteen entered the Ethel Walker School, a girl's boarding school in Simsbury, Connecticut.After graduation from Smith College in 1969 with a degree in English literature, she enlisted and was trained for work in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). She lived and worked for the next two years in Atlanta, Georgia, organizing food-buying cooperatives in the city's public housing projects and teaching in an early child-care center. Catalyzed by this experience, she enrolled in journalism courses at Georgia State University with the idea of writing about the poverty she had seen. This was the beginning of a reporting career that extended over the next ten years.With the birth of her daughter in 1977, Lisle turned to writing projects that could be accomplished at home. In 1984, The Dancing Cats of Applesap, her first novel for children, was published. Subsequently, she has published ten other novels.

From School Library Journal:

Grades 4-6--Archie's life has become more difficult since he and his six-year-old brother, Oggie, have been switching between his parents' apartments. They call it going from Saturn to Jupiter, because their homes are so different that they might as well be on separate planets. The possibility of a new baby at Dad's disturbs the boys, as do their Mom's struggles to work and care for them. In addition, the neighborhood between the two homes is scary: a gang called the Night Riders threatens the boys' safety. Archie is a writer and uses his "mole people" adventures to help Oggie cope, and to process his own experiences. One day, on a mundane errand, the sixth grader experiences an inexplicable moment of bravery when he trips a thief and uses the hold-up gun to keep him there until the police arrive. The Night Riders decide they can use him and despite his innocence, Archie becomes involved in their crimes. It's a tribute to Lisle's powers as a writer that this frightening scenario never overpowers the real essence of the book, which is about how fiction and life are different and equally useful to one another. Such great truths are stated simply and shown in the action at the same time. In this fast-paced, adventure-filled title, readers may be surprised to find Archie's observations about life with divorced parents and helpful hints about writing stories as memorable as Oggie's chance to do some actual driving in the final scenes.
Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Lisle, Janet Taylor
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