The First Professional Review of THE MAGIC WORDS . . .

. . . is a starred review, from YA expert Michael Cart at Booklist, and it makes me really happy:

For anyone wishing to write for young readers, Klein’s remarkable new book will be a sine qua non, an indispensable, authoritative guide to the act, art, and craft of creation. An editor for 15 years, Klein clearly knows her apples about the writing—and publishing—process and demonstrates an extraordinary gift for analyzing it, breaking it into its constituent parts, and reducing those parts to other parts until an essential kernel of truth is uncovered. “Keep digging down until that inner truth is revealed,” she advises. Klein then shows how that truth can be applied practically and strategically, guiding the reader through, for example, eight principles of plotting, six of writing outside our experience, 10 strategies to build relatability or “compellingness” into characters, etc. The book should come with a warning, though: it’s not for the lazy because reading its generous contents (more than 350 detail-packed pages) requires careful attention and concentration; moreover, the inclusion throughout of exercises invites the reader to become the writer, interacting with the text. “Have characters make choices and DO THINGS,” Klein counsels; clearly the same can be said of her readers. Finally, though her focus is on chapter, middle-grade, and young adult books, her sage advice can be applied to writers for any age, who will—justifiably—treasure it.

Woot woot! Just three more months till it's out. Preorder information here.