Week 1 Pop Quiz!

badge final 4x4-brighter heartNow that Week 1 is over, it is time to review what you learned and take a Pop Quiz. We know you’re all going to make scores that will make your teachers proud! So go ahead, take this quiz to see if you learned the basics during the first week of Kidlit Summer School! 


  1. In Monday’s post, Julie Falatko  advises:

a) Trust your gut. If your story feels flat, even just a little, do what you can to make it more exciting.

b) Smash disparate elements together to make your story stand out.

c) Sometimes the best way to add humor is with an exploding sandwich of surprising and unexpected story elements.

d) All of the above


  1. In Tuesday’s post, Kami Kinard, suggests you:

a) Use the Rule of Three to set up your humor

b) Add a twist on the third beat

c) Try re-writing Goldilocks and the Three Bears

d) All of the above


  1. On Wednesday, Tom Angleberger explains that:

a) We should start with a funny idea and keep piling it on.

b)Writing funny books takes a lot of writing, drawing, revising, editing.

c) You have to be willing to let some ideas sail off into the sunset.

d) All of the above


  1. In her post on Thursday, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen suggested:

a) Be unexpected, logical, and reserved, and focus on the things that make you smile.

b) Laughter makes everything better.

c) Emotion can stand on its own, and it’s much better by itself than propped up by a faulty foundation. Be real.

d) All of the above


  1. On Friday, Megan Shepherd shared that: 

a) Readers may initially be drawn to a book because of the premise, but it’s relatable characters that will ultimately capture their hearts

b) There are several strategies for crafting characters that readers instantly care about, such as putting them in danger, making them likeable, or giving them a special talent.

c) While character building worksheets that list a character’s physical, social, and family traits can be helpful, they should be supplemented by putting characters in situations that can demonstrate these traits

d) All of the above


So how’d you do? 100% right? If you’re unsure, go back and check out the posts from Week One! This is an open blog test! (And you don’t even have to turn it in. Grade yourself and then pat yourself on the back!)

Now that you’ve completed your test, you can kick back and enjoy your weekend… or use the time to catch up on the KLSS posts! One of the suggestions we’ve had in the past is that folks have a hard time keeping up, so we’re trying to keep Saturday’s virtually free for you all to take a breather and do just that!

Tomorrow is the last day to register for Kidlit Summer School 2016! Click HERE to register.

Pressing Jokes Between the Pages with Tom Angleberger

My co-conspirator, Cece Bell, summed up the way we worked on our Inspector Flytrap series like this: I wrote it to make her laugh. She drew it to make me laugh.

 That’s really where a LOT of our books come from.
crankee doodleCrankee Doodle, for example, was all plotted out on a car ride and the whole thing started with one of us saying something like, “Wait, what if his name was CRANKEE Doodle?”
 And then we kept piling it on. Trying to add on a little twist to what the other person came up with. Eventually we had a whole book and it would be pretty hard to say who did what.
 Of course, not everything gets a laugh.
 Just this week, I told Cece an I idea I had for an absolutely hilarious book…. and she didn’t bust up laughing. In fact I’m not sure she laughed at all. So maybe that one needs some work or just a quick trip to the trash can.
 That’s the other important thing about the way we work.
 Sometimes when one of makes a joke or a nice turn of phrase, the other says “That would make a great kids book!” (Or sometimes we just say that about our own idea.) And then we think it over for a bit and… often we realize that, NO it wouldn’t.
 It’s a good thing we do this, because when we’re rolling it can happen several times a day. And obviously no one can publish 365 times several kids books a year. You have to be willing to let some sail off into the sunset. (I’ve always wished we kept a list of the ideas that didn’t make it, because a list of things that didn’t turn out to be all that funny …  would be funny.)
princess leia But then other ideas, like “a talking origami Yoda puppet,” are worth pursuing. When I started that, I had no idea I’d pursue it for (at least) 7 books. Or that I’d spend my time agonizing over questions like: what pun can I make out of Princess Leia?
 Inspector flytrapI don’t really remember when I decided that the idea of a crime-solving plant was worth the pursuit. He sort of forced himself past the early stages and jumped out of my head ready to ride his skateboard, fight crime and banter with his assistant, Nina the Goat. Cece claims she has had a lot of fun illustrating it — although it looks like hard work to me.
But that’s really the crazy thing about this job of trying to make kids laugh via books: it takes a lot of writing, drawing, revising, editing, emailing and promoting to take whatever that first joke was and try to press it between the pages of a book so that it falls out on some kid maybe 10 years from now and it’s still — hopefully — funny.
tom AnglebergerTom Angleberger has been a newspaper reporter and columnist, juggler, weed boy, lawn mower part assembler, and biology research assistant. He is the bestselling author of many funny books including the Origami Yoda Series, Fake Mustache, The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain!, and more. He is married to author illustrator Cece Bell. Visit his WEBSITE to find out more about Tom and his books.   and follow him on Twitter @OrigamiYoda

If you are registered for Kidlit Summer School, you can download a worksheet of Tom’s writing exercise at our Exercise Book. This is a password-protected area — only members allowed! Please check your email for the password.

If you haven’t registered for #KidlitSummerSchool yet click HERE.

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