Please Write In This BookTitle: Please Write in This Book
Author: Mary Amato
ISBN: 9780823419320
Pages: 97 pages
Publisher/Date: Holiday House, c2006.

“Hello, Boys and Girls,
You have found this book! I hid it in the Writer’s Corner, hoping you would.
During Center Time, you can chose to come to the Writer’s Corner and write in this journal. Write about anything you want. Leave it for other students to find and write in, too. I want you to “talk” to one another in these pages.” (1)

This is the message that the students of Ms. Wurtz’s class finds left for them in a blank notebook hidden in the classroom. What starts off as a fun opportunity turns quickly into a war of the words. Classmates debate whose feet stink the worst, and Luke writes a mean about Lizzy and Yoshi being chased by worms. Accusations fly as classmates hog the book and argue over it’s true purpose. When the book goes missing, did Ms. Wurtz take the book away?

When I book talk this book to kids for our summer reading club, I’ll be adding that “Although the title of Mary Amato’s book is Please Write in This Book, those instructions are for the students in the story. We encourage you to find your own book to write in, and not the copy you check out of the library.” Because you know there is some smart-alex in the group that will want to write in it. It’s a simple story, probably appropriate for kids who have passed the early/easy reader stage. I could definitely see this as a good book for teachers to use in conjunction to their own class writing notebook and assignments. Understandably there are an unrealisticly small number of students who participated in the journal writing. The vignetes are humerous and amusing, and some beginning literary concepts like similes are discussed. Similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ellie McDoodle in it’s diary and drawing format, which might tide over the younger fans.