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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Those ever-evolving tales

“I love to write. I used to be a math teacher. And I like the idea that other people could write about the same subjects, but no one would write it just the way I do. It's very individual.” – David A. Adler

Born on this date in 1947 (which also is my birth year), Adler is an American writer of nearly 200 books for children and young adults, most notably the Cam Jansen mystery series, and the "Picture Book of ..." series.  He also has written many acclaimed works about the Holocaust for young readers.

Adler came up with a terrific kids’ protagonist in the form of fifth-grader Jennifer "Cam" Jansen, nicknamed Cam for her photographic memory.    At various points in a “Cam” story, she closes her eyes and says "click,” mimicking the noise of a camera while memorizing a scene in front of her.  She later recalls these scenes to aid in solving a mystery.   
Cam is based on an elementary school classmate of Adler's.     His biographies are equally enticing and he noted,   “It's important to begin a biography or any book or story with something to draw the reader in.” 

A native New Yorker, Adler was teaching math there when his writing career evolved after a nephew had a question about a topic and he couldn't find anything that had been published.  So, he decided to write something himself, and the rest, as the saying goes ...

“In my office I have a sign that says, 'Don't think. Just write!' and that's how I work,” Adler says in offering writing advice.   “I try not to worry about each word, or even each sentence or paragraph. For me, stories evolve. Writing is a process. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times.”

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