The Best Story


Happy Tuesday!  I’m linking up again today with Deanna Jump to share another book I <3!  

Today I’m writing about a book that I discovered fairly recently.  I had it pinned on one of my writing workshop boards but hadn’t had a chance to check it out until I started writing my 2nd grade writing workshop curriculum.  When I finally read it, I discovered that it is a FABULOUS book to use to kick off writing workshop for the year!!

It’s called The Best Story, and it’s by Eileen Spinelli.  In the story, a little girl sets out to win a writing competition by writing the “best” story.  She consults with various family members, all of whom tell her exactly what she needs to put in her story to make it the very best.  

But when she does combine all of their zany suggestions into a story, it doesn’t turn out quite right.  Only then does she start writing from her heart – using elements from her own life (her friends, cat, etc.) to make the story her own.  I love that the ending does not reveal whether or not she wins the writing competition – she’s content either way, having done her best work and written a meaningful story.

I think this story is SO sweet and inspiring!  I was an aspiring writer as a kid, and I wish this book had been around for me to hear.  My stories sometimes got a little wacky, and as an adult, I’ve realized how much more meaningful it is when I incorporate elements from my own life into my writing.  The Best Story has such a great, true message for young writers!!

I recommended this book in the very first lesson in my 2nd grade writing workshop curriculum.  I think it’s so important that kids are motivated to write, like the little girl in the story.  Kids should have opportunities to choose topics and write about things that are meaningful to them.  We do still have to teach them to do the “other kind” of writing – test writing, on-demand writing, etc.  But I still believe that we, as teachers, can help each and every kid become an engaged and inspired writer.

Okay, getting off my soapbox now! 🙂  I think this book is appropriate for 1st-4th grade at the beginning of the year.  It might be a little bit of a stretch for 1st graders (they might not really get the message), but I think it is perfect for 2nd or 3rd.  If you’re interested in my 2nd grade unit to kick off the writing workshop, click on the picture below.

To listen to The Best Story read aloud, click on the YouTube video below.  If you want to purchase the book, please click on the cover image at the beginning of this post.

Click HERE to read about even more fabulous books we <3!

Happy reading!


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9 years ago

Sounds wonderful! This would go along perfectly as we introduce personal narratives at the beginning of the year. We use “Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street” and this would match very well.
A Rill Classroom

9 years ago

Hi Alison,
Thanks for sharing! I am always on the look out for a new title! I stopping by the book store today so I can’t wait to check it out!
Lunch, Snacks, and Recess

I, too, use this one at the beginning of the year for writing. :0) Glad you shared this one with everyone! Just found you through the linky and am a new follower…


9 years ago

What a great resource for writer’s workshop! Thanks.
The Meek Moose


I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

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