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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

It's All About Dedications!

This content was originally posted at Children's Book Academy.

Today, it’s ALL ABOUT BOOK DEDICATIONS! The dedication says so much in a few short words. As you craft your dedication, reflect on what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you wish to thank someone, serve as inspiration, or allude to a theme in the book? The categories often overlap, so maybe you can do all three!

A book dedication often serves as a thank you to family and friends or anyone who helped the author along the way. In my chapter book, The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return to Coney Island, I thank my grandparents, because “If they had not met on a trolley in Coney Island, I would not have written this book.” In ISH, Peter H. Reynolds dedicates to “my art teacher, who dared me to draw for myself and find my voice.” And Dashka Slater dedicates The Antlered Ship, “For my fellow voyagers....” The dedication can offer a message of inspiration. In Vincent Can’t Sleep, author Barb Rosenstock dedicates her book “For those who know darkness and still look for light.” Drew Daywalt dedicates The Day the Crayons Came Home to his parents, “who taught me to always make room for everyone.” And Barbara DiLorenzo dedicates Renato and the Lion to her son, “who showed me that with a little bit of magic, stone lions come alive.” And the dedication can highlight the theme or an element of the book. For example, my dedication reminded my children to “always make things happen.” This is one of my favorite sayings and also an important point in my story. My illustrator Callie Metler-Smith used her dedication to say to her children, “May you always find the magic in everything,” which alludes to the magic in the story and also in life. In Let Me Finish by Minh Le, illustrated by Isabel Roxas, the illustrator dedicates her work “For all the voracious readers of the world who believe that to love a book is to share it. And to those who love them anyway.” This clever dedication references the book’s plotline of characters sharing the ending of the book. Finally, one other area that the dedication can venture into is the inside joke. In Dragons Love Tacos, Adam Rubin wrote “To my loving sister Bruce: smart, beautiful, and full of laughter. And in the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2, he wrote: “To my loving sister, Bryce. So sorry about the typo in the first book. Thanks for understanding. You’re the beast sister!” So, spend some time brainstorming and crafting your dedication. Go to libraries and bookstores to read dedications in several areas: by authors you admire, in new KidLit books, and in your writing genres. And when your book is published, make sure you give a signed copy to the person or people who meant enough to you to be included in your dedication.


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