What Kids Want: An insight For Writers

English: The Children's Literature Barnstar

English: The Children’s Literature Barnstar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our upstate New York town where we camp on weekends, has become a ghost town. We’ve watched it lose many businesses over almost twenty years. Our property taxes are higher on our woodland retreat than at our residence in Massachusetts. We have no town maintained road, sewer, water or electricity there BUT the town has a wonderful little library.

There is always a smiling face behind the desk (some folks volunteer their services) and a sign with upcoming events for families. The children’s area is very inviting and the staff display their weekly recommendations for interesting adult reading too.

My granddaughter will be 7 years old in September. On our most resent visit, she was searching for chapter books. Katherine has reading ability appropriate for her age but a desire to move on to books that offer a better ongoing story. There were few to satisfy this appetite. I also found that she preferred hardcover books to soft-bound. Hardcover books represent a better story in her 6-year-old reasoning.

I’m not at the stage in my “writing for children” adventure to produce such a book. I want to offer this accidentally discovered void in children’s literature to folks who may have been unaware of it and could take advantage. It is a critical time for Kat. She has watched the adults in her life use bookmarks and enjoy stories that unfold. Most importantly, she is deeply interested now. As she becomes a more social kid at the ripe ages of 7 and 8, she may move away from reading for fun.

I remember my own search for a better story, at a similar age. I also remember not being able to find “chapter books”  to meet my early needs either. I quickly lost interest and did not return to recreational reading for 20 years.

This is a shout out from a grandmother to those who are looking for a special writing arena yet to be marketed. I believe there’s a consumer group to satisfy with early reader chapter books.

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5 thoughts on “What Kids Want: An insight For Writers

  1. I started reading at an early age, and though there were a couple of gaps during my adult years, I have never stopped reading. I read probably an average of a book a week, and sometimes have two going at once. I don’t remember my earliest years of reading, but I vividly recall the years from about 8-12. I read two or three books a week during those years–mostly from the library, as we could not afford to buy books. I don’t remember anyone encouraging me to read; it was simply something I loved to do at an early age.
    I encourage everyone to encourage children to read. If nothing else, it builds in them an imagination (just look what it did to me!):
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/raw-emotion/

  2. We’re going through this now, too. My boy wants to read books (soft cover would be ok), but I can’t find anything to fit his level. Maybe I’ll try the Frog and Toad stories. He loves those! He’s younger, though. Have you tried the Magic Tree House series?

  3. Dear friend Susan, I think you may have discovered something here, that has bypassed so many people. I am sure you have found your niche here, that you will certainly be able to fill. Maybe I will actually try my hand at it, as well.

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