Guidelines to Write a Book
for Beginner Readers
Guidelines to write a book for beginner readers aged 5 to 8; get creative story ideas for children's beginner books, study current best selling books and learn how to write a story that appeals to your target audience:
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #1: Keep the Language Simple
Beginner reading books are for kids just starting to read by themselves. The writer's aim is to make the reading experience a pleasurable one; to give the child a feeling of self-accomplishment at being able to complete the book "all by myself".
This happy result comes about only when the reader is able to recognize the words and make sense of the sentences. Nothing puts beginner readers off faster than a page full of unfamiliar words or long sentences.
This means that you have to keep your words and sentences simple, short and concrete - simpler even than in books for younger children who would have adults reading to them.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #2: Keep the Plot Simple
A simple plot makes it easy for beginner readers to follow the story; but it's also important to include plenty of action and suspense. If the story is too simple or predictable, or if it moves too slowly, readers will lose interest.
Keep your story short; most books for beginner readers run to only about 1,000 to 1,500 words - or from 40 to 64 pages.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #3: Stories of Home and School
Kids take a lively interest in the world around them - which at this age encompasses their home, neighborhood and school. Stories about families, pets, friends and school life are popular.
To get an idea of what appeals to these kids, check out bestsellers such as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge and Fudge-a-Mania, all 3 books by Judy Blume; Sideways Stories from Wayside School and sequels by Louis Sachar; the Baby-sitters Club series by Ann Martin; the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary; Miss Nelson is Missing and sequels by Harry Allard and James Marshall; and Kids of the Polk Street School series by Patricia Reilly Giff.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #4: Animal Stories
Kids love animal stories: anything from tales of pets and farm animals to books about talking animals, and stories with childlike animal characters.
Here is scope indeed for the creative writer's talents: check out the bestsellers and you'll find the most unlikely heroes/heroines imaginable, from aardvarks to toads. Take for example, Charlotte's Web by EB White: who would have thought a pig or spider could endear itself to so many readers? Now, that book has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.
Write about creatures great or small: bears, mice, rabbits, squirrels, frogs, horses, elephants. Take your cue from these bestsellers: The Black Stallion by Walter Farley; Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry; The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverley Cleary; The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter; the Little Crittur stories by Mercer Mayer; the Berenstain Bear series by Stan and Jan Berenstain; the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik; Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel; the Babar series by Jean/Laurent De Brunhoff; and the Arthur series by Marc Brown.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #5: Thriller, Detective & Adventure Stories
Beginner readers enjoy action-packed thrillers, and fast-paced adventure and detective stories. Add a dash of humor, and keep it light for this age group - nothing too scary or violent.
Here's what's popular with kids: Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat; The High-Rise Private Eyes series by Cynthia Rylant; Choose Your Own Adventure series by Edward Packard.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #6: Funny Stories
Kids love funny stories and tall tales, slapstick comedy, jokes and puns - but not the more subtle forms of humor such as irony or sarcasm. Subtlety is lost on the average child reader.
To get a clearer idea of what makes kids laugh, check out these bestsellers: Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish; Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren; The Great Brain series by John Fitzgerald; The Mouse and the Motorcycle and sequels by Beverly Cleary; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Pig a Pancake, all 3 books by Laura Numeroff.
Guidelines to Write a Book for Beginner Readers #7: Kids' Poetry Books
Now's a great time to introduce short poems to children, to help them appreciate the beauty and mystery of words and rhythm.
For inspiration, check out these favorites: The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom by Jack Prelutsky; You Read to Me, I'll Read to You by John Ciardi; More Spaghetti, I Say! by Rita Golden Gilman; Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman; and 4 titles by Valerie Worth: Small Poems; More Small Poems; Still More Small Poems; Small Poems Again.
For lists of best selling books for beginner readers, go to
Children's Beginner Books.
For tips on how to write children's beginner books in a way that gets kids' attention, go to
How to Write Stories Kids and Teens Want to Read.
Writing for younger readers? Go to
Ideas for Preschoolers Kindergartners' Stories.
Writing for older readers? Go to
Ideas for Writing a Book for Children: Chapter Books
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