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What to read about how to write chapter books for age 7-11

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 I'm embarking on writing a chapter book for 7- 11 age group.
Can anyone suggest any good craft books to read for this age group?

Many thanks
#1 - August 23, 2016, 05:51 AM

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Hi, Elizabeth!

7-11 seems pretty broad to me. In the US, most kids turn 7 in 1st grade and are 11 starting 6th grade. That's a huge difference developmentally and in reading ability. You might want to narrow it down a bit.

Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole and Second Sight by Cheryl Klein have been helpful to me. (The Magic Words, an updated version of the Klein book, is coming out soon.) I know you asked specifically for craft books, but reading lots and lots of other books written for the age you're writing for is also very valuable.

Hope that helps!
#2 - August 23, 2016, 08:43 AM
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You might want to check Anastasia Suen's website for tips and hints and also her book on writing. She writes both PBs and CBs.
#3 - August 23, 2016, 02:15 PM
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Chapter books are generally for ages 5-8 or so. They are for kids who are reading but can't handle the complexity, both in language and topic, of novels. Ages 7-11 is more middle grade.
#4 - September 01, 2016, 08:38 AM
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there are early chapter books for 5-7 and more advanced chapter books that are aimed at 7-10. These usually have around 10,000 words, and are over 100 pages, and still have illustrations peppered throughout, but not on every page. These were the original chapter books before transitional (early) chapter books appeared and confused things, lol.

See this example (if you scroll down you can see the age group and page number, and the look inside feature will give an example of the writing):

As for a book to learn how to write them, if you find one, let me know! I've been winging it!  :grin3

ETA: Middle grade is 8-12. There is overlap, to be sure, but it's needed overlap as kids read at so many different levels at that age. My nine year old is a struggling reader, but my oldest at that age could read pretty much anything with no difficulty.
#5 - September 01, 2016, 09:13 AM
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 09:15 AM by Artemesia »
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

I have two chapter book series coming out with Scholastic.  Mine are 10,000 words each, age range 7-10, illustrations throughout. I did not find any craft books to read on writing chapter books per se, but did read both the books mentioned above, and lots of chapter books similar to what I wanted to write.  Then I just wrote the kind of books I'd want to read in elementary school!
#6 - October 17, 2016, 01:59 PM
Scholastic CB series:

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I'm a member of Children's Book Insider. They have a site with lots of information and have a monthly newsletter with articles on the craft, information on the market, contests and other tips. They sent a message recently about a video session on writing chapter books, which is free, and I'm including below. Being a member has been a growing experience for me.

It's run by Laura Backes and Jon Bard. They will be selling a product soon, like a teaching guide and workshop in one, on writing chapter books. NO commision here! I like that they are very supportive and try to keep their members up-to-date. I hope it helps.  Be inspired.

#7 - October 18, 2016, 02:03 PM

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Just started reading Nancy I. Sanders' "Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books."
#8 - November 10, 2016, 12:13 PM


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