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November 06, 2017

Children's Writer's Word Book / Books for Writers



Sherry Ellis recommended this book to me when I was helping my mom with her children’s story.

Writing for children can be tricky. There are several different genres including picture books, picture story books, easy readers, for specific age groups, and chapter books. Each of these have guidelines such as word count, age brackets, and reading levels. You really have to know the ins and outs of what type of children’s book you want to write and the age of your target readers.



Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner & Tayopa Mogilner is a great tool to help you learn how to write a children’s book. This book is divided into 7 sections from kindergarten to grade 6th and middle grade. Under each section is a word list that all children learn at the level and can be in your story. There’s explanations for what children learn in the classroom at each grade level, publishing information such as what publishers expect in terms of length and content, and also short writing samples to give you an idea of how to write for each level.

At the end of the book, there’s a neat thesaurus that highlights common words and provides synonym alternatives for different grades.

EX: abandon (4th): desert (1st), discard (6th), give up (K), leave (1st), quit (1st), reject (5th), surrender (5th), yield (4th).

EX: zone (4th): area (3rd), arena (5th), belt (2nd), district (4th), field (2nd), part (1st), quarter 
(1st), ranger (3rd), realm (4th), region (4th), section (4th), space (1st), sphere (6th), territory (3rd), ward (5th).

If you want to write for children, but you don’t understand the levels and age groups, this book will assist you greatly.





QUESTION: Are there any words I shared above that surprise you with the grade level that they are for?


29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I guess plethora would go over a second grader's head...

nashvillecats2 said...

Good tips for those who write for children. Thanks for sharing Chrys.

Yvonne.

Pat Hatt said...

Some words really can go over their head. Can be fun to fit them in and challenge them though, or they just get annoyed. that can be fun too lol what?

Carrie-Anne said...

There's often a startling difference between the language used in the average modern children's book and children's books written 50+ years ago. For better or worse, kids these days don't have the kind of large vocabularies they did in the past. Though even as a kid who was an advanced reader who routinely read several grade levels up, there were still some words I myself didn't know.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I think writing for kids would be so hard.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I love reading about this kind of thing, simply because I know I could never do it. I don't claim to understand children or what they'd like to read, and this is just further proof of that. Most people think writing for kids is really easy, but I think it's a lot harder.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think a book like this would be good, especially when a writer is writing for younger kids or writing an early reader where the right level for the work is important.

Liz A. said...

What a great resource.

Nasreen said...

This looks like a good resource for the writers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - sounds a useful little book ... 'territory' might stump a few kids ... not having children - age ranges and needs is a little above my head or below it, more likely - looks like Sherry recommended you and your Mum a great resource - cheers Hilary

sherry fundin said...

Sounds like a helpful book. I can imagine it would be hard to keep the book at their reading level. Maybe the key is to let your inner child run free. lol
sherry @ fundinmental

Juneta key said...

Enjoyed the post. Good info for future.

diedre Knight said...

I was surprised at the word 'Territory' for 3rd grade. I loved learning new 'big' words as a kid; a fact that trips me up sometimes when writing for children ;-)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Interesting! I didn't know there were specific words for age groups, but it makes sense. All I remember in terms of vocabulary from that age were the spelling tests my teachers would give us. I even competed in a spelling bee but lost on a word that I'd never heard of and haunts me to this day. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Probably.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for commenting,Yvonne.

Chrys Fey said...

I struggled to read as a kid, so I know I would’ve been annoyed by words I didn’t know.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes. Children’s books written for our parents’ generation and later had far different vocabulary than our children’s books now.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree.

Chrys Fey said...

It’s a commonly misconception that writing for children is easy. People think because it’s easy to read that it’s easy to write. But easy reading is damn hard writing. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. Invaluable information.

Chrys Fey said...

I think so, too.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a great resource.

Chrys Fey said...

Sherry really helped by telling me about this book.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, there were some words that I thought would’ve been okay for the age group but turned out to be for older readers. I was surprised.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Juneta.

Chrys Fey said...

Some of them did have me scratching my head.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, good ole spelling tests. I hated those. But not as much as vocabulary tests. I was so bad at those. Funny, huh?

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Interesting. I never thought too much about different words for different ages. I'm discovering these days that school has changed so much. I imagine a lot of new words (technology) are in kids vocabularies now and forget the math book and spelling books.