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Books for Kids Who Want to Write

Books for Kids Who Want to Write

If you know of a kid who is an aspiring writer or a kid who just likes to write, I’ve got a surprise for you. Inspired by all the fun I had during NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo I thought it would be fun to speak directly to the kiddies to see what they’re excited about when it comes to getting their thoughts down on paper (or computer).

I decided to host a writing workshop just for kids. It’ll be fun and funky and I hope to inspire kids to find their inner voice and put it to good use. All kids have a story to tell and I feel like maybe they just need a vehicle to help bring it out.

Here are the links to my writing workshops. They have online components, so location is no problem!

Fun and Funky Kids Writing Workshop I 

Fun and Funky Kids Writing Workshop II 

Depending on your child’s interest, you can enroll in a one day session or a more indepth two week session. Students will have homework. Click the links or the images to register or for more information.

And now on to the books! Here’s a list of books that your budding writer might enjoy reading to help them hone their craft.

Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander 

This is not a primer on how to write, but rather inspiration. Alexander and friends have written poetry celebrating famous poets. You might just find the inspiration you need!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman

Dan’s the man when it comes to weird. Kids familiar with the so famously funny My Weird School series will love seeing their favorite characters help them with grammar and other writing tips. His explanations are funny and SO accurate.

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

The (marvelous other princess type books) author provides homework assignments and tips for getting your story to shine. I liked this book so much I bought it in paperback and Kindle so i’m always near a copy when I need ideas. Her tips are good for grownups too.

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli

I’m anxious to read this because I love LOVE Eileen Spinelli and i think she will be a great person to help kids find their writing voice. Everyone gives our heroine an opinion of what makes a good story, but she’ll have to figure it out for herself, right? Plus? There’s a pirate on the cover and you know how we feel about pirates.

So. You’re all set. If you want to work on your next magnum opus (thats fancy latin for BIG WORK) start with these books. If you’re ready to get started, think about signing up for my workshop. I guarantee we will have fun!

Holiday Gift Guide Lists

Holiday Shopping Made Easy: books for your little scientist

Looking for something for your future Tesla, Einstein, or Madame Curie? Check these out:

Scientists Collage

Put a little science under the tree this year.



2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children

Reluctant Readers For the Win

As a bookseller and a librarian I feel like I am torn between two worlds. Kids want books that are fun to read, and parents want kids to read books that are good for them. Can the two ever be the same? I think they can. I’ve seen many parental discussions break down into tears and tantrums unnecessarily. Parents what the child to read a book from an endorsed list and kids want to read what everyone else is reading.

Who will win when what’s good for you is stacked against what’s good to read?

No one.
This is where I step in! I love to read middle grade books and am happy to help find a book that kids will enjoy and parents will be happy to have their child read. Bonus points if there is a diversity in the book. Ready? Here we go!


Dork Diaries byRachel Renée Russell. These diary books are all the rage right now because kids can totally relate to them.  Kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid will like Dork Diaries.  I’m not a fan of Wimpy Kid because I think Greg’s kind of a jerk. I like Dork Diaries because the author is a woman of color plus the girls claim to be dorks but are really just like everyone else!


The Genius Files by Dan Gutman. If you read a book in 2nd grade, you probably know that Miss Daisy is Crazy. And, you’ve probably also read the 39 other skillion books by Dan Gutman in the My Weird School series. This guy gets kids. And he writes even better books for middle grade readers. Like The Genius Files. Besides, who else would name their characters Coke and Pepsi?


Satch & Me by Dan Gutman. I’m sorry, I cheated. I snuck another Gutman in because not only does Gutman know how to write so kids will read, he also writes great historical fiction. Go back in time and discover the Negro Leagues and meet Satchel Paige. Or Babe Ruth.



The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. Twins and warring lemonade stands. Great story and the author sneakily inserts math into the story. Next thing you know, you’re solving a math mystery. My kind of sneak for sure.


The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan. Kids love Percy Jackson and they’ll love the Kane Chronicles too! We’ve now ventured into Egyptian mythology which will blow your mind. The best bit? The main characters are African American. Score.


I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. I love this series so hard because I’ve yet to meet a kid who can resist. It’s historical fiction long enough to take you back in time, short enough to keep you from being bored, and action packed enough to keep you engaged. If you look real closely, you can tell that the hero is a POC.



Pendragon by DJ MacHale. I will read anything and everything DJ writes. I love this series because Bobby Pendragon isn’t born a hero. He becomes one because he has to. And that’s a trait every kid can relate to.  Your middle grade reader can grow up with Pendragon; there are enough books in the series to keep them occupied for years. Plus? Diversity on the covers and inside the books. Hobey ho, let’s go…



The Last Dog series by Christopher Holt. It’s rare to find a kid who doesn’t like to read about animals. I love this series because: if I went missing, would my dog Bailey organize a search party to look for me? Every kid who I have asked that question to has responded with a resounding yes, of course!  Here’s how the dogs would rally. It’s not easy because the dogs have to learn to cooperate but the adventures are fun and the dogs are funnier.

See what I did there? I gave you a list of series so your child will never be without a book again. And, you’ll never have to argue with your reader again!


Books Children

Hotlight Spotlight – Dan Gutman and Athletes of Color

I love Dan Gutman!

It’s no secret around here that I love books with multicultural characters.  What IS a secret, however, is that I love Dan Gutman!

Dan Gutman and Me

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Gutman a while back and I wanted to share a few of his great books with you.  You may know him from the My Weird School Daze series but he has written many more books. What’s so great about them is they are multicultural! The series I’m referring to is the Baseball Card Adventure series. Within the series, our protagonist, young Stosh, goes back in time (gotta love time travel!) and meets famous baseball players like Jim Thorpe, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Satch, and Roberto Clemente.

I love that Gutman weaves history into the stories and teaches readers about the difficulties these multicultural players experienced.  The book I’m holding is Jim and Me, about Native American Jim Thorpe.  I wanted to get my hands on Roberto Clemente’s book, having grown up in Pittsburgh during his time, but all the kiddies snatched up the books before I could grab mine!

To be sure, I love the idea of Native American’s being featured in pop literature.  I wish there were more.

What’s your favorite Dan Gutman book?