Writing for and Engaging Reluctant Middle-Grade Readers

As a former seventh grade English teacher, middle-grade author Laura Martin received the best possible training to write for her target reader. Her daily interactions with the students and seeing which books grabbed their attention and which didn't provided very valuable insights and ideas. Martin became passionate about finding books that would appeal to her reluctant readers, especially the boys. In her own classroom, Martin introduced book challenges and reading lists to keep her students interested and engaged, which required researching the market and competition. The challenge of writing effectively for this age group, she says, is having the necessary action in the story to keep them reading, without introducing inappropriate content. Many books that are intended for the 8-12 year-old age bracket include content that is more suitable for young adults. Middle-grade readers don't know the difference between the so-so books and the great books, so they require some guidance on what they should be reading.

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  • Thank you. Good to know. 

  • This is an amazingly good caption on keeping our younger readers engaged and interested in the skill of reading. It is very important to keep this age group motivated and active in the world of  literature.

  • Hi,
    I am in the process of writing a book about the specification for a Holodeck. This is not a childs book but I will try to pitch it for a certain audience when the book is published. I have done a lot of research and am touching on non-fiction to fiction but the book is non-fiction. I am also designing my own simulation software to write the book.
    I don't think I will be able to hook in the reluctant reader as the book will be highly technical with mathematical derivations of circuit operations, but I might get the curious reader and academia aswell as industry.
    Thank you for your presentation as I found it helpful.