1. Start with a moment from your main character’s childhood that establishes the dream that he or she will pursue during the story.
This is the most common approach and the one I’ve taken with most of my books. You’ll see on the opening page a kid that a child can relate to, longing for a goal that the reader will root for the character to achieve.
2. Find a kid-friendly image or association:
3. Find a universal theme to which kids can relate:
Manjhi Moves a Mountain and Dear Mr. Dickens both start with the main characters as adults, but both connect with children that embrace the universal theme of doing something about an unfair situation.
Manjhi feels the unfairness of the children of his village being unable to go to school, the sick being able to get to a doctor, the elderly and infirm struggling to get to markets because there is a 300-foot mountain separating his village from the one that has all those things. He comes up with a solution and perseveres, despite ridicule, until he succeeds in making his community better for everyone. Kids and adults alike respond to the message that we can all move mountains – or make a positive difference in our world -- if our hearts are big enough.
The one thing all three methods have in common is that they get kids invested in the main character or characters from the first page, wanting to know what happens next. You have to keep a child’s attention for anything else in the story to matter.
Facebook: Nancy Churnin
Facebook: Nancy Churnin Children’s Books
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now trad. pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.