What do Young Readers Look for in a Novel?

What do Young readers want in a novel?  What makes a great novel for a middle grader?  I figured since I know a kid who voraciously devours books, I’d just ask.

Eric just finished “The Genius Files Mission Impossible” by Dan Gutman

He couldn’t stop talking about it.  Of course, when I turned the camera on, he composed himself and didn’t seem enthusiastic, but at least he gets his points across.

  • Drum up a little humor
  • Package it up with lots of action
  • and kick someone in the crotch.

Apparently this is a recipe for success.

Thank you Eric!

Side note:  My Thursday book review post was the least commented post I’ve had in a very long time.  Although Gloria Richard said it was the best book review she’d ever seen (Thanks Gloria) it will probably be my last.  It was a lot of work, and a lot of thought.  If most of you aren’t into it, I will stick to my normal ranting.

I hope you found this one helpful, though.  Who better to tell you what kids like than a kid!

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8 responses to “What do Young Readers Look for in a Novel?

  1. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award | Jennifer M Eaton

  2. Pingback: A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES (Cinderella) « Gloria Richard

  3. I loved your book review, I for one hope to see more of them. Some of your readers (that would be me) may just be late in making comments. 🙂

  4. Jennifer, I could tell that book review took a great deal of time and thought. That’s why it was the best I’ve read in terms of breaking down the pros/cons and mitigating factors.

    Please tell Eric his book review was very helpful. I am about to begin a rewrite of a Middle Grade light fantasy (no Voldemort level evil). I’ll make sure there are NO dull moments. Humor hits are a given. I can’t write without them. But, I’m not sure where the kicks will land. 😉

    Thanks to Eric, Dan Gutman will sell another book. MUST READ what he recommends. Let me know if he has any other favorites that I should add to my study stack.

  5. I absolutely loved your son’s review. I think this feature would a very popular one with readers if he is willing. Also, the video format ROCKS.

  6. Shelley Szajner

    I couldn’t have summed that up better myself! lol

  7. Don’t take the lack of comments on a book review too hard! It might’ve just been a day when people were too busy to comment. Or maybe it was a book that didn’t fit the audience that day. Honestly, that was the case for me.

    I think book reviews are tough to do — they are time-consuming and require a lot of thought and preparation. I knew from the start it wasn’t something to which I could devote enough resources to do well. So I can see why you decided to focus on other things. Keep up the good work!

  8. I agree, though sometimes editors and publishers disagree. I’ve heard lots of aspiring authors say that an agent or publisher didn’t think they could sell the story because it didn’t fit with the target audience market. This was after numerous kids fell in love with said story.

    I think a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. I recently did an interview with YA author, Heather Burch, who said her agent told her she would have to pass on Halflings when she first read it because she didn’t think the market was right for it. Then a year later she pulled out the stopper and said ‘Let’s do it.’. I guess you just have to write the way you want, add the elements of kid-dom, and take your chances. You never know unless you try. Great thing is, each rejection brings you one step closer to acceptance. If you write with your heart and soul, you can’t go wrong.