Children’s Writer’s Word Book (2nd Edition)
By Alijandra Mogilner and Tayopa Mogilner
Published by Writer’s Digest Books in 2006.
If you write for children kindergarten through sixth grade (or middle school), or if you homeschool said children, I strongly suggest you invest in your own copy of Children’s Writer’s Word Book.
If you want to write for the nonfiction or educational markets, or if you want your fiction books to make it to the lists of approved books for use in elementary or middle schools, I STRONLY SUGGEST you do so.
I must confess that it is a new book for me. I’ve had it a few months and have barely scratched the surface of its usefulness. The first 40 pages are modestly titled “Some Things You’ll Need to Know.” Here are some of the topics covered:
- Choosing words, noting new words, choosing names for characters, being conscious of diversity as you write, using personal tags for characters
- Matching theme and content to your target readers
- Genre and books for children
- Age groups and reading levels
- Children’s books forms (picture books, picture stories, easy readers, hi-los, YAs
- Writing for magazines, television and radio, writing in verse, writing for the stage.
- Mainstreaming and inclusive language
Section 2 covers the following:
- Using National Standards and Benchmarks with sections for each reading level
- Where to find information on other Standards and Benchmarks
Following that are separate sections for kindergarten through sixth grade/middle school students. Each section includes a brief overview of the expected social changes, curriculum specifics, special vocabulary development, educational requirements for literature and published materials for that grade with samples. This material is followed by an educator’s word list for each grade.
The last 40 pages of Children’s Writer’s Word Book are an index of all words listed in the book and the appropriate grade level for using that word.
In between those two sections you’ll find a thesaurus which includes the grade level for each entry and for each synonym of the entry, AND the names and addresses for the Departments of Education for each of the states and territories in the USA.
Just previewing all of it makes me winded!
I can’t imagine the magnitude of the research that went into producing Children’s Writer’s Word Book.
I’ve decided that my trusty old Roget’s Thesaurus is going to need to scoot over some ON MY SHELF to make room so my Children’s Writer’s Word Book will be easier to reach.
I’m planning to put those pages to some good use.