Books for Writers-Writing Irresistible Kidlit

A Review by Jean Matthew Hall of Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole.

Writing Irresistible Kidlit is a Writer’s Digest book. It was published in 2012.

v6501_2I write picture books because I love picture books. But I want to keep learning and growing so I’ve decided to dust off an old short novel-length manuscript and rework it as a Middle Grade book. So, when I saw this book for sale I decided to invest in it. I’m going to need all the help I can get with writing this Middle-Grade story well.

I’ve read the first five chapters of Writing Irresistible Kidlit and poured over the Table of Contents. It includes a paragraph length overview of each chapter. Very handy. So is the detailed index at the back of the book.

Chapters include:

  • “Kidlit Market Overview” focuses on understanding readers and the market
  • “MG and YA Mindset” focuses on the mindset of MG and YA readers
  • “What’s the Big Idea?” focuses on determining if your idea is big enough for a book. It emphasizes premise.
  • “Storytelling Foundations” focuses on beginnings and balancing information and action
  • “Character” focuses on developing unforgettable protagonists, villains, and secondaries.
  • “Plot” focuses on creating a riveting plot to keep kids glued to your story.
  • “Advanced Kidlit” focuses on using imagery that takes advantage of all five senses, and how to develop your voice and a magnetic theme.
  • “A Career in Kidlit” provides practical advice and information needed for pursuing a career in writing kidlit. Covers query letters, finding an agent and more.

These brief statements don’t begin to cover the depth of information in Writing Irresistible Kidlit. I’m already reading concise definitions and explanations of terms that seem to be foggy in today’s publishing world. So far Kole has blown away the fog several times for me, and I’m just getting started with the book.

Of course I’m highlighting every other paragraph! I can’t wait to curl up with this book again tonight to ride the wave of wisdom Kole provides. I must confess, however, that I’m skimming over the sections devoted to YA.

Right now I’m wading into Middle Grade.

That’s probably a deep enough dive for me.


You’ll find more from Mary Kole at the KIDLIT website/blog.

Highly informative and user-friendly!


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