Throughout April, I’m tackling 26 A to Z topics related to children’s literature. Technically Thursday was R day, and it’s after midnight on Friday as I write this. But it’s still Thursday to me since I haven’t gone to bed yet — so here’s a short and sweet R post about my favorite way to research children’s literature.
As I work on my upcoming middle grade novel, “The Mountain of Dempsey Molehill,” and outline a few other kid lit projects, I’ve found the need to conduct a lot of research.
But it’s not research for plots or characters. Instead, it’s research on writing styles, age-level vocabulary, page and/or word counts for different reading levels, and even layout issues such as how many illustrations and where they fall, font size for different reading levels, cover designs, and more.
As I dabble in writing for different age levels, ranging from early readers’ chapter books to junior high middle grade, I want to be sure my books are tailored to readers’ needs. To do that, I need to research industry standards.
And the way to conduct that research is pretty great. I do it by reading loads of kid lit.
I recently finished reading “Tripping Over the Lunch Lady and Other School Stories,” and during today’s library visit I picked up “The One and Only Ivan” and “The Graveyard Book.”
Even though it’s a shame to cut this blog post short, it’s been a long day and it’s late … and I’ve got some research to do.