Writing Outside Your Lane
What makes a book standout, be able to be shared universally for all kids?
What makes a book "diverse?" Mirrors and Windows
- Books that emphasize different cultures, fiction and nonfiction.
- Books where children can "see themselves," or "look in the mirror."
- Books about the lives of others, where kids see others "out their window.
- Diverse books can be nonfiction, as in biographies and books about the civil rights movement.
- In addition to nonfiction, more diverse books are needed that just show regular kids in everyday situations, like the Furry Family Series, published by Capstone.
- Reading as a child opened my eyes to injustice in the world, beginning at age 8 after reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry...
In my opinion, what I have found as a reader, reviewer, and parent, across all ages and genres, books that stand out in any age group include:
- Interactive pages
- Characters we fall in love with
- Animals (even in YA)
- A story written NOT to the market but from the heart
- Author self-promotion
Additional characteristics in successful titles for older readers, even YA:
- All Things Animals
- Folk Tales
- Fairy Tales
- Graphic Novels
- Interactive Pages