Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books

Book Review: Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books, by Nancy I. Sanders, 2012




If you’d like to write for the educational market or just learn the differences between beginning readers, this is the perfect book. Nancy explains in detail the structures of the following: pre-emergent readers, emergent readers, easy readers, advanced readers, first chapter books, and hi-lo readers. Whew! She also touches on writing for children’s magazines and how to write a rebus.


If you want to know the nitty-gritty of this world of beginning readers, Nancy starts with the history of how it all came to be, reading levels, standards, word lists, etc…
Each reader section gives concrete examples of the structure: vocabulary, number of words in each sentence, characters, dialogue, plot, setting, topics and themes. She also lists mentor texts or samples of each kind of book. She shows you how it all works together under very tight guidelines by the publisher. I know. I’ve done it! 
This is a spread from my guided reading book Flamingo’s Tricks, a phonics reader published by Lakeshore Learning. 
I appreciate Nancy’s expertise in sharing tips and strategies along with little assignments you can do to practice writing for this age group. 
The back of the book has a wonderful glossary. When I started writing in 2008, I knew none of the writer lingo and was constantly asking Nancy questions, like why do they call publishing houses a house? What is a royalty check? So this is very helpful for beginning writers as well.
So if you’re interested in writing beginning readers or beginning chapter books, check out this book! Writing for this age group is so much fun!
If you’d like to get a feel for Nancy’s book, click here to read the transcript of a workshop she led on beginning readers for the Institute of Children’s Literature, March 2013.

23 comments:

  1. I have this book and agree it's a terrific intro. I think I need to revisit it. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Rosi. I'm going to revisit it as well!

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  2. This looks great! Thanks so much. I'm adding it to my wish list!

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    1. Great, Carol. I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. I adore how nnacy breaks everything down and really teaches. Great review, Tina.

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    1. Indeed, Kathy. Have you written an early reader or something like it yet?

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  4. This book was a late Cristmas gift to myself. I'm looking forward to reading every page.

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    1. Have fun reading it, Sydney! It's a wonderful gift!

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  5. Thanks for the review, Tina. This book is on my shelf, just waiting to be read -- I'm looking forward to it!

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  6. I need to get this book! I wonder if it is at my local library?

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    1. If not, you could put in a request that they order it!

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  7. I shall check my local library. The postage from the US is prohibitive. Is there a Kindle version in the wind?

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    1. Good question, Cecilia. I'll find out!

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    2. Cecilia, Nancy said she doesn't have a kindle version yet. So if you contact her, she'd be happy to send u a pdf copy.

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  8. Appreciations Tina. This is an area where I can boost my info a lot as it's new to me.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! We're all learning together.

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  9. Appreciations Tina. This boosts my info a lot as it's an area of scant experience.

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  10. Tina: I have had my eye on this book. You have convinced me that I must read it. Reading Nancy I. Sanders's blog always teaches me so much. She is so generous with her ideas. ~Suzy

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    1. Excellent, Suzy! YOU definitely need to tap into this market!

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  11. I absolutely love Nancy I Sanders! She is one of the most sharing teachers I've met (online of course!) She is a gem!!!

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  12. This looks like a great book. Thanks for the review.

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