Today’s topic is early reader chapter books. I am in the middle of publishing a book called Ricky Robinson Braveheart. Another book that I will have finished soon is called Stink Bomb. Basically, I am always working on writing stories in this category. I thought it would be a good idea to categorize the books in this genre.
Easy to Read books are generally 32-48 pages and are very structured. The primary goal of an easy reader is to put the first book into a child’s hands that they can read on their own. ETR are not intended to be used in or with education texts, but often they are.
The content of the book is key despite the highly structured nature of the book. In other words, writing a good story is still the most important aspect of the book. Vocabulary is important, but the occasional difficult word is okay.
Also, along the lines of plot, ETR stories always center on the child. ETR stories are mainly told through dialogue and action. There is very little description, and the story should jump right into the action from the beginning. The sentence structure should be simple.
Illustrations for ETR are literal and concrete. Their purpose is to help the reader decipher the words in the text.
Chapter Books are a little different. The general audience of chapter books are children ages 6-10.
The youngest chapter books start at about 60-70 book pages (about 5,000-6,000 words). The older chapter books (riding a fine line with mid-grade novels) range from 9,000-10,000 words and generally have about 140 book pages. CB generally have some black and white illustrations. Their plot is simple and does not include a lot of struggle. Generally the main character is over the top such as Captain Underpants.