The Right Book for Your Young Reader

There is nothing that compares to a Book Fair for a child. You quickly become aware that it is Book Fair season, and you will know it even before your child buckles themselves into the car. They dig through their backpack, pulling out that ever familiar brochure with Scholastic written in bright red across the front. “Can I buy a book?” They ask. Some of the time they will already know what they want. As you peruse the catalog, you see that every other book is check marked. …


The struggle is all too real for some parents. You may have done all you can to introduce your child to the wondrous world of reading, but they aren’t taking to it as you had envisioned. Whether it is just a hyper child who will not sit still, or the other end of the spectrum, where they want to read, but just cannot. In either instance, a parent is racking their brain for ideas to flip the switch within their child that gets them to understand.

I am no expert when it comes to a child who wants to do…


Most people can remember who their first-grade teacher was. So much that many websites will have that as one of their security questions. Thus, you won’t be getting mine, not that I have ever used it. A teacher often leaves a memory burn that presses into the minds of a child going to school. The time is coming when they will leave the gentle tutelage of mom and dad and enter the world of schooling to meet their Ms. Trubey. (Oops, I said it.)

But before your child begins to learn the three R’s within an organized setting, you are…


Through books, a child is taken from the confines of their reading area and into the world of a writer’s imagination. They can walk through a land far away, fly through a cloudy sky, or experience life that is different from their own. I have often written that we read as an escape from our ordinary lives. But for a moment I want to revisit one of readings fundamental aspects; reading is a teaching tool. And for children’s reading, the teaching is often under the surface or in the background. Without a child realizing it, they are learning.

How to Do Things

Reading can…


Have you ever seen someone so grouchy at everyone and everything? It seems that no one or nothing can do right. That is what happens to a boy in Hangry Monster. He can’t figure out what is going wrong. She yells at him, she yells at the swings, she yells at the world. The boy is afraid of losing his new friend. Then one day, he notices the one thing that defeats the Hangry Monster-food!! He learns to help her by bringing her the one thing the Hangry monster craves; something to eat. …


It is far better to lead your reader to the place you want them to go than to just hand it to them. By consistently telling your reader what is happening, you are insulting their intelligence. You are, in essence, telling them that either you don’t trust them to interpret what you are saying or that they won’t understand what you are trying to say, so you must tell them. You will lose many readers with this approach. Showing is one of the things that makes writing fun; it is part of the creative process.

The Difference Between Telling and Showing

Remember our example of the…


Writing is an exciting job. It is an excellent stress reducer. When you have so much inside of you that you just want to release, writing can be a great outlet. The gift of free-writing has no boundaries, no rules, or regulations, and it is almost never wrong. Structured writing, on the other hand, has its limits. There are specific rules that need to be adhered to, and you can be wrong, sometimes dangerously wrong.

We have discussed the importance of not engaging in any form of plagiarism. I have called it on numerous occasions a slap to the face…


If you are anything like me, you habitually deal with the small little voice that tries to convince you that you are wasting your time. We talked about it in Part Three; it begins with “Blank Page Syndrome.” Even when you overcome the fear of an empty page, the self-doubt can still linger, and be burdensome. This is especially the case when you do not have someone in your corner cheering you on, like a significant other or an accountability partner.

Don’t Doubt Your Ability

At one point, you felt accomplished, proud of the work you had done. You remember that feeling, but sometimes…


Where Ideas Come From
Where Ideas Come From

So, what’s next. You’ve got the habit of writing down. Your setting and meeting your daily goals and you have been reading to sharpen your skills. Now, you continue the cycle of the writer; lather, rinse, and repeat. Yet you may still face times when the well runs dry. You sit down at your desk and there is nothing. You stare at the screen, or piece of paper and you are thinking to yourself, “Now what?”

A sudden fear comes over you; You wonder if you have written your last sentence.

Then doubt creeps in. You criticize everything you have…


You have heard me allude to a writer’s toolbox. We have included so far, that a writer’s experience and the books they surround themselves with into this arsenal. In this episode, we will go a bit deeper. We will look at the tools you can use to help improve your writing after it’s written. No one wants their submissions to be rejected based on poor grammar and other errors.

Before we begin, I’d like to say that anyone who wants to be a successful writer needs to be willing to invest in their trade. If you are not serious enough…

Jeff S. Bray

Jeff is a Freelance Writer specializing in helping writers excel in their craft as well as working with parents to develop a child’s hunger for reading.

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