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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Guest Post: On Chapter Books by A. H. Richardson


Chapter books are becoming more and more popular with parents and children. They are great for transitioning younger readers from picture books that rely heavily on illustrations to tell a story to longer more complex stories and plots that rely less on illustrations as it does on prose.

My guest writer today is the author of Jorie and The Magic Stones, the first book in a new chapter book series by A. H. Richardson. Today, she explains the importance of chapter books and why she chose to write in the genre.


On Chapter Books



A.H. Richardson

Every book that I ever read, or that was read to me, had chapters.

I couldn't imagine a book without a chapter, any more than I could imagine a 'Banana Split' without bananas! Why do I think that a lot of authors are going back to the 'chaptering' of books?

I can only speak from my own personal reasoning, which is that a 'Chapter' has a delightful way of compartmentalizing everything so neatly ... it is a way of putting the forthcoming part of the story, into a little 'box', designed to pique the interest, but not to tell too much at the same time. You want to excite interest and curiosity in what is yet to come, without giving away important secrets. In its own way it is a story 'teaser.'

​When reading to children, or when children are reading for themselves, the end of a chapter signifies many things; as in "that's all you get to read for now", or "end of chapter, let's finish homework!" or "We'll read Chapter Ten - Chook Disappears', tomorrow, when you've done your chores" -- or whatever the rationale might be. The child gets to read the story in little sections, which I think always works well for them.

​As to the genre of story, what could be more bewitchingly delicious than a story about a nine-year old heroine and a magnificent dragon, liberally peppered with all sort of fun bad guys, and a wonderful boy companion, Rufus. My goal was to make this story (or this series, I should say) as enjoyable to grownups, as to the children, and I believe that I made it for this age group for one very good reason: I have not advanced much myself beyond the age of about 12, so I believe I can present a wonderful world to this age of child ... not quite child, and not quite grownup.

Thank you for listening --- and for reading. Read children, read ... books open many doors, you'll see.

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators