Sunday, 29 March 2020

Top Five Reasons Why Chapter Books Are the Best by Marcie Colleen #ChaBooCha

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
I set out on this crazy journey to be a kids author thinking I would be all about picture books and only picture books. But when a super fun chapter book series literally fell into my lap (The Super Happy Party Bears) I couldn’t help but fall in love with the form.

For many reasons, I have come to realize that chapter books are where it’s at. Let me explain.

Here are my Top Five Reasons Why Chapter Books are the Best (to read and write!)



1. Chapter books are like cartoon series, but in book form. That’s right! I learned a lot of what I know about writing a chapter book series by studying cartoons—and I love cartoons! To read more about that, check out my ChaBooCha post from 2019, Three Things Cartoons Taught Me About Writing Chapter Books.


2. Chapter books create lifelong readers. When kids are young they are read to. Often with or without making the choice themselves. But when a kid becomes of age to read chapter books, you as an author have the ability to create a lifelong reader. Statistics show that people who read have increased focus, are more reflective, have incredible writing and speaking skills, and increased memory. If you can get a child to fall in love with your books, and hence reading for pleasure, you have taken part in creating a lifelong reader.

3. Chapter books create a sense of accomplishment for the reader. I remember the first time I read a book that required a bookmark and multiple sittings to finish it. I would close the book at times just to look at how many pages I had read and how many were still left to go. I felt like such a grownup reading a grownup book. And then, because most chapter books are series, I would gaze upon the books on the shelf all lined up like little reading trophies. I did that. I read all of those words by myself.

4. Chapter books empower their readers. Want to hear something cool about chapter books? They are a low price point for a reason. Not only do they empower readers through independent reading, but often with their allowance or a little extra cash from a birthday they can afford to buy the book themselves! Therefore it is super important that the production costs of chapter books stay low enough to keep the retail price low.
5. Chapter book readers are enthusiastic super fans. I love doing school visits to second, third, and fourth grade classes for The Super Happy Party Bears series. The kids get so excited and even share ideas for future Party Bear books. They ask questions about the world and specific plot points. They quote the books. They create fan art and send fan mail. They create Halloween costumes based on my characters. They dedicate their birthday party theme to the books. Having super fans is the best!


So c’mon all you cool kids! Do you have anything to add about why writing and reading chapter books is the absolute best? Share in the comments below—and then go write. There are lots of super fans waiting to fall in love with your books!

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Marcie Colleen is a former classroom teacher turned children’s book author. She’s the author of THE SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series (Macmillan/Imprint), as well as several picture books. Marcie is a frequent presenter at conferences for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Additionally, she’s a faculty member for San Diego Writer’s Ink and the University of California San Diego Extension. She also teaches online classes on “Crafting the Chapter Book” for The Writing Barn and will be teaching the first 4-day Chapter Book Intensive on location at The Writing in Austin, Texas in November, 2020 with fellow chapter book author, Hannah Barnaby (Monster and Boy Holt). Go to thewritingbarn.com for further information about registration.

Marcie lives in San Diego, California. You can find her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com @MarcieColleen1 on Twitter.

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Giveaway


Today's giveaway is a copy of Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea. In order to be entered into the drawing for this prize, you must be a signed-up member of the challenge and comment on this blog post. Your comment will be assigned a number and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator at noon on March 31st, 2020 and announced later that day.

5 comments:

  1. Marcie and her books are fantastic! Thank you for sharing her ideas.

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  2. Great article, Marcie! Thank you for giving us a peek at how you became a chapter book writer…I love that you began writing them because of cartoons. I read the attached article on what cartoons taught you about writing chapter books and loved the advice to queue up a cartoon and transcribe it! And agree with you that action and dialogue that keep the reader engaged. I tend to visualize all of my stories as movies playing in my mind … the problem is making what I see in my mind match the written word on the page

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  3. I love sharing your Super Happy Party Bears books and give them to young readers as gifts. I'm looking forward to reading more of their hilarious antics.

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  4. I love your line about the chapter books lined up on your shelf like trophies :) My chap book is patiently awaiting for me to come back to it. Sometimes the revisions seem daunting ("where do I begin?!?") but after reading your super-happy, super-enthusiastic post, I'm dusting off my breeches & jumping back into the chapt book saddle! Thx Marcie!

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  5. Love the cartoon analogy!

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