Listening to Young Readers

As a teacher, I spend much of my day listening to young readers. They read from textbooks and leisure reading choices. They read their own written works to me. I love to hear them read.

As an author, I listen to young readers in a different way.

I listen to what they’re saying about books. I love to listen to children and their parents or grandparents in bookstores and libraries.

I’m intrigued by the kinds of books they want.

  • Are the titles especially popular with their peers?
  • Are the books part of a series?
  • Do the books represent a special interest?
  • Do the books look like the books that their friends are reading?
  • Is the reader especially drawn to the book’s format?

Because whatever the reason, each young reader is drawn to a particular book for some reason. 

I think that paying attention to those book-selection reasons and writing what interests kids is a way to reach their young hearts. I don’t mean that Christian authors should write books that go against their beliefs. Not at all. But I do think that we need to pay close attention to what our readers like.

Authors should listen to what young readers are saying with their choices, because THAT is the key to reaching them.

What do I mean by that? Listening to their book choices is like starting a conversation with readers. It’s as if we’ve asked what they love about books and then, in turn, responded with works that speak to them.

Some of you who are reading this post know the story of my tween devotionals. They started with a conversation of sorts. I was listening to the young readers in my school who had chosen general market books with a doodle format.

I wanted to utilize that format to create a devotional to reach kids.

I found out that an editor was looking for the same way to reach tweens. Last week, we celebrated the first birthday of the books. I hope that you’ll join me in the celebration.

Just Sayin' Cover          Dare U 2 Open This Book Cover

Please share with your friends. Those who respond to this post will be entered in a drawing for one of the books.

I’ll pick one winner of Just Sayin’ and one winner of Dare U 2 Open This Book on Wednesday, September 30th. I’ll announce the first names of winners in a comment here.


2015 Selah Award winner Carol McAdams Moore writes for children and youth in the general and Christian markets. Her debut tween devos Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It—90 Devotions and Just Sayin’: Write ‘Em, Draw ‘Em, Hide ‘Em in Your Heart—90 Devotions released in September 2014.

Want to learn more about Carol? Visit her blog!


7 thoughts on “Listening to Young Readers

  1. God is so clever to give both you and the editor this idea. I love it!

    Thanks, Carol, for sharing this key to children’s hearts with us.


    I want to win a book, please!!!!

  2. Carol,
    Thanks for the great article.
    Not long ago, I read and wrote a review of your fantastic, “Just Sayin'” book. I gave it to my husband’s twelve-year-old niece and she loves it as well.
    I didn’t realize there was one for boys. I need to get it for our own eleven-year-old doodler!

    1. Wow! Thanks for being so generous. I know my son will enjoy reading the book in the evenings with his dad. May the Lord continue to bless the work of your heart and hands.

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