Writing Excuses 10.24: Hooking Younger Readers

We are often asked questions about the young reader markets, and while there are numerous professionals writing, editing, and publishing for that demographic, we haven’t yet had an in-depth discussion with someone who really has their finger on the actual pulse of a group of those readers: a school librarian.

Kiley Snyder, Media Specialist at Discovery Middle School in Indiana, joins us to talk about hooking younger readers. Five days a week she hands books to the very people for whom you’re trying to write (sometimes she even gets those books back from them.) We ask her about reluctant readers, about the common elements she sees in the books that hook her students, and about the power of shelving.


You’re going to have to leave the house for this one: Visit a library, and tell a librarian three books you’ve loved. Then get a recommendation for something outside your regular genre. Then read it.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik, narrated by Julia Emelin

10 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 10.24: Hooking Younger Readers”

  1. Finally, all caught up, I feel like celebrating.

    Thank you all for this wonderful podcast; you’ve rekindled my love of writing.

  2. hey guys

    I love that you did this topic with a librarian. In Australian schools we have teacher-librarians, so they both teach small classes in the library as well as taking care of the books. Making Mary’s question about the teaching notes possibly more valuable to Australian librarians.

    I’m releasing a YA fantasy in Aug and in the lead up I was invited to attend the regional meeting of public school librarians and pitch the book, and my idea’s for small group lessons, to these fantastic people. It was a great opportunity, and I think many authors forget about the resource we potentially have in our school librarians.

    I also LOVE that the homework this week is to find a new book. I’m running a competition to go with my new release that is a game designed to help you find a new book in a library, with prizes ta-boot. If anyone wants to check it out it’s here: http://cassandrawebb.com/?page_id=796

    And on twitter @KemlaSaga and #KemlaLaunch

    Thanks for another fantastic week guys


  3. My mom’s an elementary school librarian. *totally has an in* *not even humble*

  4. Give them the first Haddy Potter book and say, “here the first ones free kid.”

  5. Reading Dan’s Ruins, to finish up his YA Partials series.
    My love for books and reading started in 2nd grade, librarians were my favorite people then, and now.

  6. I would love an episode on using good voice in 3rd person narrative. Has Writing Excuses done one on that yet? If so, what season and episode? Much appreciated. :)

  7. Really enjoyed this episode! Really fascinating to learn that book trailers are well-loved by younger readers, because I see so much online (by adults) saying they’re useless.

  8. Hi. Love the podcast. I’m surprised this hadn’t happened sooner. I am a library technician and work with a great teacher-librarian in 7-12 school up in Canada. Been there fifteen years and only twice have I not managed to get students onto reading. By reading I mean reading during their free time, opposed to reading a novel for class.



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