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Easy Readers 101

What is an Easy Reader?


    • For readers kindergarten through second or third grade.


    • Designed to be read by children just learning to read on their own.


    • Books can be 32-64 pages long, fiction or nonfiction, with texts ranging from about 50 words up to 2000 words.


    • Books are “leveled”, with the simplest, shortest stories being Level 1, getting longer and more complex as the levels increase. Higher levels may have short chapters. Each publisher has its own leveling system.


    • Characters can be children, animals, fantasy creatures or adults, as long as they think and act like children the age of the reader.


    • Stories are told through action and dialogue. Very little description. Illustrations on every page (or nearly every page) help convey the meaning of the text.


    • Sentences are short and grammatically simple. Lower levels focus on one-syllable words; as the levels increase the words can get slightly more complex and sentences longer.


    • Humor is very important.


    Are Easy Readers Right for You?


      • Can you tell an interesting story with a beginning, middle and end in simple sentences?


      • Do you understand the sense of humor of a child 5-8 years old?


      • Can you develop a plot with action and dialogue, and leave the description to the pictures?


Laura Backes

Laura is the founder and publisher of Children's Book Insider, and co-founder of Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and The Writer magazines, as well as on numerous writing blogs. She's the technical editor of "Writing Children's Books for Dummies", and her book "Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read" is published by Random House. Through webinars, workshops, and online courses, Laura has taught thousands of children's book writers how to improve their craft .