EDUCATION: The importance of the ‘middle reader’ years for creating lifelong readers

EDUCATION: The importance of the ‘middle reader’ years for creating lifelong readers

Karen the very talented Author of Elastic Island has written a brilliant article about books for our middle readers. An extract is below but you can check out the fill link here.

​I was ten years old when I first fell in love with books, and I remember the excitement of reading a novel that I couldn’t put down, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and then the entire Narnia series. I read, and reread these books, before going on to discover other authors and worlds of escape. It created a lifelong love of reading which has led to me being a published author of fourteen books. I’m best known where I live in New Zealand, but my books are now coming out in Australia, and they are also published further afield in the UK, USA, Germany, Poland, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia!

However, up until Christmas last year, I had only published books for adults, a mix of bestselling novels, and non-fiction that was written with the intention of inspiring and helping others. But I have a beautiful ten-year-old in my life, Milla, and she is also an avid reader, so I started thinking it would be timely to do a children’s book and involve her in the process. This thought got me to dust off a draft sitting on my computer – a children’s book started ten years ago – Elastic Island Adventures: Jewel Lagoon. I thought it would just be a fun family project we did together, but after a conversation with a publisher I ended up with a publishing deal, and the movie rights have also been optioned. So it’s been a busy year of deadlines with book one publishing in May, and book two, Elastic Island Adventures: Port Mugaloo publishing now, and I’m busy writing book three in the series currently, which will be out next year.

The best part of this writing project has been having Milla involved! She has named some of the characters and helped me with research, and we’ve had a lot of fun discussing lots of mad ideas, some of which have made the books, and some of which haven’t. But Milla has been able to experience what it is like to have a book come to publication and each step of the project from writing and editing, to the illustrations and design, to receiving the first copy of the book, and going on to do the publicity and promotion. There is a lot more to having a book published than just writing it, so it’s been an amazing experience to be able to share this with Milla.

Karen is touring Queensland Australia schools in August to talk about her book series Elastic Island. You can find her at:

Monday 20th August:
9.00am St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School
11.00am Brisbane Grammar School
1.30pm Clayfield College

Tuesday 21st August:
7.00am St Peter Chanel
9.00am Hilder Road State School
11.30 Kelvin Grove State College
2.00pm Junction Park State School

Wednesday 22nd August
9.00am Macgregor State School
11.30am Calamvale Community College
2.00pm Greenslopes State School

Thursday 23rd August
9.00am Bethany Lutheran Primary School
1.00pm Coopers Plains State School

Friday 24th August
8.45 am Kenmore South State School
11.15 am Chapel Hill State School
1.30 Ironside State School

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