Photo by cottonbro

With lovely pages and plain language, Ruthanne Nopson’s collection of little Peggy Lou stories for children is a delightful and fantastic piece for early learners to read with their parents.

Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with her miner father, Ruthanne Nopson had always been immersed in literature, reading, and writing since she was little.

Nopson’s fondness for writing has grown because she was encouraged by her husband and inspired by her children and grandchildren.

Ruthanne Nopson’s lovely collection of little Peggy Lou stories for children is tale after tale of excellent moral lessons. Something for everyone to enjoy!

Knowing Who Your Readers Are

For prospective writers, having an intended audience is always a good idea because it helps with a lot of stuff going forward–the theme, the setting, the characters, etc.

Having an audience in mind also helps in grounding the story to their level and determining to what extent the tale should present and focus on specific ideas.

Typically, published stories are divided by the intended readers’ age group and have an approximate word number.

  • Board Books (300 words max): These books are for children three years old or below. They are unchallenging, with only illustrations and scant words. The purpose of board books is mainly to teach their readers how to memorize letters and numbers and identify colors, shapes, and simple nouns.
  • Picture Books (600-1000 words): For children 4-8 years old. These books are meant for adults to read to young readers. While similar to board books, there is more of a coherent story with a beginning and an end.
  • Early Readers (2000 words max): These are books for children learning to read by themselves, typically around 5-8 years old. Unlike picture books, there is less focus on illustrations and more on words and simple phrases.
  • Chapter Books (8.5-20k words): These books are for young readers, 6-10 years old, who can read independently. These are more challenging but more accommodating than a novel. There are already chapters and complex plotlines in chapter books.
  • Middle-Grade (30k-50k words): This type of book is for children 8-12 who want more engaging and complex stories. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle are well-known examples.
  • Young Adult (45k-80k words): These are for children 12 years old and above who are already good readers. They are transitionary novels after middle grade and before adult fiction. Young Adult fiction is usually fantasy or science fiction. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Maze Runner by James Dashner are excellent examples.

What You Want to Say

The idea, or the theme, is the whole thing that ties up the story, the setting, the characters, and the reader. Without a lesson that serves as the foundation, a story won’t go anywhere, the characters won’t feel as impactful, and the setting will seem empty.

Without any clue what the book is about, the reader will not be invested in what will happen.

Please think of the great stories; they all have an underlying idea that wraps everything up:

  • Change and the Hunger Games.
  • Love and The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
  • Anger and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
  • Death and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Of course, other themes run through the stories mentioned above too. The brilliance of a well-themed story means an abundance of interpretation from whoever is doing the reading.

Now, where to find a good idea? Ask these two questions:

  1. What happens in the story?
  2. What is the lesson being taught?

Last Piece of Advice: Write!

If someone has the most fabulous idea and has scientifically narrowed the best age group to write for, it will not matter if they don’t write it down.

So, one of the best pieces of advice anyone can give an aspiring writer is to keep writing.

Ruthanne Nopson is evidence that everyone who has stories to tell should write them down! There is an audience for you!