Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Get Children into Reading with Author Kai Strand

How to Get Children into Reading by Using Characters They Can Relate Too
by Author Kai Strand

There is this crazy thing that I learned from being the mother of four children. Right from the get-go, your children are unique individuals with their own personality, likes and dislikes, thoughts and opinions. All those one year olds running around in the world are actually having independent thoughts. Imagine how developed their minds are by five, twelve and sixteen years old!

Younger readers may have a limited vocabulary or only be able to follow one storyline without subplots or multiple characters, but that doesn’t mean they can’t understand character nuances or relate to depth within a character. A five year old knows that people have to choose between right and wrong. A twelve year old understands that good people make mistakes. A sixteen year old understands how difficult it is to make the right decisions again and again.

As an author, I respect the depth of intelligence of my readers and I strive to create layered characters they can relate to. I develop both a main character who works hard to correct the mistakes they’ve made and a villain who steps in to help when the impetus is right. I want the character’s actions to feel as organic as they would if the reader were making the decision himself or herself. When the reader might make a different decision than the character, I want them to at least understand the motivation leading up to it.

I remember as a new mother, standing crib side staring down at my one-year-old daughter as she slept and marveling over what a complete human being she was. Today is her birthday. She is twenty. She’s no longer a young reader, reading Goodnight, Knight again and again. She isn’t a middle grade reader; wishing Sirius Black was a flesh and blood person she could know. As of today she technically isn’t even a young adult reader, devouring Kristina’s journey in Crank with a mix of horror and fascination. As her mother I’ve loved to watch the growth in her reading and understanding of the complexities of characters. As an author, I strive to foster equally meaningful experiences for your children. 

Children know when an author is belittling them or treating them like simpletons. A compelling character, however, will invite your child into a story and lead them through to the end of the journey. 

About the Author: 
Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page

The World of Ink Network will be touring award-winning author Kai Strand’s juvenile fantasy adventure book, THE WISHING WELL: Another Weaver Tale, published by Guardian Angel Publishing and her juvenile contemporary fiction novel, SAVE THE LEMMINGS, published by Featherweight Press throughout October and November 2012.

You can find out more about Kai Strand and her World of Ink Author/Book Tour at 

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit  



  1. Thanks for hosting me today on your wonderful blog. And for helping me recognize my daughter's birthday.

  2. Nice post! It's interesting watching our children grow and seeing how they change. Such a challenge as a writer to provide what different individuals will enjoy reading. Happy birthday to your daughter, Kai!

    1. Connie, it is a challenge to find a subject that will resonate with readers, but lucky for us there are a lot of readers with different interests! Thanks for the birthday wishes for my daughter.



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