Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Behind the Books: Hooking Young Readers

I’m not sure where I first heard the term “hook,” but it’s something I always think about when I start a new book. The way I see it, the “hook” of a book or an article is the lens through which an author decides to discuss his/her topic.


For example, there are lots of books about insect life cycles, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting Larvae stands out from the crowd because Bridget Heos plays off a classic book for human parents.

When a book has a really strong hook, it is often reflected in the title. Here are some great examples: 

A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston Hutts

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Suzy) by Barbara Kerley

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Larvae by Bridget Heos
 
Zombie Makers by Rebecca L. Johnson


These titles make you want to read the book. They immediately tell readers that if they pick up the book, they won’t be disappointed. The mission of the beginning of a book or article with a strong hook is to quickly and clearly explain what the author’s lens is and convince readers that it’s worth viewing the topic through that lens.

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