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Writing: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about writing is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Malala's Magic Pencil to King Alice there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about writing? Let us know!

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#1
Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

Ike's Incredible Ink book
#2
Ike's Incredible Ink
Written and illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.

Bear's Book book
#3
Bear's Book
Written by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Alison Friend
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A story about stories, writing, reading, and friendship When Bear's favorite book of stories falls apart, he is determined to write one of his own. He ventures into the forest for inspiration, but writing is harder than he thinks, and he soon discovers that he needs help from his friends. See how Bear transforms their day into a wonderful adventure in this story about creativity and friendship.

Rufus the Writer book
#4
Rufus the Writer
Written by Elizabeth Bram and illustrated by Chuck Groenink
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rather than a lemonade stand, Rufus sets up a story stand one summer and makes a series of trades with his friends--a story for a shell, for a kitten, for a surprise, and one more as a special birthday gift for his sister.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book book
#5
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
Written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. But she soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing! Funny and touching, this new chapter book series will entertain readers and inspire budding writers.

  1. I Have an Idea! - From one of the true creative geniuses of this generation comes a unique meditation on and celebration of the magic of the birth of a simple idea. Sparkling with visual wit and bubbling with imagination, this is a richly emotional exploration of the creative process: from an initial tentative inkling, to the frustration of chasing the wrong notion, to finally the exhilaration of capturing—and nurturing—just the right idea. I Have an Idea! is a scrumptious cloth-spined package of color and inspiration equally at home on a child's bookshelf, in a new graduate's backpack, or atop a creative's desk.

  2. Little Plane Learns to Write - The best thing about flight school is that Little Plane gets to learn how to sky-write! He adores practicing ARCS! He excels at practicing DIVES! But not everything is easy and fun. Little Plane loathes practicing LOOPITY-LOOPS. They make him dizzy. Find out what it will take to make Little Plane learn how to write in this little book about big dreams from award-winning author Stephen Savage.

  3. Mightier Than the Sword - Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU! You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story! Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers–a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon–you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure that is unique to every reader! And most importantly, you must prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.

  4. Fania's Heart - Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? Why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before? Fania’s Heart reveals the story of the crafting of the heart, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage and loyalty who risked their lives for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

The 78-Story Treehouse book
#10
The 78-Story Treehouse
Written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Andy and Terry live in a 78-story treehouse. (It used to be a 65-story treehouse, but they just keep building more levels!) It has a drive-thru car wash, a courtroom with a robot judge called Edward Gavelhead, a scribbletorium, a combining machine, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, a high-security potato chip storage facility, and an open-air movie theatre with a super-giant screen . . . which is a very useful thing to have now that Terry’s going to be a big-shot movie star! After Andy gets cut out of the movie, he and Terry have a big fight and decide they don’t want to be best friends anymore. But with a herd of sneaky spy cows out to steal all their story ideas, can Andy and Terry make up before it’s too late?

Skylark and Wallcreeper book
#11
Skylark and Wallcreeper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother's past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.

The 52-Story Treehouse book
#12
The 52-Story Treehouse
Written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Andy and Terry try to solve the mystery of: What happened to Mr. Big Nose? After all, it's hard to turn in your next book when your publisher has vanished.

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire book
#13
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
Written by Susan Tan and illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cilla Lee-Jenkins is 50% Chinese, 50% Caucasian, and 100% destined for literary greatness! Priscilla "Cilla" Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best—herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir include: - How she dealt with being bald until she was five - How she overcame her struggles with reading - How family traditions with her Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins and her Chinese grandparents, Nai Nai and Ye Ye, are so different Debut author Susan Tan has written a novel bursting with love and humor, as told through a bright, irresistible biracial protagonist who will win your heart and make you laugh.

Blueberry Pancakes Forever: Finding Serendipity Book Three book
#14
Blueberry Pancakes Forever: Finding Serendipity Book Three
Written by Angelica Banks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this third middle-grade adventure from the author of Finding Serendipity, Tuesday McGillycuddy must grapple with a new villain in the Land of Story. After an unthinkable loss, time seems to freeze for Tuesday and her mother, the famous author Serendipity Smith. In the land of story, Vivienne Small's world is frozen too—a perpetual winter has fallen. When a terrible villain takes Vivienne hostage, it's up to Tuesday to save her friend—and herself. On her quest, she'll discover what lies at the bottom of her heart, and at the heart of her writing. Beautifully told with warmth and joy, this great adventure is a celebration of life—and love. Don't miss this heartwarming conclusion to the Finding Serendipity series!

  1. Writing Radar - The Newbery Award–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt shares advice for how to be the best brilliant writer in this funny and practical creative writing guide perfect for all kids who dream of seeing their name on the spine of a book. With the signature wit and humor that have garnered him legions of fans, Jack Gantos instructs young writers on using their "writing radar" to unearth story ideas from their everyday lives. Incorporating his own misadventures as a developing writer, Gantos inspires readers to build confidence and establish good writing habits as they create, revise, and perfect their stories. Pop-out text boxes highlight key tips, alongside Gantos's own illustrations, sample stories, and snippets from his childhood journals. More than just a how-to guide, Writing Radar is a celebration of the power of storytelling and an ode to the characters who—many unwittingly—inspired Gantos's own writing career.

  2. Ode to an Onion - Sad about the subject of a poem he is writing, Pablo Neruda visits his friend Matilde who shows him, through a simple onion, that happiness can be found even through tears. Includes facts about Pablo and Matilde, and Neruda's Ode to the Onion in Spanish and English.

  3. The Night Diary - Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

  4. Brave Jane Austen - This picture book biography of the groundbreaking female novelist Jane Austen, recognized as one of the most important and influential writers of all time, is ideal for Women's History Month. Full color.

Poetree book
#19
Poetree
Written by Shauna Lavoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry. The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter's end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn't count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence...as well as an unexpected new friendship. Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

I Love You, Michael Collins book
#20
I Love You, Michael Collins
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A funny and heartwarming middle-grade historical fiction novel about a girl who writes letters to her favorite astronaut as America prepares for the moon landing. It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong ("So cute!") and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin ("So cool!"). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else's dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay out in space with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I Love You, Michael Collins, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself. A Margaret Ferguson Book “Baratz-Logsted weaves in just enough history to root Mamie’s story in her time, a moment when a nation came together and felt proud of human possibilities. . . . Readers will be charmed by Mamie’s story of hope in a difficult moment in American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

Finding Serendipity book
#21
Finding Serendipity
Written by Angelica Banks and illustrated by Stevie Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday's mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.

One Day, the End book
#22
One Day, the End
Written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Picture Book Honor Book “One day. . . I went to school. I came home. The end,” says our storyteller—a girl with a busy imagination and a thirst for adventure. The art tells a fuller tale of calamity on the way to school and an unpredictably happy ending. The genius of this picture book is that each illustration captures multiple, unexpected, and funny storylines as the narrator tells her shorter-than-ever stories, ending with “One day. . . I wanted to write a book.” An original and incredibly deep combination of text and art invites readers to make up stories of their own.

See You in the Cosmos book
#23
See You in the Cosmos
Written by Jack Cheng
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

  1. The Disastrous Magical Wishes of Classroom 13 - When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse finds a magic lamp, she releases a genie--um, I mean, a Djinn--who agrees to grant each of her students ONE WISH! You might think this was fantastic, but it was not. It was a frightful idea! With magic wishes come hungry dinosaurs, stinky pizza, photographing paparazzi, and other huge mistakes. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, you should be careful what you wish for. What would YOU do with one magic wish? The final chapter of each book encourages young readers to write their OWN chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee! The Dangerous Djinn Wishes of Classroom 13 is the second title in a new chapter book series of hilarious stories about a very unlucky classroom. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun that will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classrooms. © 2017 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  2. Nightbooks - A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling. Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place. This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.

  3. Dear Hank Williams - It's 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee's new teacher has just given her class an assignment—learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits. Told entirely through Tate's hopeful letters, this beautifully drawn novel from National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt gradually unfolds a story of family love, overcoming tragedy, and an insightful girl learning to find her voice.

  4. Poppy's Best Paper - Fans of Olivia and Lilly will delight in Poppy, a little rabbit with big dreams—and an even bigger personality. More than anything, Poppy wants to be a verrrry famous writer. She's sure Mrs. Rose will pick her paper to read to the whole class! Trouble is, she has tall ambitions but is short on effort, and her jealousy takes over when her best friend's paper is chosen instead. In the end, Poppy discovers that she has to get out of her own way if her big dreams are going to come true. Rosalinde's adorable, expressive illustrations make memorable, quirky Poppy a real star!

Where Are the Words? book
#28
Where Are the Words?
Written by Jodi McKay and illustrated by Denise Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Period wants to write a story but can't find the words, so his friends offer their help. Question Mark asks around and Exclamation Point finds some enthusiastic words from some unexpected place. Now all Period needs is an idea, but from whom?

What's So Special about Dickens? book
#29
What's So Special about Dickens?
Written by Michael J. Rosen and illustrated by Sarah Nayler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the Artful Dodger to Miss Havisham to Scrooge, Charles Dickens brought some of our favorite fictional characters to life. But what inspired him? Who was the man behind the pen? Michael Rosen s chatty and engaging narrative helps answer these questions and explores the world of Dickens and four of his best-loved books: A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations.

Bambino and Mr. Twain book
#30
Bambino and Mr. Twain
Written by P. I. Maltbie and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Grieving the death of his wife, Mark Twain shuts himself up in his Fifth Avenue house and abandons his writing. Only his daughter's cantankerous cat, Bambino, seems to understand Twain and his moods. When the feisty cat disappears, Twain is determined to find him. Full color.

The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings book
#31
The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings
Written and illustrated by Richard Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The chalks are drawing flowers on the chalkboard, but someone keeps stealing their artwork! Who could the thief be? Fortunately, Sergeant Blue is on the case and determined to solve the crime. It's a fun and funny read-aloud mystery with a colorful cast of characters, from This book just ate my dog! author-illustrator Richard Byrne. Godwin Books

Dear Bunny book
#32
Dear Bunny
Written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Blanca Gomez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A little girl writes to her bunny, telling him all the things she likes when they're together, from how he blows on her porridge to cool it down to playing in the park and holding hands at the zoo. As they adventure the world, they see big things, small things, creatures, colours and wonderful surprises wherever they go, but at the end, the little girl realises that the thing she loves most is her bunny! With a simple message about learning to be grateful for the things we have, most especially our loved ones, this is an ideal bedtime picture book.

  1. No Boring Stories! - A group of misfits takes a stand against sweet, cuddly, boring stories in this picture book by the critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator series, Julie Falatko. The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn’t you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they’ll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won’t GO AWAY! Julie Falatko, critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator books, brings her signature humor to this stand-alone picture book about finding your tribe and writing the stories you want to see, no matter how weird or wild they are!

  2. Top Secret Author Visit - Excited by the idea that authors actually get paid real money for writing books, Molly Mac is determined to get the author visiting her class to reveal the secret to his success, even going so far as to build a special mind-controlling hat to steal the secret if necessary--but she is discouraged by what he tells the class.

  3. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts - "Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts is a great way to encourage kids' interests in all manner of artistic pursuits that they might aspire to. This volume introduces children to the many different types of creative fields in the arts including drawing and painting, music and dance, writing, design, architecture, and photography."--Publisher's description.

  4. King Alice - A young girl wakes her father by informing him that she is Queen Alice, then draws him and other family members into her imaginative activities, from writing a book to a sleepover with fairies.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!