As much as we drill into kids the need to write (or at least I hope we do), we rarely see guidebooks for that age group. Sure, we have adult guides stuffing our bookshelves, but they do not teach kids, much less write to capture their attention. So what's out there for children in the ages of 8 to 16?
I had a grandmother write me recently about this issue. Many grandmothers do - mothers are a close second. What normally happens is that a spark kindles a teeny little fire in their child. The kid tests her skills in poetry, short stories, a play, sometimes even a short novel. In some cases the teacher has blown a few breaths of air across that spark, but those breaths don't last long. Most teachers are too busy with too many children, or don't understand the desire to write (not every teacher writes, you know). In most situations, the child moves on to another teacher or group of teachers, moods and motives change, and no one keeps the fire burning.
So parents and grandparents step in. Rightfully so, because they have the child's interest at heart. They can cheerlead a child's efforts. Yay, team!
Cottonwood Press always had the best writing books for kids in my opinion. Prufrock Press acquired them recently, but still maintains the same standards for educating children - especially when it comes to language arts.
Here are a few I recommend. What good timing, too. Your child would love these for Christmas.
A Sentence a Day: Short, Playful Proofreading Exercises to Help Students Avoid Tripping up When They Write [Paperback]
Beyond Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue: A Practical Guide for Helping Students Write Free Verse
Captain Intro and the Conclusionator: Adventures in Writing
DownWrite Funny: Using Students' Love of the Ridiculous to Build Serious Writing Skills
Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write
Unjournaling: Daily Writing Exercises that Are NOT Personal, NOT Introspective, NOT Boring!