So I wrote a tween novel with my daughters, and it was a huge amount of fun. One of my daughters is a tween (nine) and the other, while only six, it a good reader, so we decided to pitch it at tweens. It’ll stretch her ability, which isn’t a bad thing, I think.
We wrote a lot of the book during bedtime story time, with me on the laptop sitting on one of the beds and the girls flinging ideas at me and looking over my shoulder as I typed. Did I mention it was great fun? I can tell that they’ve already learned a lot about storytelling, sentence structure and logic in a narrative from this process, and I hope we do more. In fact, we’re already planning the plot of the second book.
The characters are all based on our real family because I wanted to make it as easy for the girls to relate to the story as possible, and get them as heavily invested in it as I could to try to battle those short attention spans. By son, who’s only four, isn’t up for the writing process, but gets a cameo in the book. In Book 2, he’ll be going along for the ride. Let me explain:
The blurb reads:
Life in the suburbs was peaceful for Jennifer and Susan Livingston, until home renovations uncover an ancient pocketwatch bearing a mysterious symbol hidden in a wall of their house. While Jen was supposed to be celebrating her 11th birthday, her little sister can’t resist winding the watch, sending the sisters back in time to Ancient Egypt with no friends, no money and no idea how to get home.
When the locals see the watch word of the strange machine quickly gets back to the Pharaoh, who doesn’t know whether to keep the watch for himself or throw the girls in prison for being spies. In the end, he decides to do both, sending Susan and Jen into a race against time to figure out how to hang on to the watch, jump out of 1250BC and get back home in time for cake!
The reading level of the book is pitched at kids 8-11, although kinds a year either side of that should still enjoy it. To be clear – this is not “young adult”, it’s for kids just getting into chapter books. The novel runs about 7000 words and, as well as an entertaining yearn, they should learn a little bit of history too (but not in a school-y way).
If anyone has tweens that love a ripping yarn and a laugh or two, you can download the first half of the book in digital (ePub) here.
If they like it – you can pre-order at the links below (until midnight August 30 in the US) and then buy through Amazon.