Advice from a kid: Miranda at age 9 and at age 13

A while ago I posted an interview here with Miranda, a very special person to me. Recently, I asked her similar questions about her reading habits and those of kids she knows. The answers show a trajectory  and are useful information for writers, so I also posted this on


Nine-year-old Miranda and I went for a walk. She told me what she thinks about books.

Here’s what she said.

Topics that some kids like (kids that I know):

  • Fluffy kitty cat books (I hate them completely)
  • Books with some scary moments and action (I personally like these best :)
  • Craft books like how to decorate cupcakes, paper mache or mask making
  • Humorous books like Junie B. Jones
  • Romance with a little bit of horror
  • New stories with older settings or a combo of two older stories with a new twist.

The best rated stories have…

Only a few scary moments so you don’t get nightmares for a week or so.

Something real has to happen (unlike I bought a kitty and named it Lucie and I put a bow in her hair. The end. BORING!)

A little realistic drama (NO fainting randomly and other random things like SUPER MAN TO THE rescue!)

No cartoons except Diary of a Wimpy Kid (whole series)

Which character is most important?

The heroine/hero and the evil witch, wizard or whatever is in the story.

For example: The Hobbit. In the story a little hobbit named Bilbo wanted to live in peace and quiet. When his wizard friend drops by and talks to him and then leaves he finds that the next day there are a whole group of homeless dwarfs sitting in his house talking. They pull him in to a crazy adventure of rafting, dragons and all sorts of crazy dangers that he never even thought of. He stayed calm and went anyway and never gave up.

The evil person, character, or whatever is important (I actually think it’s most important) because if they weren’t  there what would the hero do?

A final thought from Miranda age 9:

School kids should have library class twice a week (at least) so that they can actually have time to read ‘cause kids really do need to read more than they do now.

W Miranda at Crane'sMiranda, at 13, has this to say:

What are some topics for books that teens like? (kids that you know, and yourself)
Many teens like the hyped up books like Hunger Games and the Fault in our stars. I have not read either of them, but I am sure they are great books. I really enjoy fantasy novels, especially ones with sequels, or ones in a long series.
What characteristics do the best stories have?
I think the best stories are believable, but I also think that suspension of disbelief is an important practice too. I like books that aren’t set in our world or time because I like to read in order to get away from my problems.
Which character in a book is most important?
The most important character in a book is always the antagonist. Without the antagonist, there would be no inciting incident, no rising action, and no climax. It’d be pretty boring.
What is your favorite book ever?
My favorite book ever would definitely have to be the “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.
Is there anything you wish that there was a book about?
I wish there were more young teen “romance” novels. I enjoy reading that sort of thing, but it’s so hard to find a nice romance novel that is appropriate. I do think that current day writers are doing a great job, but I also enjoy older literature such as Shakespeare. I LOVE SHAKESPEARE!!!!!!!!! Even if the sentences are a tad difficult to understand, the stories are so beautiful, and I’d love to see more like that, perhaps written in book form, instead of a play. I might like Shakespeare so much because I myself act and can therefore envision the stage, and beautiful scenery, all tied together with the perfect actors. But, maybe that’s just me. That and maybe because William Shakespeare invented my name… I’m not biased though. In fact that is how I was introduced to Shakespearian literature.
Do you have any final thoughts for writers and illustrators?

All in all I think that if there were more stories set in Shakespeare’s time with beautiful story lines such as his were I would read a lot more (of them).

Miranda Rose dos Santos
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