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

Miranda2Nine-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


  1. Hi Joyce and Miranda, Loved both your interviews. I think writing has so much to do with drama and acting out a story. That’s what makes the words come to life! Miranda, it sounds like you are involved in both worlds. Good for you! All the best!


  2. Many kids don’t really read at all anymore. In 4th grade my teacher gave us a prompt that said: “You walk into a strange castle. What do you see?” We had to write our first 5 paragraph essay! I was stoked! I loved writing stories in my head. So I went home that night and began writing. I lost track of time, never getting writer’s block (I was blessed with imagination at that time) I created a short story that when typed was 2-3 pages long. My teacher was ecstatic! she had me read it to the class and people asked me to keep writing it. (I had written what was later known as the prologue for my most popular story) I kept writing it and people kept asking me to send it to them so they could read it. No one read anything else at that point and I was happy to give people something interesting to read. That particular story was about Carlos, a boy who stumbles upon Zeus’ castle and was called: “The God’s son in Law” but slowly people stopped reading my stories, they complained it was too long. I started writing less and less until last year, one of the newer students found a copy of the 3rd chapter (I believe, many of my stories were 3-4 page episodes with cliff-hangers) of one of my newer stories. They asked me about it and I got them the chapters and books they were interested in. Soon I was writing again for multiple students. Sending files, and writing summary chapters for newer readers. But, then it died down again. I kept writing in case someone gets interested again, but not many kids read anymore, so I haven’t had anyone to share it with. To this day I’ve written a total of 7 stories, 4 of which consisted of 1-2 page chapters with cliffhangers very often between chapters. The others are short stories with sequels and a single novella. If anyone is interested, I can send copies of my books.



  3. Hi Rosi. Thanks for your interest. That does sound like a good hint for writers out there. Miranda has not been responding herself to everyone’s comments because tonight she is playing the role of Fern in a production of “Charlotte’s Web” at her school. She’s been a bit busy.


    1. You know, looking back on my reading, I’ve always enjoyed the sorts of books that are for older kids. I just hadn’t realized how much so until reading over this again. I find it a little jarring that I read stories for older people. If you think about it, I never knew any other kids that had read “The Hobbit” (Or the other LOTR books) by 4th grade. In fact many of my friends don’t read at all.


    1. Yes, she is a sweetheart and agreed to do the interview even though she is preparing to play Fern in Charlotte’s Web tomorrow, along with her band and regular school work. She has always been a good reader, and happy to share her thoughts.


  4. Love this! A very unique perspective! Even my kids/teens would have had entirely different answers. The variety is amazing.

    As for Miranda’s Shakespeare love, may I rec an author, Michelle Ray. She has written YA versions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (older YA) and MacBeth (more general YA) both are done in modern day settings. Both are fantastic, though Mac/Beth is more my favorite, but then it’s also one of my favorite Shakespeare works.


    1. Hi! Thank you so very much! I will have to look for those and add them to my reading list. Always looking for books to add to the list!


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