Children's Books about Journaling
books for journal writing prompts and inspiration

If you have been using journal writing prompts and they aren't reaching some of the students, try a children's book written in the form of a journal. They can be exceptional for modeling journal writing!

Sometimes students don't understand why they have to keep writing and writing and writing. Sometimes it takes a compelling example of journal writing to show what their journal could be if they put their energy and creativity to the task. If you mix children's books that model journal writing with creative and fun journal writing prompts, you might just spark that inner writer in your most resistant students.
(Note: Interest level increases as you move down the page.)

We have books in other genres and writing modes.

To see these book lists, click: Teaching Language Arts

Diary of a Worm
Diary of a Worm
by Doreen Cronin

An endearing little worm records the events of his life in daily diary entries, from his experiences at school to playing with friends to dealing with parents and siblings. Challenges of worm life are comically portrayed and balanced by the warmth of family and friends. Cartoon illustrations add loads of personality and charm and "children and adults alike will adore this worm's eye perspective on the world." (Amazon)

Also in the series: Diary of a Spider and Diary of a Fly (both described more fully in link below).

Reading Levels:
Interest Level--PreS-Gr.3     Difficulty Level--age 4-8

Teachers: For lesson plan ideas, DRA and Lexile reading levels, and more all three books in the Diary of... series, click: Diary of a Worm lesson ideas, etc
Archies War
Archie's War:
My Scrapbook of the First World War, 1914-1918

Captures World War 1 through a child's eyes via a fascinating fictional scrapbook with real mementos.  Set in 1914 during the Great War, Archie's scrapbook is full of comic strips and other real memorabilia from the era, providing an engaging
and unique look at life on the homefront and the battlefield (via letters home) during World War 1.

Reading Levels:
Interest Level-- Gr. 4-7    Difficulty Level--age 9-12

Coming Next: lesson ideas, DRA & Lexile, etc
The Orphans of Normandy
The Orphans of Normandy
by Nancy Amis

Summary: A true story of World War II told through drawings by children. When Allied forces invaded Normandy, 100 French girls fled their orphanage, lived in a mine, then walked 150 miles to safety. Reproduces their illustrated account of that time.

Rdg Levels: Interest--Gr. 3-6    Difficulty--age 9-12

Coming Next: lesson ideas, DRA & Lexile, etc

Why Journals are GOOD for Kids

There are so many benefits to having student keep a journal! In addition to getting regular writing practice, journals are a place for students to:

-- work through problems, consider alternatives
formulate and reflect upon goals and values  
-- develop the habit of recording their experiences
-- create an all-in-one-place that records their
    growth in writing, spelling, creativity, etc...

It also provides a way for teachers to see if their students are experiencing (and willing to talk about) any anxieties or problems in their lives.

Amelia's Notebook
Amelia's Notebook
by Marissa Moss

Amelia is the feisty nine year old narrator of this journal in which she writes and draws pictures about how she feels about moving to a new home and a new school and then trying to make new friends. Hand-printed text and a lively collection of childlike drawings are "on target for this age group" and the Amelia is "droll and funny and not too sophisticated for her years." (School Library Journal)

Reading Levels:
Interest Level--Gr. 3-5    Difficulty Level--age 9-12

Coming Next: lesson ideas, DRA & Lexile, etc
Dear Mr Henshaw
Dear Mr. Henshaw
by Beverly Cleary

Second-grader Leigh writes to his favorite author to tell him that he liked his book, and this one letter becomes the first of many over the next few years. In time, the busy author suggests that Leigh keep a journal. Addressing each entry "Dear Mr. Pretend Henshaw", Leigh writes in his journal about his parent's divorce, missing his father, his lack of friends at school... The reader watches as Leigh's writing helps him deal with and accept these challenges, making this an excellent book to use when teaching the merits of journal writing.

Rdg Levels:  Interest--Gr. 3-6    Difficulty--age 9-12

Teachers: Dear Mr. Henshaw lesson ideas, etc
Folk Keeper
The Folk Keeper
by Franny Billingsley

Written in the form of a journal. Corinna is the Folk Keeper, spending hours on end each day feeding and distracting the troublesome gremlin Folk intent on terrorizing the countryside. One day, she is summoned to Lord Merton's estate and discovers she is actually his long lost daughter. Once there, she begins to realize her special powers, what they mean, and who she really is. 

Reading Levels:
Interest Level--Gr. 4-8     Difficulty--young adult

Coming Next: lesson ideas, DRA & Lexile, etc

If you know of a good children's book that can be used for journal writing prompts or inspiration, please let us know by completing the Suggest a Book form, located in the top right column.

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