The truth is I was afraid. Afraid that a kid, in the way that kids are very straightforward, would straightforwardly tell me that my book was crap. When I finally broke down and showed it to my friend’s kid, D, I had visions of him throwing it to the ground, stomping furiously upon it and declaring it rubbish. Which is sometimes what I felt I wanted to do to it.
Minutes of agony went by as he paged through the book, lips moving, eyebrows going up, then back down…what, D, WHAT?!? Tell me what you are thinking!
D was thinking...two thumbs UP!
A huge first hurdle to cross, for testing your book out on its target audience is rather key to knowing if your book would be interesting to a kid. Admittedly, D was a little older than my target age group (he was 9 at the time), so I wasn’t yet out of the woods. But in my euphoria, I asked if there was anything he’d like to see changed? Though this question took him off guard, he was quick with suggestions. So, here are D’s direct contributions to the book!