How To Create An Author Study At Home

What’s an author study?

“An author study is a unit lesson that gives students the opportunity to delve deeply into an author’s life and body of work. Students can critically evaluate an author’s themes, characters, and writing style.”  The Author Study Toolkit - Reading Rockets

An author study is a great way for you and your child to dive deep into a good book. As stated in one of our previous blogs, it is important to find out your child’s interests - topics that make your child go “hmmm”. Then, look for children’s books about that topic.

Some great author studies are Tomie dePaola, Kevin Henkes, Leo Lioni, and Mo Willems, but one of my favorite’s (and every class I’ve ever taught) is Bill Wallace. Bill Wallace was a teacher and began writing children’s books in order to quiet down one of his rowdy classes. His students loved his stories, and there in his classroom, an author was born.

Bill Wallace has a long book list, but here are some favorites:

In each of these stories, Bill Wallace uses the main characters of animals to tell the story. They will make you laugh, cry, smile and think!

When doing an author study, reading several books by the same author, a child is able to sink his or her teeth into good books. Your child will hear the author’s literary voices, learn about an author’s point of view, make connections between books and think critically about the text. But most importantly, your child will create a bond with the authors and characters. They become a part of the author’s world and feel connected to the characters on the pages of each book. They also become connected to you. Sharing in the reading experience where your child has to expand his or her thinking, will inevitably expand your connection with each other and with their love of reading.