How do you write a hook? A hook is a short couples of sentences at the start of your text that grabs the reader’s attention.
The hook is about your investment in the writing. If you’re invested maybe the hook doesn’t need to be quite so outspoken.
Famous children’s books opening lines:
‘Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
‘The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. I sat there with Sally. We sat here we two and we said ‘How we wish we had something to do.’ The Cat in the Hat
‘All children, except one, grow up.’ Peter Pan
‘One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. He was very hungry.’ The Very Hungry Caterpillar
‘It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.’ Matilda
These are a few of the famous hooks that had me gripped as a child. A hook has to contain an element of mystery, something that leaves the reader hungry for more and pushes them to continue reading.
These Dursleys sound funny, what’s so normal about them?
What are these children going to do?
Who is that child that didn’t grow up?
What is the caterpillar going to eat?
Who are these horrible blisters Roald Dahl is talking about?
That’s probably what was going on in my little mind the first times I read/was read those books.
I think hooks in children’s books are especially important because a child will have less patience and a shorter attention span than an adult so in order to get them to read or to listen to something it’s got to be a little exciting.
it’s got to hint at something interesting that might be happening further down the text. Sometimes it’s quite effective to make it funny or use a certain type of language (the ‘thank you very much’ in the Harry Potter hook is amusing and makes the reader want to know more about those peculiar people)