Posted by: nancyisanders | April 9, 2015

Chapter Book: Let’s Brainstorm for a Universal Theme

The second thing I did to brainstorm for an idea for a new chapter book was to brainstorm for a universal theme I wanted to write about.

What’s a universal theme? It’s something every kid experiences. Like losing their first tooth or getting a pet. Every story needs a universal theme to pull the reader in and keep him reading until the end.

To help you brainstorm for a universal theme you’d like to write about, you can get a list I made up of universal themes.

CLICK HERE to visit the site of my cat writing buddies. Scroll down until you see UNIVERSAL THEMES AGES 4-7. (That’s the age of kids who read early chapter books.) Click on the file to download it and print it out.

If you think of a universal theme not listed, just write it on a blank line. Look over the list and choose one you’d like to write about for your chapter book. (It doesn’t have to be in cement…just give you something to aim for at this point.)

For example, you could pick:

“the first day of school.”

I’ll show you a fun exercise to do with this in an upcoming post.


  1. Thanks for the list Nancy 🙂
    I looked it over and a hundred ideas whirled through my head…lol
    I think I have it narrowed down to two? 🙂

    • I’m so glad this list generated lots of ideas!!!!

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