Trying to decide
May 4, 2020 at 3:39 pm #111368
So I’m pretty sure my book is for middle graders! Plus I write some short stories, some of which are kinda dark. Like the one, I’m writing right now about the circus! But for the most part, I think they would be considered middle grade worthy lol!
I noticed people don’t really post on here but I thought maybe if anybody saw this they could help me with what age group my book is!
I don’t really have anything dark in my book. I have mild swearing. Nothing inappropriate, though there are some awkward “crush” moments haha!
So yeah, maybe tell me what the standards are or something?
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm #111372
Phew think that’s all of you! haha
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 4, 2020 at 4:54 pm #111384
Hey, Beth! Nice to see someone on here! 😀
Having any language at all automatically rules out middle grade as an option. It sounds like your story might fit better as YA. I hope this helps!
https://gracebought.wordpress.com/May 4, 2020 at 5:38 pm #111398
Okay yeah, so my book has not very much language only like h**l and d**n and a*s nothing more than that. And it’s very rare!
But there are books like Rangers apprentice books which has mild language and I’m pretty sure they are for grades 4-8. Correct me if I’m wrong. And 4-8 would be middle grades right?
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 4, 2020 at 5:44 pm #111399Anna Friend@a_nna
I agree–use of mild language eliminates a work from middle grade. However, if you took that out, deciding whether or not your book qualifies as middle grade would depend on what else is in it (you say it’s not dark, but how in-depth are those awkward crush moments?) and its overall theme.
For threads of romance, I look at Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry’s Wormling series and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series as a rule of thumb. Both series have characters that experience a crush or minor attraction to another, however the authors don’t spend too much time detailing those feelings. The story is focused more on the overall plot and its subsequent adventure. Unless its vital to your plot, I wouldn’t spend too much time describing crushes between characters aimed at younger audiences.May 4, 2020 at 6:02 pm #111406
Yeah definitely makes sense!
I’ll have to look into it a little more! But yeah I’m thinking my book might be aimed at YA!
But I’ll prob stay on this group just in case I want to post some of my short stories!
Thanks to both you and @corkybookworm
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 4, 2020 at 6:17 pm #111407
Yeah, I’m not familiar with the Ranger’s Apprentice specifically, but there are always exceptions. I found an article that may be more helpful to you. There are multiple elements that go into it, and this is for general purposes, but an overlook is this:
Age of readers: 8-12
Length: 30-50,000 words
Content: No profanity, graphic violence or sexuality (romance, if any, is limited to a crush or first kiss).
Protag: 10-13 yrs
Focus: on friends, family, and the character’s immediate world and relationship to it; characters react to what happens to them with minimal self-reflection
Age of readers: 13-18
Length: 50-75,000 words
Content: Profanity, graphic violence, romance and sexuality (except for eroticism) are all allowable, though not required. (It also later on in the article mentions that you should be mindful of using these elements and how they will affect school librarian choice, since that is a heavy influence in how successful your book may be.)
Protag: 14-18 yrs
Focus: YA heros discover how they fit in the world beyond their friends and family; they spend more time reflecting on what happens and analyzing the meaning of things.
Here’s the link to this specific article, but there are more out there. Just Google Middle Grade Fiction definition or vs. YA or something like that.
https://gracebought.wordpress.com/May 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm #111408
Themes aren’t really as much an issue (dark vs. lighter stories) so much as content, length, and target audience.
https://gracebought.wordpress.com/May 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm #111409
Thank you! I’ll definitely check it out!
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 4, 2020 at 11:29 pm #111417Shannon Caeley@shannon
Hey @beth20, I would agree with what everyone else has said so far. Although mild romance threads and are fine in middle grade, swearing of any kind automatically rules it out for that specific target audience. Like Coralie said, I think you are looking at works targeted towards the YA audience at this point.
It will be wonderful. And if it isn’t, you will make it so.May 5, 2020 at 9:08 am #111444Cassidy@cassidy
Hi @beth20! (P.S. I love your tagline, Brian Jacques is one of my FAVORITES!)
I was actually thinking of Ranger’s Apprentice myself when I read your initial post! It is aimed for a Middle Grade audience, and there is very mild swearing, so I think it can depend. And I feel like there have been other MG books I’ve read that had mild swearing, but I could be wrong.
Like @corkybookworm said, the length of the book can be an important factor as to the target audience as well. I know there are some MG books on the longer side and YA books on the shorter side, but generally they follow those rules.
I’m having a similar problem with my own novels because right now, the most honest way to describe them would be MG/YA xD There’s mild cursing (that I may or may not remove at some point), lots of darkness and despair towards the end, and several character deaths, but I feel like there’s nothing too intense that I’d be hesitant to give it to a younger reader. Maybe it’s more YA than MG after all, though.May 5, 2020 at 10:38 am #111448Caseybold@caseybold
@beth20 The guidelines that @corkybookworm shared for differentiating between Middle Grade and YA are pretty universal across several sources, so I’d agree with that. For everyone mentioning Ranger’s Apprentice, that series is riding the line between the two. Technically it’s considered high Middle Grade/low YA, and even a lot of libraries don’t know what to do with it and will put it in different sections.
I think target audience is the most important factor here. Which is tricky, because depending on family life and community, younger kids may be more familiar with cussing, mature/dark themes, and different lessons. In general I’d still follow the guidelines, but you know your book best of course!
I'm nobody, Who are you? -Emily Dickinson 뜻이 있는 곳에 길이 있다.May 5, 2020 at 3:32 pm #111504
Yes very true! I think I’m just gonna say my book is for YA audiences! And yeah obviously there will be middle graders who read more adult-themed stuff. But for all the ones who don’t that would be unfair, to say the least, if I through something in there that they wouldn’t feel comfortable reading.
@cassidy Hey thanks! Yeah, LOVE Brian Jacques!
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉May 8, 2020 at 9:21 am #111936Emberynus The Dragonslayer@emberynus-the-dragonslayer
Sorry I replied so late!
Thanks! (to the part about liking my name)
I’m not an expert on the subject. Personally I don’t put swearing in any of my stories. (Just a personal standard) I have read a few MG books with swearing in them. (But usually by the time I read them, my mom had colored over those words with a black marker hehe! 😆 )
As far as the awkward crush moments, it would depend on the intensity. A large amount of what I write is romance. So I’m more familiar with that.
I definitely don’t think that swearing is a good thing for children to be reading. Maybe that’s just me. But the more someone reads something, the more it’s going to be in their mind and there is the temptation to say it.
I’d largely agree with @shannon
Sleep doesn't help if it's your soul that's tired.May 8, 2020 at 4:33 pm #111988
Yeah, I’m personally not bothered by swearing so I don’t really care if it’s in a book I read. But yes if that’s the standard and all then I shouldn’t put in there! 🙂
Thanks, everybody for your opinions!
Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉
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