Writing for Younger Middle Grade Readers
Categories in children’s publishing seem to come and go with the seasons—remember that fleeting “tween” category everybody was so excited about a few years back? But whether publishers market to these thin slices of readership or not, most of us middle grade authors have an ideal kid reader in mind for our stories. That kid might be 9, 11, or 13—but the age range does influence the tales we tell, the subject matter believe is appropriate, the language and vocabulary we employ, and sometimes even the themes of our books.
This month we’re talking to writers who do see themselves as writing for younger middle grade readers—essentially kids who are nine or ten rather than say, twelve or thirteen. Even so, they recognize that these categories can be very fluid—some kids read up, some kids read down, and some kids do both. What are the unique considerations for writing for this age range?