Does your book qualify as middle-grade?

How do you know if your manuscript fits into the middle-grade category?  Although no rule is carved in stone, these general guidelines should help:

1) The main character is 8-13 years old. Most children like to read about characters their own age or older, so it’s best to shoot for the upper range here.

2) The manuscript is approximately 20,000-60,000 words.  Again, there are loads of examples with higher word counts and lesser word counts. But this a good general rule of thumb. Or Foot. As long as it doesn’t stink. 😉 [For some bonus thoughts on this topic, check out the following post by MUF’s Hillary Homzie “How Long Is Middle Grade Fiction?” or this post by agent Jennifer Laughran “Wordcount Dracula.”]

3) The story doesn’t contain issues of an overtly sexual or violent nature.  So save that kissing for your young adult manuscript.  And keep the zombie killing to a minimum.  For the zombies’ sake.

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4 responses to “Does your book qualify as middle-grade?

  1. Hi,
    I am 11 years old and currently working on a novel. I love writing! My teacher, my classmates and my friend’s mom love my novel. I want to get it published, after thoroughly revising of course. But is 11/12 years old too young to get a book published? If not, where and how do I get it published? Please answer my questions!

    Rose 🌹

    Caitlin Reply:

    Hi Rose. I’m 12 years old and I think that as long as your parents check through your manuscript and say that’s okay to get it published, then you’re all set! Try to find a publishing company that accept children authors or you may not be accepted. As long as you’re 10 or older I don’t think that there are any big age limits. Look online for some publishing companies that suit you and your parents tastes. I have a book that when I finished with it, I would like to get it published too. Just follow your dreams and I’m sure that they will come true. If you have any more questions please ask me.

  2. How can I get “Tales From the REAL Captain Davy Jones Locker – Quetzalcoatl” reviewed?
    Winner “Mom’s Choice Award.” excellence in family friendly media. The read along MP4 will soon be available on my website. “Quetzalcoatl” is basically designed for kids who hate to read. Reading Challenged – Out door boys – Especially Special needs & challenged children as our hero has only 1 leg. The unique combination of music – characters and sound effects means you have a movie where children are forced to use their imaginations to create the story in their minds. I GUARANTEE silence! Children are engaged in deciphering the show via their imaginations. They have to visualize. It is built TO GET KIDS who hate to read…TO READ ALONG – LISTEN CAREFULLY AND VISUALIZE. Quetzalcoatl engages children’s imaginations through FULLY ORCHESTRATED ORIGINAL MUSIC – MOVIE QUALITY SOUND EFFECTS – FULL CAST OF 22 ACTORS- Cover art DAVE McClelland Disney. 132 PAGE WORKBOOK IS ALSO AVAILABLE, created by 2 time teacher of the year Judeen Brewer.

  3. How can I have my recently published middle grade novel, Woody’s World, reviews on your website?