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Middle Grade Literature

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Middle Grade is a publishing term for books within Children's Literature aimed towards readers that are 8-14 years old. They are short in length, averaging about 65 to 250 pages and typically do not feature illustrations (if they do, they are small or appear sparingly). While dealing with "heavier" subjects than your typical children's book, they are distinct from Young Adult Literature as they do not feature gratuitous violence, very few instances of profanity, and it's No Hugging, No Kissing when it comes to romance, though crushes and first kisses are usually fine. Primary School (usually grades 3-5) and Junior High are common settings, though some books featuring older teens can be Middle Grade, depending on content. The plot and conflict are usually driven by external forces; the Call to Adventure is more common than the Coming of Age.


That's not to say that there isn't a degree of What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? that are found in the books. Some books aimed to the older Junior High audience tend to be more envelope-pushing as opposed to the books for younger readers. It's not uncommon to see some middle grade books being labeled Young Adult. The Harry Potter books are a prime example as they hug the line between Middle Grade and Young Adult - the series grows progressively darker, however it is still written well within the guidelines of middle grade fiction. There is a lot more "crossover" appeal for middle grade books as they can be popular with all ages, and often times they end up as required reading assignments for educational purposes.

So basically, if Children's Literature is the kid, and Young Adult is the teenager, Middle Grade is the "tween."


The television equivalent is the Kid Com, or the very few kid dramas/dramadies (think Caitlin's Way or Andi Mack). The rough manga/anime equivalent is Shoujo and Shōnen, depending on the series.

List of Middle Grade book and series

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