Middle Grade or Young Adult?

Some people wonder about the age group definitions for middle grade and young adult. Do some teens read MG? What about eleven year olds and YA? And what is this new tween category that people are talking about?
The general age groups for middle grade is for eight (sometimes nine) to twelve-year olds, and young adult is twelve to sixteen (sometimes eighteen).
There is also a new category in the works called “tween”. Some publishing houses even have a tween imprint. What are the age groups for the tween category? It is for the higher level of MG readers.
Do some teens read middle grade? Some do, for different reasons. Certain teens might not like particularly gritty books that populate the YA shelves. Others might find that there are books in middle grade that could be shelved as YA. It really depends on the person.

Same goes for eleven year olds. As YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent are gaining popularity, more and more eleven year olds, and even ten-year olds are reading YA. Kids usually like to read about a MC a year or two older than them.

So how do you choose what the age group is for your book? If your book has a MC that is eight to fourteen, it could be in MG or the tween categories. If your book has a main character thirteen to nineteen, it would be in YA.
That’s one way to figure it out. Another way is to look at the violence and romance in your book. In MG, there is little to none of that stuff, and if there is any, it isn’t extremely graphic. But in YA, it’s more acceptable.
What age group do you prefer writing for and why?
(Coming up tomorrow: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2015.)


8 thoughts on “Middle Grade or Young Adult?

  1. When I was a “tweenager”, I always read either adult or middle grade books because I’d never even heard of YA 😐. And although I prefer reading YA now, I think we can learn a lot from every age category :).

    • I totally agree! I love writing both MG and YA, but for different reasons. MG for me is easier to write, but I thing YA is more fun, and I’ve learned so much reading and writing both.

  2. I am so horrid at writing MG, you don’t even know. XD I like really gritty, romantic novels. My first contemporary Bloggish was pretty cutesy, but it had bad words and the like. I also like writing about LGBTQ+ stuff, which isn’t in MG that much. I like to talk about “uncomfortable” topics that are for an older audience, too.

    • Yeah, I used to be horrible at YA, but then I read more YA and now I can write it better. I don’t write really gritty YA, but I do have more complicated themes then I do when I write MG.

  3. I don’t really enjoy writing or reading gritty YA, which YA often is, so I found myself reading a lot of MG books and classics. However, there is a gray area for a lot of books. Some YA books may be appropriate enough for MG readers, and vice versa. So I read a mix of both and I just do my best to judge whether a book is appropriate enough for me. I like to write both a mix of YA and MG, but whenever I do write something I write a book that I know I would feel comfortable reading.

  4. But that Rudy gif is PERFECTION. I smiled hugely when I saw that…A+ gif usage there! XD

    I almost think YA should be divided into two sometimes. Because a lot of the older young is really dark while the younger YA is more fluffy and manageable. *shrugs* I read MG sometimes, but I adore Ya. I read it, write it, eat it. xD I think a lot of the time what-should-you-read actually depends on individuals. I was a very immature 12 year old but I know my sister could’ve read The Hunger Games at like 10. So it definitely differs.

    • Thanks! I was going through Book Thief gifs for my review, and I had SO wanted to use that one, but didn’t get a chance to, so when I was looking for gifs, that was the first thing that came to mind.
      I agree, sometimes YA is just too wide of a range, especially for those just delving into the wonderful world of YA. I love YA too, but sometimes I think it can almost get just a little too dark.
      It really does depend on the individuals. My little sister is reading some of the things I’m reading now. I love fangirling with her later.

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