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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: hairaplenty on March 30, 2014, 04:59 PM

Title: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: hairaplenty on March 30, 2014, 04:59 PM
Can someone define for me the difference? I'm thinking my book may fall into the chapter book category, but kinda want it to be MG-   :thanks2
Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: dinalapomy101 on March 30, 2014, 05:50 PM
As a librarian, I tend to say that MG novels are targeted to grades 3-6 or so, and are usually very sparsely illustrated if at all. They probably run about 30k+ words.

Books that you envision as illustrated, or for grades K-2, and under 30k words might be chapter books.

I would look at Kate Messner's titles for an example; I call her MARTY MAGUIRE series chapter books and her mystery series as Middle Grades.
Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: hairaplenty on March 30, 2014, 06:08 PM
I'll definitely check them out-Thanks for the rec's.
What would you consider Clementine to be?
Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: mrh on March 30, 2014, 06:37 PM
Glad you mentioned Clementine. That's a great example of a chapter book series. Another one is Judy Moody. Chapter books tend to run from about ages 7-10 and some are quite a bit shorter than MG novels, running only 10-12K. I've noticed that chapter books usually run in series -- they are about the *character* primarily -- and the MC is typically in third grade. Though I'd look again to verify, I'm pretty sure Paula Danziger's Amber Brown series would be considered chapter books. Chapter books are also big on humor.


MG novels run from about ages 8 or 9 to 12. They can more easily stand alone, either plot or character can be in the forefront, and though there's a range, they can be a lot longer and a lot more complex with more layers and subplots.   








Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: hairaplenty on March 31, 2014, 06:35 AM
Really helpful feedback, mrh--Helps a lot. Aren't chapter books are hard er sell than MG?
Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: mrh on March 31, 2014, 06:46 AM
Aren't chapter books are hard er sell than MG?


That's my understanding, yes.
Title: Re: Difference between chapter books and MG
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on March 31, 2014, 08:56 AM
Though I'd look again to verify, I'm pretty sure Paula Danziger's Amber Brown series would be considered chapter books. Chapter books are also big on humor.



This is one of those series where it may depend on the book. The later books are middle grade. The two prequel books (written after the first book in the series) are more like picture books.

Chapter books can be for children as young as first grade or Kindergarten. This is the audience Junie B. Jones. These books are for readers who can manage independently, but may not be ready for middle grade themes and content or length. The wizards in the Magic Tree House books are a far cry from Harry Potter (of course, he goes YA later on.)

If your book is for the K-5 set and falls out around 10,000 words or less with a protagonist under age 10, you have a chapter book.

If your book is for grades 3 and up with a word count over 30,000 and a protagonist 10 or older, you likely have a middle grade.

If you are in between with the word count. Look to the other items, and the voice of the main character/narrator for a clue to the direction that makes the most sense for your revision.

There is a sticky about word counts that may help you define the categories even better.

I hope this helps.