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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: Engsis on September 25, 2016, 08:39 AM

Title: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Engsis on September 25, 2016, 08:39 AM
Hi,

I've been working on my first MG novel (so excited about it!). I feel like it's upper-MG since my protagonist is 12. I don't deal with sexuality or romantic relationships in the story, but there are times when the MC notices changes (or the lack thereof) in her body and others. For example, she comments on her ex-BFF's breasts. I feel like this is relevant to the world of the MC where she and old friends are changing. Is puberty okay for MG? Also, if I can include it, any suggestions of MG books that deal with puberty well? Puberty doesn't have to be central to the book but just incorporated into the story so I can to see how they write about it.

Thanks,
Jamilah
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: ButterflyGirl on September 25, 2016, 10:37 AM
Hi Jamilah,

I write in the same genre. :) Here are a few Upper MG novels that incorporate adolescent body changes into the story:

THE SWAP, by Meghan Shull

REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS, by Helene Boudreau

ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT'S ME MARGARET, by Judy Blume (a classic with a contemporary feel, don't let the old copyright steer you away).

Best wishes!
 :star2

Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Engsis on September 25, 2016, 11:49 AM
Thanks! I was thinking about looking back at that Judy Blume classic but was thinking it might be too old (I remember loving it as a kid!). I'm sure it will be fun to read again. Thanks for the suggestions.
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Bobi Martin on September 25, 2016, 04:59 PM
Here are a couple more you might read: Shrug by Jenny Han (flat-chested 12 yr old mc) and Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes (12 yr-old mc sort of tomboy starts noticing her best girlfriend flirting with her best guy friend).
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: sarah_create on September 25, 2016, 11:30 PM
Another example is Tamora Pierce's fantasy novel, Alanna, the first adventure.
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: NLowe on September 26, 2016, 09:03 AM
I just did a book event with author Barbara Dee who has a new mg book out which deals with puberty.  It's called Truth or Dare and would be a good current one for you to look at.  Good luck with the writing! 
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Darcy Miller on September 26, 2016, 10:33 AM
As the parent to a soon to be 11-year-old whose voice is starting to change, yeah, middle grade is perfect timing for puberty talk.
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Kell on September 26, 2016, 10:41 AM
One of my blogmates wrote a post about periods in MG. Really, there ought to be more books that acknowledge it! Here's the post:
http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com/2016/08/girls-growing-up-in-middle-grade.html
Title: Re: Puberty in MG?
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on October 05, 2016, 08:33 AM
Kell, love that piece. And yes, this is going to happen to all girls, so why aren't we talking and writing about it? Boys need to know too, btw, about changes to girls and themselves. Or do we not expect them to grow up and have friends or roommates or spouses or siblings of the opposite gender. (My son knows more about menstruation than he'd like because of his sister, and she's hearing his voice change.)