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Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Age of main characters in middle grade?
« Last post by David Wright on Today at 07:04 AM »
I think there are a number of MG series that age the MC (or main secondary character), but they general start under 14

Percy Jackson goes from 12 to 18.
Valkyrie Cain from Skullduggery Pleasant is in her 20s now I think.
Alex Stowe in The Unwanteds  goes from 13 to 17 and then up to 27
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Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Age of main characters in middle grade?
« Last post by olmue on Yesterday at 08:13 PM »
I think you have two questions. Maybe?

First is the question of age in middle grade. I think what makes middle grade "middle grade" is, at heart, the way it's approached/the tone and perspective, etc. But close to that is age. And most middle grade characters top out at age 12, maybe 13 for some. (The characters, I mean. The readers are younger, like 4th or 5th graders.) So to  have a 14YO character feels like you're already in YA territory to me. 14YOs are freshmen in high school. Again, the tone of the story is an element, too. But the ages you are listing are going to be characters involved in much different experiences than middle grade.

Second is the question of aging up. I completely agree with you on the Penderwicks. I wanted to know what happened with the original characters. The little sister was cute, but I was really more invested in the others, and then the last story wasn't through their eyes at all. My personal, subjective feeling is that readers would rather follow a character they love as they age up than to switch characters with every book just to keep a book middle grade. I mean, imagine if JK Rowling decided that Harry at 15 was too old for MG, so now we were going to switch focus to Colin Creevey's little brother Dennis. Really, not so interesting! It does make things a little tricky for shelving purposes, but I just think that readers get invested in a character, and want to follow them.

Then again, if you just make it YA to start out with, then I think you don't have that problem.

I wonder if anyone else has dealt with characters moving from MG to YA here.
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Book Talk / Re: Advice column for children's book characters
« Last post by rab on Yesterday at 07:18 PM »
This cheered me up. Thanks for posting!
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Middle Grade (MG) / Age of main characters in middle grade?
« Last post by annarose-johnson on Yesterday at 06:51 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone has thoughts on this!

The main character in my middle grade novel is 14 years old. In the second book, she is 15, and I plan to keep writing more novels in the series where she grows older (until age 18).

This presents a bit of a quandary, as I know that teenage main characters in MG has become increasingly uncommon. Years ago, this was the norm for children's books (think of Anne of Green Gables, Betsy-Tacy, etc...) But the genre has shifted, and now there are hardly any 14-year-olds in MG, let alone 17- or 18-year-olds.

In the successful Penderwicks series, the first four books follow the same main characters (four sisters who are middle grade-aged). By the last book, they are in their late teens/twenties and therefore can't be the main characters anymore, so their 11-year-old half sister becomes the MC. But readers weren't invested in this character at all, so many of the fans were disappointed/dissatisfied with the conclusion of the series. They just wanted the older girls to be the MCs!

I'd appreciate any thoughts! :)
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Might be worth checking out classic juvenile (meaning "for grade school boys") SF e.g. Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo (1947). Penned over 20 years before Apollo 11 yet eerily prescient.

Boys in the grammar phase of development crave detailed descriptions of things and how they work. Basically techie stuff and not too much dialogue.

A bit of clever banter & good-natured kidding, internal dialogue & reactions--sense of wonder, chills up the spine, primal emotions--appropriate to the occasion are good too, just not too frequent or too long.

Vivid descriptions from all senses--sight, sound, vibration, smell, etc.--are indispensable, the more vivid and brief the better.

BTW most "real" boys don't care a whit what color lockers are. Kewl stickers on a locker, that's a different matter.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Roar Like a Dandelion!
« Last post by carrots on Yesterday at 06:02 AM »
Did you read the news article? It was acquired 50 years ago!

Whoa!!   :turtlego

(and to think I get antsy when I have to wait six months for a reply....)

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I just finished THE FATAL THRONE, written by seven authors, where each of Henry VII's wives AND Henry are main characters, and the book is told from their povs. It was done really well, though of course what they actually thought or said is complete speculation and fiction.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Roar Like a Dandelion!
« Last post by marla-lesage on Yesterday at 04:21 AM »
Did you read the news article? It was acquired 50 years ago! They think perhaps they never found the right illustrator... 
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Roar Like a Dandelion!
« Last post by carrots on Yesterday at 03:29 AM »
Thanks for the nifty news, Gatz!!

 :lion
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Magazines & Ezines / Re: Roar Kids Magazine?
« Last post by tracy-vonder-brink on February 15, 2019, 11:08 AM »
I, too, was followed on Twitter. When I sat down today to consider submitting, I noticed they are no longer following me. Did this happen to anyone else? All of the above comments are helpful, so thank you!


They're no longer following me, but to be fair, I'm not following them. They have expanded the guidelines on their website slightly:

"How much do we pay:
.25ยข per word
After we approve a manuscript, we will send you instructions on the rights we would like to acquire and payment information. If we need you to edit the article, we will specify the changes that need to be made. The contract will be signed after we accept the revisions, if any."

So it's good that they're specifying pay rate, but a little weird that they don't say what rights they want until after they approve the ms.

Also a little weird that the contract isn't signed until after revisions are accepted. Highlights sort of does this, but Highlights rejects a submission with revision suggestions and invites you to resubmit; they don't provisionally accept a submission and then not offer a contract until the revisions are accepted.
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