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Multiple POV in MG

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This has been discussed in some earlier MG threads (and plenty of YA threads), but I wanted to see if anything has changed recently.  I couldn't find an older thread that seemed appropriate, so forgive me for starting yet another POV topic.

My question is this:  What is the industry's current view about multiple POVs in a book that is solidly middle-grade?  Is it still considered a little difficult for kids to follow, or has the MG POV sensibility grown up a little?  (The earlier threads seem to indicate that MG multiply POV is somewhat frowned upon.  I would like to know how accurate that statement is today, since there has been a huge push in MG books lately, and therefore more experimenting in MG as well.)

And does anyone know of any newer MG books that change POV between two (or more) characters?

#1 - September 27, 2010, 01:13 PM

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I really can't speak for anyone else, but my MG series (Candlewick 2012) has two main PoV characters and I received no negative feedback on that aspect during the submission process. (Plenty of feedback on other aspects, though!)  I was a little worried about it, and was relieved that it didn't seem to be a sticking point... at least not a major one.

Jenn
#2 - September 27, 2010, 02:21 PM
Above World, 2/2012, Candlewick
Mirage (Book 2), 3/2013
Horizon (Book 3), 4/2014

Cheri

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I was just about to post this very question!
#3 - September 30, 2010, 08:53 PM

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Wendy Mass likes to do this.   Every Soul a Star has 3 alternating narrators,  and her new MG,  The Candymakers,  is split into 4 parts,  each with a different MC. 

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#4 - September 30, 2010, 09:12 PM

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Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid, that came out earlier this year, is narrated by a brother and sister. Very MG.
#5 - September 30, 2010, 09:13 PM

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There's also The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick (Pies and Prejudice just came out recently).   They have 4 alternating narrators.   So I guess it's not a problem in MG.    :yup   
#6 - September 30, 2010, 09:20 PM

Thanks.  I'm glad to hear it, since that's where my current WIP is taking me, and I couldn't stand the thought of picking just one narrator!

Please let me know of any other MG books with multiple POV.  I'd like to research how other MG authors have handled it.  (Care to send me and advance copy of yours, Jenn?   :whistle )
#7 - September 30, 2010, 10:25 PM

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LOL -- maybe when we're done with line edits. I have a feeling there will be a lot of those. :-D

Jenn
#8 - September 30, 2010, 10:52 PM
Above World, 2/2012, Candlewick
Mirage (Book 2), 3/2013
Horizon (Book 3), 4/2014

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The Summer of Moonlight Secrets has alternating narrators.
#9 - October 01, 2010, 06:11 AM
A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY, Sept. 2012
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets
Me & Jack

http://www.danettehaworth.com

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The View from Saturday (Newbery winner) by E.L. Konigsburg.
#10 - October 01, 2010, 10:27 PM

Mike Jung

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Gordon Korman's SCHOOLED jumps around among at least a half-dozen POVs.
#11 - October 01, 2010, 11:12 PM

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Wendy Mass likes to do this.   Every Soul a Star has 3 alternating narrators,  and her new MG,  The Candymakers,  is split into 4 parts,  each with a different MC. 

Christine

These are the two middle grade books I was going to mention as well. Both are excellent examples and she does the points of view differently in each one so you can get a lot of ideas.
#12 - October 04, 2010, 04:36 AM
Stacy Barnett Mozer
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This is sort of the same topic - I'm looking for examples of good MG novels with dual POV, but with one character in the present, and one in the past. Any ideas?  Thanks!
#13 - August 05, 2012, 06:10 AM
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Clare Vanderpool's MOON OVER MANIFEST

I'll keep thinking...
#14 - August 05, 2012, 06:39 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

WONDER is in multiple POV.
#15 - August 05, 2012, 06:54 AM

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FLIPPED is another alternating POV novel that is definitely MG.
#16 - August 10, 2012, 04:34 PM
MOSTLY THE HONEST TRUTH (HarperCollins 3/12/2019)
Twitter: @jodyjlittle
Facebook: @jodyjlittleauthor

Tom Angleberger does it and he's doing OK.
#17 - August 10, 2012, 04:55 PM

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Just read Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver. Alternating POV, within chapters (as opposed to those with alternating POV with each chapter). Extremely well done.
#18 - August 10, 2012, 05:54 PM

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My novel, FLYING THE DRAGON, alternates chapters by point of view with two main characters, a boy and a girl.
#19 - August 11, 2012, 01:03 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

Thanks, everybody - I'm requesting/reading some of your suggestions. I had already read Moon Over Manifest, but forgot about the dual POV - seems every book takes a different approach to weaving both stories together. Still haven't found one with the 200+ year gap between characters, which is what I hope to attempt :flowers2
#20 - August 11, 2012, 07:52 AM
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:43 PM by jancoates »
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Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey has a huge gap of years between the different characters. It's YA, but maybe could give you some ideas?
#21 - August 11, 2012, 07:58 AM
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I think the key with MG and multiple points of view is making it very clear through chapter breaks and even chapter titles whose head the reader should be in at any given point in time. The more clues you give, the easier it will be for the younger reader to follow.
Jean
#22 - August 11, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Thanks.  I'm glad to hear it, since that's where my current WIP is taking me, and I couldn't stand the thought of picking just one narrator!

I'm the same way with my WIP, Elissa! Mostly I'll stay with the main character, but since it's a mystery I want to occasionally check in with the villain to show the reader what they're up to, and to show the POVs of a couple other characters who will be interested in how things turn out.

Sarvenaz Tash's THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST has multiple POVs too.
#23 - August 18, 2012, 10:33 AM

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I'm glad to see this post, even if it is an older thread. My MG had one main POV with a second character who had about a third of the chapters. Based on recent feedback and a need for clarity regarding a third character, I revised so there are three alternating points of view. One of my trusted CPs loves the revision and thinks it's definitely the way to go. Another trusted CP doesn't like it all. She thinks it will be too confusing for MG readers. So now I'm stuck.  :banghead  What to do with such totally conflicting responses?
#24 - January 10, 2013, 12:26 PM
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I think as mentioned in this thread there's quite a lot of pov switching even in mg, but if it's done, it should be clear and well set up. Also, there's always a question with switching to different characters, and that is whether the reader wants to stay with the one they're with or if they're okay with switching.

Maybe because you just put the third pov in, it's still a bit jumpy and not quite set up. In a way, if you want to keep the new pov, you may need to embrace it and go all in, and make sure it's done as well as possible. But as to deciding whether to use it or not at all, that's got to be your decision. I think confusion can be solved--but there's the question of whether a scene in another pov takes readers away from the heart of the story.

If it's hard to decide too, you can also take a long hard look again to see if what you solved with a pov switch can also be solved in another way. I think too the genre and the whole style of the story matter a lot, the voice and so on. Hmm, hard question!
#25 - January 10, 2013, 02:18 PM
Keith McGowan, www.keithbooks.com

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Thanks, Keith. I have chapter titles with the relevant character's name to help with the transition from one perspective to the next. I honestly think it's the best way to go. I'll just have to be extremely careful about going through and making the story as seamless as possible, so the transitions aren't too jarring, I guess.
#26 - January 10, 2013, 03:12 PM
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Is it still considered a little difficult for kids to follow, or has the MG POV sensibility grown up a little?

I remember reading "special editions" of Babysitters Club books that had every member of the club as a POV character multiple times throughout the book. And those books have been out since the mid eighties. But that might also have been easy to do because it would be assumed that readers would already be quite familiar with the voices of each character from other novels in the series.
#27 - February 22, 2013, 08:09 AM

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Hi Alison,

I have a full in with a house right now which I actually rewrote because the editor doesn't like multiple points of view for MG novels, unless it's done from the very beginning of the story. I coulnd't have done it with my story this time so I stuck with the MC's point of view.

I'm not sure. I guess it depends on the type of story but I think it could be quite interesting, done correctly.  And, I guess editors and publishers have different opinions about this.  Who knows? :shrug:
#28 - February 22, 2013, 12:08 PM

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Wow, I haven't stopped by in a while (so apologies for the really delayed response!), but that's really interesting about having to rewrite. I'm not surprised to find there's variation in preferences among editors (likely agents, too). My story starts off with two different perspectives, and a third comes in a bit later, so the reader knows from the get-go. Ah well, will finish this last round of edits and send it off, see how it's received!
#29 - April 18, 2013, 01:27 PM
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 :goodthread: I'm so glad this was bumped!
#30 - April 18, 2013, 02:10 PM

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