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MG, Tween, Pre-teen Young YA?

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One of my books published back when was listed as being for 10-14 year-olds. The main characters were 15. What exactly would that be?

MG? Tween? Pre-teen? Young YA?

I'm writing a book now with the characters being 14, just starting high school and it's definitely on the young side. But part of the plot is the transition from middle school to high school, so I don't want to make the charcters younger. There's sort of a hint of romance, but it's not a romance novel.

Any idea how this would be labeled?

Also, any thoughts on just what the ages are for each of MG, Tween, Pre-Teen, Young YA books? Or is there no difference?
#1 - August 24, 2014, 02:42 PM

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Yes, I have the same question! I'm guessing preteen, as this is the sort of thing my 11 year old daughter wold like to read.
#2 - August 24, 2014, 07:33 PM

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From a YA librarian standpoint, we have a Children's Center where books for "ages" birth-grade 5 are housed, and a YA Area where books for grades 6-12 are housed. So we buy books for either the MG or YA section. Sometimes a book is marketed as YA, but the Children's Librarian and/or I will read it and decide it is more appropriate/will go out more in the MG section -- or vice versa.

BUT -- we have reader's advisory lists that we will call "Books for Tweens," "Sweet YAs," etc. because of the diversity of books out there. The books on these lists can be from the MG and YA areas, and are mostly based on the overall story/characters/language/etc. than the age of the main character.

So my advice is to pick either MG or YA as your target audience, and as long as you can justify your reason for putting it there, you're fine. :) Other readers/audiences/libraries will put it where it fits best for their own purposes if they don't agree with your assessment.
#3 - August 24, 2014, 07:59 PM
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The content has a lot to do with it. But generally characters 13 and up fall into the YA category. Ages 9-12 is considered middle grade. If your characters are 14, and the book contains light romance, I'm pretty sure it would be classed as YA.  :grin3
#4 - August 24, 2014, 08:05 PM
A Smidgen of Sky (Harcourt 2012)
A Sliver of Sun (book #2)
 A Million Ways Home (Scholastic 2014)
Just Left of Lucky (2018)
 www.diannawinget.com

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Thanks, everyone!

...So my advice is to pick either MG or YA as your target audience, and as long as you can justify your reason for putting it there, you're fine. :) Other readers/audiences/libraries will put it where it fits best for their own purposes if they don't agree with your assessment.
  ::-)

I will stick with the character being 14, with the story being aimed at tweenish readers and let the chips category fall where it may.  :reading2

#5 - August 24, 2014, 08:31 PM

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I'd call both books young YA, but you can just tell the editors and agents it's a YA. The plot will tell them the rest.
#6 - August 25, 2014, 05:40 PM
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