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What genre is my NF middle grade PB?

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I wrote a 1400 word NF nature-based picture book. A publisher is interested and asked me to up the science content, double the topics covered, and make it appeal to 3rd-5th graders. It's currently at 4800 words, and will be 48 pages, heavily illustrated with photos. I'm submitting to agents ahead of a hoped-for offer. What do I call this manuscript? If it's a picture book, 4800 words is crazy. But it's not a chapter book. Is there such a thing as a nonfiction middle-grade picture book? Or does "juvenile" mean older than preschool? Maybe a "juvenile nonfiction illustrated manuscript"? I'm stuck.

Thanks for your help!
#1 - September 27, 2019, 01:58 PM

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Teresa,

In this case, the level of the intended audience seems more important to me than the word count, so I'd label it a nonfiction picture book.

Good luck!

Jody
#2 - September 27, 2019, 05:03 PM
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There is such a thing as a nonfiction middle grade picture book. And readers in grades 3-5 are middle grade readers. So that's your genre. The picture book word counts you read about are really meant for fiction. Non fiction for an older reader, often used in the classroom, has broader rules.
#3 - September 27, 2019, 06:29 PM
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You could consider incorporating the word "information", e.g picture/information book. You could also give comparative titles to elaborate on the style you mean. e.g. a picture/information book in the style of Yuval Zommer's The Big Book of the Blue. (This book may be a comp - it has 64 pages)
#4 - September 27, 2019, 11:05 PM
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If you raise the word count to 4800, double the topics, up the science, and make it appeal to grades 3 to 5, you will have a 4800-word NF nature-based middle grade book. If you're still pitching the 1400-word version while you await an editor's response, that version sounds more like  a 1400-word  NF nature-based picture book. However, it could be a middle grade book depending on word choice and complexity. I'm currently writing for grades 3 to 5 and the requested word count is 1600-1800.  It seems the word count for NF books varies a lot. Perhaps looking at other books on the topic might help you decide where your book belongs. :eyeballs :bunny2
#5 - October 23, 2019, 07:29 PM

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Teresa, I'm late to this discussion but NF tends to have a much broader range, both in page count, word count and complexity. A NF book for kids in Grades 3-5 is solidly MG and even if it's heavily illustrated, it'll be considered a MG NF book. They can range from 24-112 pages, typically 48 or 64 pages, 100-200 words per spread.
Look at the Scientists in the Field series--they are 64 pages, with beautiful photographs, and fairly in-depth. There are other series: What Was or Who Is, all for older readers (age 8-12).
Good luck with your revisions.
#6 - October 24, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Good information, everyone! Thank you!
#7 - October 24, 2019, 08:24 AM

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