Why I Love Middle Grade Books


Here's the thing, I love middle grade literature. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy grown-up books also and I love writing them but today I wanted to tell you why I enjoy middle grade books and why I enjoy writing them.
These are the things I see as a reader of middle grade literature.
The middle grade years are a time in a child's life that is full of innocence yet sometimes profound wisdom. And this can be seen and felt in the books.
Anything is possible in Middle Grade books.
There is a quality of magic and wonder in these books.
Honesty, courage, hope and resilience are overarching themes in most MG. Qualities I believe we all wish we had in great quantity.
Comedy. Middle grade books are often full of charm and laughter.
They're short. Although this is changing and that's okay. I can read several in a week's time and come away just as satisfied if not more as if I had read a 400 page tome.
As a writer of middle grade literature I enjoy all of the above and using all of the above to tell a story. Because story matters. Story first. It's kind of like taking the Hippocratic Oath--First do no harm. For authors I think we should all take a similar oath, call it the Tolkien Oath, First, tell a good story.
They're short, but don't have to be I can write a good novel in less time. Less words. But each word MUST be carefully, specifically chosen.
The writing is tight. As a writer of MG I endeavor to write only the sentences that are necessary.
Kids know good writing. You cannot fool them. Writing for kids keeps me on my toes.
The audience. Kids of this age are voracious readers. They keep coming back for more and will read anything from a literary to a fantasy. They just want a good story.
If you haven't read much MG fiction, I suggest you give it a try. Some of my favorite authors are Jonathan Friesen, Kimberley Willis Holt, KAtherine Patterson, Kathi Appelt, GAry Schmidt, Joan Bauer and the list goes on.
Now go forth and read, you'll be glad you did.

3 comments:

Diane said...

I thought about writing adult fiction, but I have four generations around me, 7 great-grandchildren, near and far.

I received a writing prompt at a local class, teenager and young girl. Everyone said there is a big difference; I thought next-door neighbors, sisters... "No, that doesn't work."

I started writing, "Tousled hair flying in the wind, a teenage girl ran down the beach, long limbs flashing in the moonlight. She looked up, and the world was a bubble with tiny pinholes of white showing through, thinking of her Dad saying, "The Indians believed that the stars were the souls of babies who were lost...."
I wrote two short stories of 3000 words each - "Riddle of the Great Seal" and "Treasures of the Bog" about fifthteen-year old Chloe and eight-year old Josie on their adventures to find the link to Chloe's family history, and the search for a 4,000 year old necklace that was found in an Irish Dumpster. Based on actual facts...

I would love to find a publisher or outlet to contact..

Joyce Magnin said...

Diane, the best advice I can give you right now is to attend the writer's conferences where you can meet editors and authors and agents.

Diane said...

Thank you, I am attending a writing conference in Oct...
I will be following your blog...