Friday, March 18, 2011


When people ask me what genre I write, I immediately answer middle-grade. The response is usually something like a smile, followed by a nod, and then a "what?"

I'm always baffled that many adults do not know what constitutes a middle-grade (MG) book. "You mean, young adult fiction, right?"

I then explain that it's for readers 9-12, sometimes up to 14, but that I really stick with the 9-12 age range. That I write boy-based stories that revolve around, or involve, hockey. My audience is that reluctant reader who may or may not play hockey, but has an interest in the sport.

There's still more nodding and then I usually just give them a spiel about my stories.

Why is there such a discrepancy between MG and YA? Do parents just not understand what their kids are reading? Or, do they just classify them all as "young adult" or "kids books"?

Do they not know about The Book Thief or the Percy Jackson series? How about Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Graveyard Book? Maybe they know about The Name of this Book is Secret or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Surely they've heard of a certain character named Harry Potter.

What do you say when someone asks you what you write? Or if you're a parent, do you know what your kids are reading?