Good age for middle grade fiction characters

April 23, 2011 at 5:18 am (Uncategorized)

Many new (and some old-time) authors are often confused as to what age to make their protagonist in a middle grade fiction novel. The general rule is 12 or under. Remember, your target audience is 8 to 11, and kids like to read up (8-year-olds don’t want to read about other 8-year-olds, they want to read about the cool 10 and 11-year-olds). Think of the age of some of the (modern) best-selling middle grade novels…Harry Potter started out as an 11-year-old, Percy Jackson was 12, etc. Of course there are exceptions to this. For example, Nancy Drew is 18 (not really sure why they keep her that age). Or, if your protagonist is only 9, but is dealing with a very serious subject (sexual abuse, racial prejudice), then it will probably be categorized as YA because of content. But for the most part, middle grade fiction writers keep their characters at 12 or younger.

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