Middle grade fiction is an emerging age category within children's fiction. It bridges the gap between young chapter books and young adult novels. It is meant for kids between 8-12 and contains a diverse amount of literature. Knowing what books will work well for your child in the middle grade range can be a process. Here is how you can make sure you are purchasing books your child will enjoy reading.
Know the Difference In Types of Middle Grade Books
Middle grade is split into upper middle grade and lower middle grade. Upper middle grade is for 10-12 year old children while lower is for 8-10 year old children. Within the two categories, there are genres as diverse as adult genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and horror. If you are having trouble figuring out whether a book is upper or lower middle grade, pay attention to the age of the main character and choose someone the same age or a year older than your child.
Join a Middle Grade Mailing List
Mailing lists are a great way to find out what is currently popular in middle grade literature. Alternatively, you can find tips on twitter by using the #mg hashtag and asking for recommendations. Authors, librarians, and other parents are great about offering suggestions for young readers.
Listen to What Your Child Wants
During the middle grade years, your child will likely be developing their own preferences for the types of books they enjoy reading. It is important that you encourage these preferences by purchasing books your child shows an interest in. At the same time, your child may want to keep up with their friends and read the most popular books. This is another way that children learn to love reading, so you should encourage your child to read "fashionable" books and discuss them with their friends.
Read Middle Grade With Your Child
When you buy a book or series, such as Juliana Ashe, for your child, consider sitting down and reading it yourself. You may be amazed at the quality of writing and story telling available in the middle grade age category. Knowing what is available in the category through first hand experience will give you a better idea of what books to buy in the future. It will also allow you to discuss the books your child is reading with them to learn what they like and don't like for future purchases.