As I write my mystery novel about one summer in the life of Jacob Jollimore, I’ve been back and forth, trying to decide if it fits more neatly into the category of middle reader, or if I’d be smarter to think of it as a young adult novel, since it does hold a few scenes that might offend The National Legion of Decency.
I haven’t been too concerned. My first priority is to write the best novel that I can. I can sweat the details later.
Fortunately, I may not have to spend too much time in the sauna. Thanks to Laurel Snyder, I’ve found From the Mixed Up Files… of Middle-Grade Authors , and it’s simply a fantastic resource. Jacob is straddling the line between upper middle grade and YA, and I think I’ll market it to agents as the former. It’s without sex or swearing (although there is one serious crush), but it does have a few threats of violence, and one overtly violent act. Upper Middle Grade, and near the cutoff of 60,000 words.
If you write — or think you want to write — middle readers, From the Mixed Up Files… of Middle-Grade Authors should be visited early and often.