Welcome Dorine White!
I asked her to write a post about what makes a book a
middle grade book.
Here is her answer. Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Dorine White and I am the author of Cleopatra's Legacy- The Emerald Ring, a middle grade fantasy. Sometimes people ask me- What is middle grade? It's a very good question, because if you aren't in the writing business, you would not know.
Middle grade books are books geared for kids between the ages of 8-12 years. It has nothing to do with middle school. The manuscripts run between 100-150 typed pages and can run between 20,000- 50,000 words. At this age children are ready for more complex stories, subplots and secondary characters. Middle grade books often come in series because children at this age get hooked on characters. A great example of MG is Holes by Sachar.
MG is a step up from chapter books. These books are for the next level of readers, ages 7-10. They fall into two categories- early chapter books and regular chapter books. Early chapter books have manuscripts that are up to 30 pages long and are broken into 2-3 page chapters. For example, Nate The Great books by Sharmat. Regular chapter books run 45-60 pages and are broken up into 3 or 4 page chapters. These books usually are full of action and have more complex sentence structures, but still have short paragraphs. Check out the Ramona books by Cleary.
My book follows the adventures of Sara Bogus, an eleven-year old girl who discovers an emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra. She is unable to get the ring off her finger, and soon magical things begin happening. At first it is only visions, but the it is understanding animals and later shape shifting into a cat. At first it is fun and adventurous, but a cat burglar shows up in town intent on stealing the ring that is stuck to her finger. Sara has the adventure of a lifetime as she protects her friends and family and learns ancient secrets.
The second book in the series, The Ruby Pendant, has a release date of April 2014. In this sequel, we follow thirteen-year-old Melanie Belaforte from New Orleans. The ruby pendant was hidden by her Aunt, and Melanie is determined to find it. However, finding the ruby will also reveal it's powers.
I hope you will come along on this adventure with me!
Do you write or read middle grade books?