Pub Rants

Fridays With Agent Kristin: Episode 4 -Talking Middle Grade

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STATUS: Looking forward to Monday. Sounds odd, I know, but it’s a holiday in Publishing so it will be nice and quiet. No emails.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? IN THE MOOD by Glenn Miller Orchestra

In Episode 4, I identify what I see as the three different age levels within middle grade and how those levels dictate the appropriate word count and page length for a middle grade work.

This is the first video I filmed in the evening. Boy does that make a difference in lighting! I also need to work on the appropriate length of time for transition stills. *grin*

It’s all a work in process.



11 Responses

  1. Natalie Aguirre said:

    This is another great post. And I so agree that there are different levels of middle grade. I really think more book review bloggers would enjoy the upper level middle grade if they gave it a chance and could help promote these books more. I’m going to be discussing this on my blog in two weeks because it’s been on my mind.

    I love Janice’s books BTW and interviewed her twice at Literary Rambles last year with book giveaways. She’s got a great blog too.

  2. Brian Clopper said:

    Great post. I always thought middle grade meant ages 9-12. I would never have thought it would go as low as the Magic Treehouse series.

    I find my work falls firmly in the upper middle grade.

    Question, can a series have a variety of word counts? Say, 20,000for the first book and then 40,000for the second? Is that a no-no?

    Brian Clopper

  3. Liz Heinecke said:

    Thanks Kristin,
    That was interesting. When you’re pitching a book, would you state that it’s a “level three” middle grade novel, or assume that an agent could figure it out from a well-written query letter?

  4. Stevie Carroll said:

    Thanks for that. I think I understand the definitions better now, although it’s tricky for me as a UK writer who came through the UK school system to get a good grasp of what ages middle grade equates to.

  5. Angela Solano said:


    Would it be possible to elaborate on how the age of the main character relates to which level of Middle Grade your novel would be classified as? I’m currently writing a novel where the main character is 10 years old. Does that automatically put the novel at a level 1 or 2?

    Thanks for the post!

  6. Tara said:

    That was really helpful, Kristin! Wish it had been around when I was querying. I’ve often wondered where “upper middle grade” started.