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CharleyGirl
10-02-2009, 01:17 AM
Hey there, quick question. My middle grade novel, targeting boy readers, seems on the short side at 22,000. I've seen in other places that MG should be 25K-45K.

I know that my 11-year-old son is much more inclined to read something shorter than my daughter. This may sound sexist, but are there any established ranges for writing geared toward boys rather than girls? I guess I'm just hoping that I won't have to add another 10K to my plot...

suki
10-02-2009, 01:27 AM
Hey there, quick question. My middle grade novel, targeting boy readers, seems on the short side at 22,000. I've seen in other places that MG should be 25K-45K.

I know that my 11-year-old son is much more inclined to read something shorter than my daughter. This may sound sexist, but are there any established ranges for writing geared toward boys rather than girls? I guess I'm just hoping that I won't have to add another 10K to my plot...

As far as I know, no one has broken down target wordage by sex/gender, and by all that is holy I hope they never do...I barely contain my knee-jerk-trend-toward-violence at the mention of "boy books" and "girl books" as it is. (And as an aside, might just be your kids, because I know several boys that, post-HP, pride themselves on finding the thickest books they can).

My advice is to use as many words as your story needs to be told effectively, and then let the agents/editors offer suggestions for improving it through revision.

And FWIW, 22,000 seems an acceptable word count for a MG - at least not one that would be an auto-reject.

~suki

cwgranny
10-02-2009, 02:28 AM
I definitely have had mid-grade novels come to me for review that were at least that short. Some publishers seem especially fond of super short mid-grade -- I've seen some teeny novels from Scholastic, for example.

Smish
10-02-2009, 02:35 AM
I agree with what the others have said. 22,000 is an acceptable word count for MG.

Good luck.

Amarie
10-02-2009, 04:30 AM
As someone with a daughter who isn't yet ready for longer books, even though most of her friends are, I agree with the others. If the story can be told in 22K, then great, go for it. I just bought a very short MG (by Scholastic), called Dive, by Gordan Korman. It has 4 MCs, male and female. I'm hoping my daughter will be willing to try reading it.

CharleyGirl
10-02-2009, 05:50 AM
Thanks so much everyone! I'm so sorry if I offended anyone by referring to my Middle Grade book as a "boy book." I didn't mean that only girls should read certain books and only boys should read others, just that this particular plot is based around a male bonding experience.

Also, I realize that there are all kinds of readers out there, and my son just prefers the quick reads. I didn't mean to imply that his habits are an indication of a trend among male readers--it just sparked the question for me. Kudos to ALL young people out there reading any book in their free time! Thanks again for the input!