What are some of the differences between a middle grade book, a young adult book, and an adult book?
Here's my list of 15 differences between young adult books and middle grade books.
Differences Between Middle Grade and Young Adult Books
Age of the characters: Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
Many people think the category of a book is JUST decided by the age of its main character, but that isn’t necessarily true.
YA and Middle Grade books usually have characters that are just a little older than the designated age range, which is around 8-12 for middle grade and around 13-17 for young adult.
Most middle grade characters tend to be around twelve.
YA characters HAVE to be at least sixteen. (Argue with me in comments if you like, but I didn’t make the rules.)
NA characters are usually nineteen to early twenties.
Length of the book: Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
As a rule, young adult books are longer than middle grade. BUT again, the rules are a bit flexible. Fantasy books tend to be a little longer than contemporary books. Popular authors are given more leeway than aspiring authors.
So people may tell you that Middle Grade is 50,000 words, while YA book are 75,000-80,000. But Rick Riordan's middle grade books are around 320-360 pages, which is about 90,000 words.
Explicit Content: Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
Violence and Danger: Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
Profanity/cursing: Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
Profanity is another controversial topic. Middle grade books don't typically include profanity. Some young adult books include it, but many do not. I did this post on cursing in YA, including a statistics, so take a look!