Picking books for yourself or your children/teen to read can be a tricky thing. There are so many different genres and categories to choose from that you can be left unsure of what they even mean! So we are going to take a look at the 4 basic categories that fictional books fall under.
MG – Middle Grade: The target reader for this category is 8-12 years old. It shouldn’t contain any profanity, graphic violence or sexuality (other than mild romance). It is generally shorter than the books intended for older audiences. The main characters are generally around the same age as the reader but on the older side as kids like to read up. Popular examples of Middle Grade books are: Harry Potter – Percy Jackson – Wonder – Holes – The One and Only Ivan – Charlottes Web – A Series of Unfortunate Events – Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Masterminds etc….
YA – Young Adult: YA novels are traditionally written for readers 13-18 years old. They will have a more mature content regarding language, violence and sexual situations. They typically have an adolescent as the protagonist. The subject matter and story lines are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character. The YA age span is quite reaching – what is appropriate for an 18-year-old is not the same as a 13-year-old. I wish that there were sub-categorization within the YA category but unfortunately, there is not. Popular examples of YA books are: Hunger Games – Divergent – The Selection – The Lunar Chronicles – The Fault in our Stars – The Book Thief – The Raven Cycle – Geekeralla – The Outsiders – Six of Crows – Anna and the French Kiss etc….
NA – New Adult: This is a fairly new category for books (within the last 10 years). These books usually have main characters who are out of their teens – and are dealing with situations that 18+ would deal with – such as setting out into the world for the first time and being independent.New adult is typically considered a subcategory of adult literature rather than young adult literature. The topics are generally more mature including the sexual and violent content. Popular examples of New Adult books are: Court of Thorns and Roses – Maybe Someday – Fangirl – Again But Better – The Magicians etc….
General Fiction: This category encompasses everything else!
So – does this mean you can only read from the category that is closest to your actual age? Heck no! BUT it is a very helpful guide for those of you who are looking for age appropriate reading material for your younger to older teens!
Fiction – Everything else!