Chapter Books vs. Middle Grade: What’s the Difference?
The lines can often seem blurry – but the truth is that each is a unique format in children’s publishing. The table below clarifies the essential but often subtle differences between the two:
|Reader is usually between the ages of 8 and 12.||Reader usually between the ages of 7-10 (grades 2-4).|
AGE OF PROTAGONIST
|Hero is usually 10-13, and in middle school (grades 4-8).||Heroes usually between the ages of 7-10. May have anthropomorphic heroes.|
|150-200 pages (average). 20,000 – 60,000 words.||45-60 pages (average). 5,000-20,000 words.|
|Few, if any, illustrations.||May be plentiful, even on every page. Illustrations go with text and are usually in black and white.|
|Action is important, but description/exposition is also important. Stakes can be high. Character journey and development is key.||Action is key. Stakes are lower. Characters tend to stay consistent. Little major character development.|
This chart is one of several from Just Write for Middle Grade! my 14-week course in writing chapter books and middle grade novels. Please visit www.justwriteformiddlegrade.com for more information.