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  1. #1
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    Upper Middle Grade or Lower Young Adult?

    Here's a description of my book:

    Twelve-year-old Alyssa Norris has been going through tough times of her life. She lost her parents at the age of 7, her aunt at age 9, and ever since her aunt's death, her uncle has become an alcoholic. He is incredibly tough and irresponsible. Alyssa and her younger cousin, Hailey must take care of their needs themselves. One day, an evil wizard's voice speaks inside of Alyssa's head and tells her to meet with him at the end of her street at 9 pm, which she refuses. Because of that, he tells her that he will make her. She ignores it for the rest of the day until strange effects happen inside of her head and cause her to act obnoxious to the people she knows. She meets up with Pablo who takes her on his magic private plane to Tanzania. While on the plane, the spell leaves Alyssa and she freaks out big time. Pablo arrives in the Serengeti Plains and uses magic to make Alyssa fall asleep. Alyssa wakes up the next day and finds a young college woman, whom invites her to stay at the campsite with her classmates. That night, two of Pablo's servants attack the campsite and kill all of the students. Alyssa leaves and looks for another place to stay. Farahni, a friendly African sorcerer tells Alyssa about Pablo's potion and how it will affect her: as Pablo's powers increase, the strength of people thinking that Alyssa talk rudely, even when she isn't, grows. After 13 people turn on her, Pablo will kill her and rule the world as a powerful tyrant. To prevent that, Farhani tells Alyssa that she must defeat the threats sent out by him, which will be sensed by a charmed necklace located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Alyssa must fetch that necklace and wear it until she defeats Pablo. Farhani's friend, Rafiya drives Alyssa to find the necklace and along the way, they camp.

    That's all I'll say without spoiling anything big. But the threats are quite scary and there will be an intense battle scene with lots of action (no guns or anything, just magic). My main concern is not whether you like the story, but that I can't decide whether is should be considered upper MG or lower YA.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Sunayna - you could easily call it a cross over between MG & YA.

    Are you familiar with Percy Jackson books (by Rick Riordan)? They are listed as for ages 9 - 11. And, they have all kinds of fight scenes.

    Here's a link to Riordan's webpage. And, the B&N site where you can pull the details.

    http://www.rickriordan.com/my-books/...ing-thief.aspx Riordan's site.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last...ackson#Details B&N

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Okay. A cross might not be so bad. But in the beginning, the uncle drinks (even though I never show that). I don't know if any parents of kids 9-11 would like that, even if they have friends whose parents are alcoholics.

  4. #4
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    If the character is 12, it'll be considered middle grade. This is an industry norm. Teenagers prefer to read about characters their own age or, more typically, older, and probably wouldn't pick up a book about a 12-year-old.

  5. #5
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    Okay. So my book is upper MG?

  6. #6
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    It'll be marketed as a MG, period. They don't have shelves for "upper" and "lower."

  7. #7
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    Okay. Middle Grade then.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Sunayna- Have you ever read any MG? There have to be bad guys. They kill, they drink, they hit, they curse...gotta have them, otherwise, boooooring. Right?

    Jena's right, though about the age of the MC. That's why--to appeal to a broader audience--when they made a movie of Percy Jackson, the actors were much older than 12. (Harry Potter's the exception...'cause who doesn't love HP? And, look at what his aunt and uncle did to him. Made him live under the stairs, they did!)

  9. #9
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    Yes, I've read a lot of middle grade novels. Although, the ones I've read didn't have too much action and fighting except for when I read Harry Potter.

  10. #10
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    I know a book with a 12-year-old MC is considered middle grade, but aren't there some exceptions? At my local library, the book, The Golden Compass was located in the YA section and it had a 12-year-old MC.

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