I know I’ve written before about young adult books and word count already, but recently a friend asked me my opinion on the ideal length of a debut middle grade novels. It seems to me like there is the most variation in this type of book, because they are generally written for children between the ages of eight and twelve. There is a lot of changes in both reading ability and subjects of interest during that time. I’ve read online that MG novels should be between 20,000 and 45,000 words. Here are examples of how many words are in between the covers of some of the most popular MG novels.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney: 19,784 words
- The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate: 26,263 words
- Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt: 27,848 words
- Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, by Judy Blume: 30,340 words
- Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson: 32,888 words
- Matilda, by Roald Dahl: 40,009 words
- The Giver, by Lois Lowry: 43,617 words
- Holes, by Louis Sachar: 47,079 words
- Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine: 52,994 words
- Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech: 59,400 words
- Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale: 63,201 words
- Wonder, by R.J. Palacio: 73,053 words
- The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan: 87,223
As you can see, there is a huge range. However I think sticking under 40,000 words probably makes sense for a debut middle grade novelist. Anyone else have any thoughts or opinions?