An explanation of all those persnickety terms librarians, publishers and authors bandy about…

Chapter Book Series

Targeted to young readers ready to tackle a book with a little more meat, these simple stories divided into chapters (usually about ten) range from puppy stories to haunted libraries. If your kiddo is a good first grade reader, they’re probably ready for this genre. Teachers always know best. Many of these start in the second grade level of AR and end around the upper third grade level.

Middle Grade (MG)

Middle grade novels have such a wide variety. When your kids leave chapter books behind and leap into this genre, they will find a wide range of fiction covering most every topic they could ever want a book about. Some kids will start this genre as early as second grade, with many not leaving it behind until late middle school, when they are ready for more mature fare.

Young Adult (YA)

Late middle school opens the door for teen fiction. It’s not quite as eclectic as middle grade, but it does have a wide range of sub-genres, everything from paranormal romance to hard-edged, contemporary mysteries. Not sure if your child is ready for this genre? Reading a book they’ve got on their list is a sure-fire way to know if it’s right for your teen. However, be careful in your censorship. Kids have access to books through school libraries, and my motto is it’s best to read it together than to say “no”! You’d be surprised what those kids already know! Here’s your final chance to weigh in!

Graphic Novels

Do you have a kid who seems disinterested in reading? Graphic novels can be a great way to make that transition from pictures to words. Some are downright goofy (my family enjoys reading the Dogman books in different voices), and some are focused more on action or scary stories. Your library may have a separate section. Remember, even a goofy book is great if your kid is reading it instead of playing a video game!