We recently launched our Middle Grade Chapter Book Box for 9 - 12 year olds as we were receiving lots of requests for the next level up from readers growing out of our Junior Chapter Book Box for ages 7 - 10, and we wanted to give you a breakdown of the differences between junior chapter books and middle grade chapter books.
In the category of children’s literatures, in ascending order from ages zero to teenager, we have:
Here’s a general overview of what the chapter and middle grade sub-genres of children’s literature look like—but remember, there are of course exceptions and variations to these guidelines that give a basic overview.
A quick guide:
Chapter books are made in hardcover and paperback formats.
Usually the characters are on the younger side, matching the reader’s age, up to age twelve. In this age group, it’s easy to find a book with animal main characters. The stories contain less mature content (like relationships, depression, etc.), violence, and language (though not always or often enough, in our opinion, which is why we have a carefully curated Chapter Book Club and an informative Parent’s Guide section on our Book Platform’s book pages!).
Chapter books are often created by an author and an illustrator, if there is one.
Chapter books usually cost around $17.99 for a hardcover.
Middle grade books are made in hardcover and paperback formats.
The main characters are usually 10-12+ year olds. The vocabulary is more advanced than chapter books, and the format includes longer chapters. There might be an illustration here or there: a small one at the title header, a map at the beginning of the book, or a handful of scattered illustrations throughout a couple hundred pages.
The stories typically have less mature content (like relationships) and language than the Young Adult literature, too, though it does venture into more mature subject material than chapter books, like suspenseful situations, mental health, death, etc.
Middle grade books are often written by one author.
Middle grade books usually cost around $17.99 for a hardcover copy, but the price varies and a single title might be $22.99.