What's the Difference Between a Junior Chapter Book and a Middle Grade Chapter Book?

May 12, 2021
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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

The Build:

Chapter books are made in hardcover and paperback formats.

The Content:

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!).

The Creatives:

Chapter books are often created by an author and an illustrator, if there is one.

The Cost:

Chapter books usually cost around $17.99 for a hardcover.

Popular Chapter Book Examples:

  • chapter • 176 Pages
    Sideways Stories from Wayside School
    #1 in Series
    Louis Sachar, Adam McCauley

A Few Bookroo Favorite Chapter Books:

  • chapter • 224 Pages
    The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
    Julie Andrews Edwards
  • chapter • 304 Pages
    The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
    #3 in Series
    Natasha Lowe
  • chapter • 64 Pages
    The Great Pet Escape
    #1 in Series
    Graphic Nov.
    Victoria Jamieson

Middle Grade Books

The Build:

Middle grade books are made in hardcover and paperback formats.

The Content:

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.

(We also have a carefully curated Middle Grade Book Club and an informative Parent’s Guide section on our Book Platform’s book pages!)

The Creatives:

Middle grade books are often written by one author.

The Cost:

Middle grade books usually cost around $17.99 for a hardcover copy, but the price varies and a single title might be $22.99.

Popular Middle Grade Book Examples:

  • chapter • 320 Pages
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    #1 in Series
    J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
  • chapter • 186 Pages
    #1 in Series
    Gary Paulsen
  • chapter • 256 Pages
    A Wrinkle in Time
    #1 in Series
    Madeleine L’Engle

A Few Bookroo Favorite Middle Grade Books:

  • chapter • 256 Pages
    The Giver
    Lois Lowry
  • chapter • 384 Pages
    True (. . . Sort Of)
    Katherine Hannigan

Top 5 on Bookroo

    A New Parent's Guide to Reading
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