I”m often asked how I got started writing young adult, teen, and tween fiction. And if you’ve read my biography on the Creed Griffon – Road to Dendura website, then you’ll know initially, my experience led me in a totally different direction. One of my main reasons for writing this series was (and still is) the fact that I’m a teacher who wants to inspire kids to read. However, I didn’t know how many intricate slippery-slope pathways or tumultuous seas I’d have to cross to get my idea into print. Neither did I fully expect the countless yet valuable lessons I’d learn along the way. Nonetheless, the following topic is something many people may not be aware of when purchasing a book:
Warning: Ratings are not determined by magical wand waving pixies who sprinkle sparkly dust over said reading materials resulting in their categorization into the appropriate age groups… ( I was absolutely crushed when I found this out)
If you’re an aspiring writer take heed. If you’re a parent choosing books for your kids keep reading, this may surprise you. When pertaining to books, we often use words like children’s books, tween, teen, and young adult – but did you know that there’s really no set age range for any of these categories? Now, the American Library Association may argue this statement, but unfortunately not everyone follows their guidelines, and that’s a fact! More often than not, age guidelines set themselves because vendors go with the age group of individuals purchasing or receiving the books. Below is a rough guideline for each category per age group. By no means is it the only one, the official, or complete one. As a matter of fact, if you scout around you’ll find that most age level recommendations for books conflict. I understand that the suggested reading levels below don’t really pertain to adults, but it gives you a basic idea of how each term is viewed.
Age Related Categories:
When I first started out, I thought I had a general knowledge of what these categories meant. However, I quickly learned that sometimes, the industry simply groups books together and recommends them to readers of all ages when really, if we were to hold true to any definition, we’re talking the difference between a picture book, and something like Hunger Games. Case and Point: Harry Potter was deemed as a children’s book. In many bookstores you’ll find it in the children’s section. However, I know countless parents who won’t let their children read the series because of the ‘graphic content’. (And no, I’m not one of those parents, but I understand and respect their opinions)
Regardless, the author of course has NO control over age rating issues aside from giving his/her own personal recommendation of their works. When a professional/bookstore recommends a reading age for a particular book, that rating will depend solely on their opinion. This is where you need to be careful because someone else’s idea of what’s good for you, your teen, or tween may differ than what you may consider appropriate. I’ve had children as young as nine read The Road to Dendura and love it. I’ve had teen, tween, and young adult readers do the same. I believe aspects such as this also fall on the readers maturity and reading levels.