Middle Grade Fiction Category Description

Middle grade fiction encompasses a wide range of stories that do not have magical elements and are geared toward the 8 to 12 year old age group. These stories could be mysteries, histories, humor, sports, adventure and other tales set in the real world. Middle Grade readers’ tastes and reading abilities can vary widely, and getting them a book that appeals to them is crucial. Sometimes, they like to read about kids just like themselves in real life situations, whether they are kids who get good grades or constantly get into trouble. If these books are funny and action-packed, so much the better! On the other hand, since readers are expanding their world views, they often like to read about kids who are not like them—characters who have other interests, live in other places and times, have different kinds of families, and face struggles they may never have experienced. Books containing mature content in regards to violence, sex or language are more appropriate for the Young Adult Fiction category. The Cybils hopes to find realistic fiction books that are well-written and thought provoking but also make Middle Grade readers want to keep turning the pages. This is your chance to tell us what books you think middle grade readers will not only learn from but be excited about recommending to their friends.

—Karen Yingling.