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How many words are normal for a children's novel?

Say 5th - 8th grade, if that's the best way to measure it.

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If someone can point us to some sort of guideline for children's books in general, that would be extremely helpful. – Neil Fein Dec 10 '10 at 22:22
At Amazon the page count for books for 10-years-old children varies from 120 to 350. Pick up a children's book in your collection and count the words on one page. Multiply it with the page count and you get a vague idea. – John Smithers Dec 11 '10 at 18:33
Don't they put kid's books in bigger font too? – johnny Dec 11 '10 at 19:54
up vote 7 down vote accepted

According to Colleen Lindsay (former agent), a middle grade novel has on average 35K words.


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If you write a really good story like Harry Potter, you can get away with making kids read an almost infinite amount of words. Although, you'll notice with the Harry Potter books the length of each book increases with each release in the series. So if you're writing a series, start small, then increase the word count with each release.

Publishers are probably more open to this approach, since when you become more established, there's less risk for them with bigger books.

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I don't believe Harry Potter was classified as a Children's Novel. I believe it was classified as Young Adult, which is totally different. Children's and Middle Grade novels are going to be much shorter and, for the most part, more simplistic. – Ralph Gallagher Dec 18 '10 at 3:00
I don't believe Harry Potter was classified as a really good story. – Vic Goldfeld Nov 29 '11 at 13:54
no Harry Potter is a childrens book, not young adult. – user4500 Dec 21 '12 at 11:07
Fantasy books are always thicker and are not the best reference, unless for other fantasy works. Since the first book was meant for children around 13 years of age, I do believe that qualifies as a Children's novel. Since the readership grew together with Harry, the last book or two <i>might</i> pass as young adult, even though it doesn't have all the elements that make it YA - an MC that's in late teens does not automatically mean YA. @Vic Goldfeld - for a not really good story, it sure made the author the richest writer ever. – Tannalein Dec 21 '12 at 16:46

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