Caroline A Raine

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 7 Edward Beaton and the Star in the Glass a week along...

And so - just a week ago - 500 hopeful writers found out that they were in the quarter finals of the 2011 ABNA writing contest. 250 of us are writers of Young Adult Fiction. One of my reviews (see bottom of this blog page) mentioned that they thought my book was aimed more at the age group 8-10. I seriously would question this. I have been teaching children ages 5 - 18 in various subjects for the past 16 years and I am quite sure that the age group 8 - 9 years would be hard pressed to read the traditional children's novel.  I would love to read any findings which document how many childrens under the age of 10 have actually read "Harry Potter" books. They may have bought copies, have had them read to as Read Alouds, seen the movies, waited until they were old enough to start reading their copies.... Just wondering - and would be really interested to read those stats - something I'm going to look up if possible this weekend.

My daughter Lily, is 9 years old and a fairly average reader for her age. I could not imagine her sitting down at this age,  to a 60 000+ word novel. I am just curious what constitutes a Young Adult Fiction - Vocabulary, and font size, subject and sustained story length... of course. I hesitate to age categorise books because children's tastes and reading interests and abilities vary as much as adults do. Just thinking about books such as The Book Thief and some of Alice Hoffman's books which are pitched as Young Adult Fiction, but which enjoy a huge adult following. Not sure what the solution is, but just think that tight age categorisation outside of graded reading systems is counter-productive ?

Anyway - my school reports are all done and dusted and the holiday begins tomorrow. Yippee!