Friday, May 6, 2011

Raise your hand if your library has a middle-grade section

*stands on tiptoes* *peers around room* None of you. Right?

Let me tell you: this is a SERIOUS oversight.

Recently I went to a meeting at my library revolving around the teen section. One member mentioned reading Tunnels (by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams) and said that despite it was a "children's book", he still enjoyed it.

Here I said as politely as I could: "Isn't middle-grade an age category too?"

Like, when did young adult become the only cool kids' category to read? There is a TON of hype for YA out there in the book blogosphere, and there are a gazillion YA book blogs. But why is middle-grade labelled "children's" and deemed immature to read? And why isn't there a middle-grade section?

Okay. *takes deep breath* I'll stop ranting. But seriously, I remember when it was revolutionary because teen books were getting their own section. Let's start the middle-grade revolution, okay?


  1. Our tiny branch in the burbs of Denver actually has a MG wall. It's handy but it's dominated by Mary Kate & Ashley and Hannna Montana. Sigh.

  2. My personal gripe is the use of the term chapter book for anything above easy readers and below YA. Chapter books are their own category, a step below middle grade. Most teachers and a lot of librarians (from what I can tell) aren't familiar with this.

  3. Some of the most beautiful books are middle-grade. Our branch in Salt Lake City has an amazing children's library. Every time I want something they seem to have it.

    My branch back in Chicago is something to be lamented. That's when I started buying most of the books I read.

  4. Our library has a Battle of the Books section that's all middle grade. It's 40 books, but the books are only replaced two at a time every year, so some of the books are oldish. This is a tough subject. Hmmm...will think on it.

  5. You are so right! MG totally deserves a section. Some of the best books get lost because they are surrounded by "easy readers" or shoved in the YA section, where MG readers never go.

  6. bfav -- Mary Kate & Ashley and Hannah Montana in middle-grade? LOL! That's a major problem indeed. I'm pretty sure they'd be classified as early readers...

    Caroline -- I agree! Chapter books are very different from middle-grade, and adults need to be aware of this.

    Liesl -- So glad at least Salt Lake City's got a good children's section! Sorry to hear about the Chicago library though.

    Anita -- Battle of the Books? Sounds cool! Updating it more often probably would be a good idea though.

    Carrie -- Yay, glad you agree! Middle-grade should DEFINITELY not get classified as either early readers or YA; those are very different things.

  7. So glad that many bookstores, at least, have middle-grade sections--where I head first thing :)

  8. I think the bookstores generally do a better job of this. B&N has a nice young readers section - which seems to be mostly MG and is clearly distinct from chapter books and YA. My experience with libraries has been hit and miss. It seems that many people aren't familiar with the distinctions...and I distinctly remember working in the kids section of a bookstore and having no idea there were these categories.

    Guess we'll have to spread the word. :)

  9. I'm with you on that one. MG YA and chapter books are all mixed together at our library :(


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!