What do we mean by "middle grade" fiction? Is it defined simply by what it is not -- it is not picture books, it is not early chapter books, it is not young adult. It's "I'll know it when I see it."
Middle grade is for the kids who have mastered reading well enough to leave those early readers behind (even if, now and then, they turn to Amelia Bedelia as comfort food.) They may be as young as seven. It's book with chapters, books that have complex plots and interesting characters and great writing. It's school stories and adventures. Yet it's not "young adult." By the time a reader hits thirteen, we don't think of steering them towards "middle grade fiction", even though more and more titles are crossing over to appeal to ages 11 to 13.
There is a separate category for fantasy/science fiction; for poetry; and for graphic novels, so be sure to nominate your favorite book where it belongs.
--Liz Burns, organizer
Please leave your nomination -- including author and title -- in the comments below.