This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Middle Grade Romance

Since today is Valentine's Day, I decided to write a love related post. As I pondered what I wanted to say, I was reminded of a conversation I've been having with a group of writers about the difference between middle grade and YA. One of the points brought up was the fact that YA HAD to have some sort of love interest, whereas middle grade did not.

But middle grade is a special time when it comes to romance. Girls who've had crushes on boys for years finally find that the boys are interested too - or that they are not. More people start "going out." Almost every conversation with friends is about who likes who. And along with these first real crushes are the first heart breaks and rejections. So how can middle grade books not touch upon that, at least a little?

Middle grade romances may be(and hopefully are)simple- smiles in the hallway, a friend telling a friend that someone likes you. First dates once you get to middle school. But that doesn't mean they are insignificant or unimportant. When I look at my own journals from that time there is not a page that doesn't contain my feelings towards the boys in my life.

Or maybe that was just me?


  1. My oldest is almost in middle school--you're making me sweat. *grin*

  2. Nope! Not just you...of course, I got "married" in kindergarten to my classroom sweetheart. ;-) Great post! :)

  3. Good post Stacy! Yes, MG can (and does) have romance. Like you said, it's more sweet and there are lots of crushes. But MG doesn't have to have romance if the story doesn't need it. Friendship sometimes takes the place of romance in MG.

  4. I have read lots of YA where the MC and romantic interest either met/have been friends since/neighbors since middle school, so although the actual romantic relationship takes place a lot later, more often than not, in books and real life, they can begin a lot earlier and so are definitely relevant in MG.

  5. I agree. I think there is a definite place for crushes/love interest in MG...but it's much more "innocent" than in YA. :)


You know you have something to say...