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?