I couldn’t resist one more post on word counts.
Out of the five most recent Newbery Medal* winners, only one falls into the 30-40,000 word middle grade guidelines.
If you take a look at these new classics, only Rebecca Stead’s 2010 When You Reach Me fell in the range.
2013—The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (26,263 words)
2012—Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (73,597 words)
2011—Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (81,369 words)
2010—When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (39,253 words)
2009—The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (67,380 words)
There’s no consistent trend, so I’ll stick with my original thought: Good riding overrides word count (at least for established authors).
*The annual award from the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.