Target Audience Honesty

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 5.06.22 PMOver the past four years I’ve written and read many middle grade book reviews. My favorite ones though appear every week in the local paper from a very reliable source: boys and girls age 10-14. That’s where I can find out what MG kids like and don’t like in literature. Compared to adults, these young journalists often have a different opinion when reviewing the newest offering on the bookshelf. Here’s proof with these sample comments from recent reviews:

  • It’s just the beginning that really bothered me and made me want to throw the book away.
  • There was some bad language that made me feel uncomfortable and was not necessary.
  • I feel that this book was a waste of time in the sense of other great books in the world.
  • This book had a lot of funny parts, but part of the book just dragged on and on and had no action.

They also aren’t shy about sharing positive comments:

  • I could not put this book down after I started reading it.
  • At times, it even left me in tears.
  • …an amazing book that has a lot of emotion and love.

These Colorado Kids review mostly books, but also take a look at current movies, theater, tourist attractions, and almost anything else young readers would be interested in. Here is the link to their MG and YA book reviews. You might find a few stocking stuffers for your young readers.

Meanwhile, I’m heading back to writing my own MG story with the advice learned from these reviews. Basically write a story that is not confusing, makes you laugh and cry, is never boring, includes some action, and has an ending with no loose parts. Whew, a tall order indeed.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Reading, Reviews, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Target Audience Honesty

  1. As writers, we can’t read too much, but this kind of targeted reading may be the best. Sounds like you are on to a good source.

  2. I agree, kids usually give the best feedback. They can be a tough audience! Another source with young reviewers is San Francisco Book Reviews.

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