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3 Ways to Avoid Dumbing Down When Writing Middle Grade

Don't miss these key elements in understanding how to write for young readers.
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September 29, 2015

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3 Ways to Avoid Dumbing Down When Writing Middle Grade
BrianKlems Brian A. Klems
Online Editor
As a seventh grade teacher, one of my all-time favorite moments is when a student gets a somewhat sly look in his or her eye, then raises a hand and says, "But Mr. Reynolds, I mean, really, what do you think?"

I love these moments because-whether they are about standardized testing or the protagonist of one of our novels-it shows me the heart of my students: that they have a deep desire for authenticity. They want to know the real deal, the whole scoop, the full story, the big picture.

And middle grade readers are no different from middle school students. They, too, want authenticity. They don't want to read a version of the world skewed towards pretense for their eyes. They want to deal with real issues, real difficulty, and real love. In my middle grade novel, The Looney Experiment, I tried to give them a story with all the raw pain, humor, and love I could manage to translate from my own heart of experiences to reach theirs.

Here are three ways to avoid dumbing down our stories, our messages, our language when writing for middle grade audiences.  Read more... 
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