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By Lisa Rojany Buccieri, Peter Economy

Part of Writing Children’s Books For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re writing a children’s book, it pays to be familiar with how publishers classify them. Publishers generally assign age groups for readers of various formats as set out in the following list:

  • Board books: Newborn to age 3

  • Picture books: Ages 3–8

  • Coloring and activity (C&A) books: Ages 3–8

  • Novelty books: Ages 3 and up, depending on content

  • Early, leveled readers: Ages 5–9

  • First chapter books: Ages 6–9 or 7–10

  • Middle-grade books: Ages 8–12

  • Young adult (YA) novels: Ages 12 and up or 14 and up

It’s okay to veer off a year or so in either direction when assigning a target audience age range to your work.