Young Adult Fiction Categories and Age Ranges

Part of the Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The two categories of young adult literature — young adult (YA or "teen fiction") and middle grade ("MG fiction") — are split into several age ranges to help book buyers and readers judge the age-appropriateness of the content and the writing. The shift from tween to teen begins around age 12, and standard age ranges reflect that.

Middle Grade (MG)

25,000 to 45,000 words
Ages 9 to 12 Older elementary into middle school, grades 4 through 7
Ages 10 to 14 Middle school into early high school, grades 5 through 9; these kids may be reading older MG and younger YAs
Young Adult (YA)

40,000 to 60,000 words
Ages 12 and up Older middle school into high school, grades 7 through 12
Ages 14 and up High school, grades 9 and up; generally understood to cap at age 17
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Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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