Sunday, November 8, 2020

Something About Middle Grade Adaptions

Middle Grade vs. Young Adult
...and the books that inspired them.

What's the deal with all of these middle grade adaptations? Katisha Smith asked this last year at, citing the trend to adapt book-to-film which included the-then recent House film:
The age of the intended reader categorizes books as either middle grade (MG) or young adult (YA) books. Middle grade books are written for readers between the ages of 8 and 12. YA books are usually written for readers between the ages of 13 and 18. Although there may be some overlap between the two, there are four major differences between middle grade and young adult books.
It can be difficult to determine if a book labeled for the youths is MG or YA. YA is such a buzzword (like Millennial) that is often thrown around with abandon and more often used incorrectly when it comes to books. Books written for and about young people are often labeled as YA. Even books for adults written by women are thought of as YA.
The main differences between the two categories include YA books being typically longer than middle grade books. Also, YA fiction may contain profanity, violence, or sexual contact, while middle grade books do not include profane words. They also do not contain graphic violence or anything sexual beyond a first kiss.
One possibility for us seeing more adaptations of MG books within the next few years is the YA adaptation boom may have finally busted. Even as these YA adaptations moved from dystopian futures to stories more grounded in our current reality, Hollywood has not been successful at translating compelling YA books into compelling YA movies. This may be especially disappointing for fans who have waited years for an adaptation to finally come to fruition. Although YA fans may be eager to see their favorite stories translated on screen, they are not interested in seeing Hollywood’s lackluster and uninspired adaptations of the books they love.

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