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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > OCTOBER 2016 > Tweenage dream

Tweenage dream

Following years of market dominance by YA, publishers say it’s middle-grade fiction’s time to shine

Books for Young People

Kidlit spotlight

A lifelong passion for fiction often blossoms in the tween years, creating soft-focus memories of reading by flashlight under the covers or holed up in a backyard fort. While homegrown offerings for middle-graders have arguably been strong for decades – thanks to celebrated authors including Jean Little, Gordon Korman, and Kit Pearson – many insiders say the category is suddenly getting hotter. “I think it’s definitely a growing area for us,” says Tara Walker, publisher of Penguin Random House Canada Children’s Publishing Group.

The prolonged spotlight on young adult titles has reached a saturation point, says Walker, creating more demand for middle-grade fiction. At the same time, children’s publishing is a category that continues to expand, despite industry-wide challenges. Middle-grade is “becoming more important all the time,” says Andrew Wooldridge, publisher of Orca Book Publishers. “That’s where the readers are, and where you can do some of the most interesting things.”

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About Quill & Quire

KIDLIT SPOTLIGHT It's middle-grade fiction's tome to shine Reviews of new books by M.G. Vassanji, Douglas Coupland and Kathy Page