Kids go through a lot of emotions as their world expands and they try to find their place in it. Sometimes it can feel like they’re being pulled between wanting the safe and known of home, and wanting the vastness of the universe.
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(Heehee! Get it? Being pulled between two things?)
So let's talk about the kinds of emotions that middle grade-aged kids face. These are the kinds of things you need to be aware of as far as your readers are concerned, and it's also something you need to be aware of to make your main characters as authentic as possible.
Emotions in Middle Grade Kids
- They have a strong sense of moral justice. (Which is why they feel so offended if everyone else their age gets a cell phone and they don’t.)
- They care deeply for things and people. (I've got a theory that says that's why 5th grade begins the age of drama. It's because they care so deeply about their friends, and feel the need to defend them on every. little. thing.)
- They like to do together activities, like clubs and team sports (and not just organized clubs-- many make up their own).
- They're not afraid to take a risk. (This doesn't necessarily mean jumping off a cliff or exploring somewhere dangerous / off limits. (Although it totally can. I've mentioned how big of a fan I am of jumping off a cliff, right? ;)). A risk can be things like daring to trust a new step-parent, to make the unpopular choice when their friends aren't, or defending an unpopular friend.)
- They are intensely curious, and have a huge thirst for knowledge.
- They like to take action and get involved in things. They also have believable motives for why they do. They want the characters they read about to have believable motives, too.
- The why of things is extremely important. (That’s because they have transformed into reasoning explorers. They want things to logically make sense.)
- And something really important to remember:
Middle grade kids feel life is just so ordinary. What they wish
for MOST is for their life to be extraordinary.
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Next Monday, I'll talk about what your main character needs to have middle grade readers root for them, which is SO. VERY. IMPORTANT.
Have a great week, everyone!