Chicka Chicka vs. Paper Towns

chick vs paper

In a little over a week’s time, I’ll be sitting down to breakfast with hundreds of other authors who write for “children” at the New York City Book Expo of America “Children’s Book & Author Breakfast.”  I am very excited. Nathan Hale and James Patterson will be there, along with many others.

However, I must admit, when my friend said she and her agent wanted to go to the breakfast, I was confused.

“But you write for Young Adults,” I said. “Why do you want to go to eat breakfast with authors who write children’s  books?”

It was then I was reminded that even in one of the most innovative cities in all of the United States books written for someone under the age of 18 are all still classified as a “children’s books.”


It’s true. Young Adult, Middle Grade, Chapter book, and picture book authors are typically lumped together in the same category.  Perhaps it’s just me, but I get a chuckle thinking about the authors of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom having a chat over a coffee and bagel with John Green, author of the edgy YA fiction such as Paper Towns. It seems silly to consider them in the same category, but that is what the industry currently does.

Emblazoners, however, is different. We are a group of writers who call attention to the unique needs and interests of the “tween” reader. Emblazoner authors have all published books for those between the ages of 9 to 12—an age that often gets lost in the “children’s books” category.

So if you know someone who has out grown “little kid stories” but who isn’t ready for the edgy material in some Young Adult books, this is the place for you.

Stop. Take a peek around. You’ll find the works of twenty-five talented authors whom I would love to go to breakfast with someday.

3 thoughts on “Chicka Chicka vs. Paper Towns

  1. Thank you for writing this. I don’t think most people realize there is a difference in children’s books. My thirteen year old daughter was not ready for the John Greene books out there. We need new books for kids that don’t want to read about pre-adult life of some teens. We need more middle grade books that are not little kid stories too.

  2. Ha! That’s bizarre. It does seem that book stores and publishers would figure out the sub genres for the biggest reading years of a person’s life. (I think I read stats somewhere that most folks quit reading after high school. Not our readership, of course. They’re smart.)

  3. Great post! Drives me nuts that some authors and publishers forget who their target audience is: 14yo girls and not 21yo party-goers. But that’s a whole other topic. As Lia points out, the tween and teen years tend to be the biggest reading years of one’s life. Very strange indeed that the publishing industry hasn’t recognized that. Most chain bookstores I’ve been in don’t even have a specific section for middle grade literature.

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