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Tweens Under the Microscope

There was a brilliant article in Time Out New York, meant to have a parenting advice hook, I think, but it is so well-written and does such a great job of dissecting the tween age range that I wanted to let y’all know about it: Click here to read the article. Lots of great insight for those of you writing middle-grade.

It’s no surprise to me that the author of this article, Rebecca Stead, has written a brilliant MG novel, WHEN YOU REACH ME, out earlier this year from Wendy Lamb Books (Click here to read my review of it). Her research and observations about the tween demographic reflect a lot of my fears about how quickly kids are growing up and being forced to act like little adults these days.

The way I grew up is so different from how tweens are growing up now. I can’t even imagine what it was like growing up as a middle schooler in 1979, as Stead did. She makes an excellent point about the 24/7 news feed (to use a social networking term) of awful that we’re always privy to, and how it affects people’s rational thinking, their judgment, their paranoia. Reading this article just makes me yearn even more strongly for the “off” switch to all the info and anxiety that is our current world. Or at least a “mute” button.

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  1. Sam Hranac’s avatar

    Fabulous. This is so dead on to the group I write for most often. I’ve been using the MG/YA hybrid to express it. Do you think it’s fine to use the Tween label in queries instead?

  2. Theresa Milstein’s avatar

    I found that article to be spot on.
    Sam, I find myself writing the MG/YA hybrid. I’ve been told to put YA, but with the age range, to show that it’s younger YA.
    Is that correct?

  3. Augusta  Scattergood’s avatar

    Very true, and not just in NYC.
    I loved Stead’s new book and now I see how tuned-in to ‘tweens she is.
    Thanks for posting this.


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