• Give a familiar setting an interesting twist. Kids love to use their imaginations, so add a twist to an everyday setting that they can relate to, like a new student in the class having magical powers or Santa Claus going to their class by accident on Christmas Eve.
• Add something mystical. Middle grade kids are definitely attracted to the world of fantasy, like dragons and wizards. Of course, you don’t need to copy Harry Potter altogether, but this is a component that kids truly love.
• Add a small mystery to the story. This will keep kids captivated as they read, and it can be something as simple as a favorite class pet suddenly missing from the classroom or even a new kid in class coming from a mysterious location overseas.
• Make your characters memorable! Kids love something memorable and quirky since it sparks their imagination. Make sure that all characters have their own unique personality traits that have not already been used in popular middle grade books.
• Have your characters get into trouble. Of course, this is something that all kids can relate to, and they will be on the edge of their seats to see what happens. Santa could get trapped in the classroom and not be able to deliver presents to the children of the world, or perhaps the dragon is in danger of getting caught by the local zoo and taken away.
• Don’t forget physical comedy! Kids absolutely love physical comedy, whether it is a character slipping in a puddle on the floor, spilling their lunch all over themselves, or getting embarrassed by tripping at school. This is definitely something that all kids can relate to!
If you want to write an exceptional middle grade novel, it helps to spend some time with kids you know, ask for their wildly imaginative opinions and ideas, and get writing!
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