I don't know why I always like to write things where my MCs are young, and when I say young, I mean from 7 to 14 years old. Maybe it makes it much easier and more comfortable for me to write, especially that English is not my mother tongue. Yet, I always wonder if I should post this kind of writings in Wattpad, but then I say no, no one will be interested to read it. So, what are your views considering this?

  • 2
    FWIW, I was in my fifties when I read the Harry Potter series...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 22, 2021 at 19:22

3 Answers 3


Not at all

For one example, Golding's Lord of the Flies had as all of its significant charterers teenage boys. But I rather doubt that anyone would describe it as a "children's" or "pre-teen" book. It was also very popular when it came out, and remains significant.

Another example that comes to mind is The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, although that is sometimes classed as a "children's" book.

Yet another is Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell. The protagonist and first-person narrator is 18 at the start of the book, but the book is not a "teen" book, and was not marketed as such.

Many, perhaps most books written for pre-teens or teens have teenage protagonists. Many books with such protagonists are written for children or teens. But many are not.

The indented audience is set not by the age of the characters, but by the style, the themes of the book, the diction (simpler words for a book aimed at young children) and similar factors.


It's just a tougher sell

There are no hard rules about the age of the protagonist and the age of the audience matching up. But it may be harder to persuade a reader to start reading, and harder to persuade a publisher to publish, if it's not immediately obvious why a story would be interesting to the target audience.

Sometimes an age mismatch between the audience and the character is not a big deal. I recall a children's book The Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, about an old woman encountering apparitions in the woods on her way home, and it was appropriate for and interestingtoyoung children. And sixty- and seventy-year-olds could presumably be interested in a story about twenty-somethings at Woodstock, or at some other cultural touchstone from the past.

It might be harder to convince an audience of adults why they would be interested in the life or experiences of a seven-year-old. But that doesn't mean you absolutely can't come up with an enticing plot that might sound interesting to adults (and less so to children), featuring a very young protagonist. And you could write with a sophistication appropriate for a more mature audience, even if the main character is not sophisticated. It's just a tougher sell.


I have read a lot of science fiction stories and novels.

A lot of children's books are science fiction or fantasy, and they are aimed at child readers and are mostly read by children.

And a lot of books for teenagers are science fiction or fantasy, and are aimed at teenage readers, and are mostly read by teenagers.

But science fiction and fantasy are also general fields for readers of all ages.

And there is no particular readership age range for science fiction or fantasy readers. Various science fiction and fantasy sories were published in general interest magazines since the 19th century.

The first US magazine for fantasy and horror stories was Weird Tales in 1924, and the first US magazine for science fiction stories was Amazing Stories in 1926.

And later on book publishers began to publish brands or lines of books devoted solely to fantasy, horror, or science fiction.

And science fiction magazines ware for readers of all ages who liked science ficiton. They were and are read by children, teenagers, young adults, middle aged adults, and old people (who might thave started reading science fiction when they were children, or when they were old, or anytime in between).

Naturally, most science fiction stories have adults as protagonists and/or main characters, and it is certainly easy to find examples of science fiction stories where all the characters are adults.

The protagonist of James H. Schmitz's The Witches of Karres (1949, 1966) is a man, but the three "witches" are all major characters and the oldest one is about 14.

Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series is about conflicts with machine intelligences progammed to exterminate all life in the universe. Michael Guelinex is the protagonist of Berserker Man (1979) and is 11 years old at the start.

Ender Wiggins is the child protagonist of Ender's Game (1985).

Isaac Asimov edited Tomorrow's Children, an anthology of science fiction stories with children as protagonists or major characters.

So in science fiction, my favorite literature genre, there are a number of examples of child protagonists.

And in other fields of literature, there are examples of stories with child protagonists.

I believe that lots of adults have read and enjoyed Oliver Twist, where a child, Oliver, is one of the protagonists.

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities (Spanish: La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades [la ˈβiða ðe laθaˈɾiʎo ðe ˈtoɾmes i ðe sus foɾˈtunas i aðβeɾsiˈðaðes]) is a Spanish novella, published anonymously because of its anticlerical content. It was published simultaneously in three cities in 1554: Alcalá de Henares, Burgos and Antwerp. The Alcalá de Henares edition adds some episodes which were most likely written by a second author. It is most famous as the book establishing the style of the picaresque satirical novel.


And Lazarillo is a child protagonist.

And a famous story which starts a whole genre of literature is not exactly a minor work.

At the present time one of the tv shows I watch is Young Sheldon where the main protagonist is Sheldon Cooper (from The Big Bang Theory) as a child. Sheldon's twin sister and teenage brother are also major characters along with several adult characters.

And a new series this year The Wonder Years, (a remake of The Wonder Years 1988-1993), and has 12-year-old dean williams as the protagonist.

And I don't thnk that only children watch those two shows.

So it is possible for a good story which has a child protagonist to be succssful with readers in general and not just adults.

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