How many words are normal for a children's novel?

Say 5th - 8th grade, if that's the best way to measure it.

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    If someone can point us to some sort of guideline for children's books in general, that would be extremely helpful. Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 22:22
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    At Amazon the page count for books for 10-years-old children varies from 120 to 350. Pick up a children's book in your collection and count the words on one page. Multiply it with the page count and you get a vague idea. Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 18:33
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    Don't they put kid's books in bigger font too?
    – johnny
    Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


According to Colleen Lindsay (former agent), a middle grade novel has on average 35K words.



If you write a really good story like Harry Potter, you can get away with making kids read an almost infinite amount of words. Although, you'll notice with the Harry Potter books the length of each book increases with each release in the series. So if you're writing a series, start small, then increase the word count with each release.

Publishers are probably more open to this approach, since when you become more established, there's less risk for them with bigger books.

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    I don't believe Harry Potter was classified as a Children's Novel. I believe it was classified as Young Adult, which is totally different. Children's and Middle Grade novels are going to be much shorter and, for the most part, more simplistic. Commented Dec 18, 2010 at 3:00
  • I don't believe Harry Potter was classified as a really good story. Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 13:54
  • no Harry Potter is a childrens book, not young adult.
    – user4500
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 11:07
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    Fantasy books are always thicker and are not the best reference, unless for other fantasy works. Since the first book was meant for children around 13 years of age, I do believe that qualifies as a Children's novel. Since the readership grew together with Harry, the last book or two <i>might</i> pass as young adult, even though it doesn't have all the elements that make it YA - an MC that's in late teens does not automatically mean YA. @Vic Goldfeld - for a not really good story, it sure made the author the richest writer ever.
    – Tannalein
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 16:46
  • Harry Potter starts as a children's or middle grade book and then changes: the target age rises. 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' definitely isn't aimed at the same age and the first one. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 22:19

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