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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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.