Children’s Book Categories

At-A-Glance Guide

boy with brown hair reading pink children's book, animated, children's book levels

Children’s books are difficult to write. Trying to categorize a children’s book can be even more difficult as the categories can overlap due to age, reading level, and interest level of children.

Below is simple at-a-glance for the different children’s book categories, or levels. Remember that these are not hard and fast rules. Publishers will sometimes name the categories differently or have more or less categories than listed below.

Children’s Book Categories At-A-Glance

Type of BookTarget Age# of words per book# of lines per page# of pagesPictures
Board Books0 to 3  8 to 16Yes
Picture Books4 to 8100-2,0001 to 424 to 48Yes, part of story
Early Readers5-8<2,0002 to 832 to 48Yes
Chapter Books7 to 102,500 to 12,000Up to 1564 to 130Yes, on every page or spot art
Middle Grade Books8 to 1215,000 to 55,000 60 to 220Not often
Young Adult Books13 and up50,000 to 100,000 200 and upNo
New Adult Books15 and up50,000 to 100,000 200 and upNo

Board Book Examples

Picture Book Examples

Early Reader Examples

*Note on early readers: Since these books range from about 4 to 8 years of age, the complexity varies. Some publishing houses split them into young early readers and old early readers. Also, each publisher names their early readers differently, some assign number levels, etc. Early readers can also be made from more complex books or stories by simplifying the language.

Chapter Book Examples

Middle Grade Book Examples

Young Adult (YA) Book Examples

New Adult Book Examples

There are so, so , so many books in each category. Go ahead and search each category if you need more examples of the books. I’ve linked to each book, but I in no way receive any compensation from any purchases made. I just want to make sure you have a quick way to check out the books.

Another way to get an idea of how to categorize children’s books is to visit your local library. The librarians will be able to answer any questions you have about children’s books. I also suggest explaining your story to them and see what they think the appropriate category is.

I hope this helps you in writing your next children’s book!

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