Children’s Book Categories
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 Book||Target Age||# of words per book||# of lines per page||# of pages||Pictures|
|Board Books||0 to 3||8 to 16||Yes|
|Picture Books||4 to 8||100-2,000||1 to 4||24 to 48||Yes, part of story|
|Early Readers||5-8||<2,000||2 to 8||32 to 48||Yes|
|Chapter Books||7 to 10||2,500 to 12,000||Up to 15||64 to 130||Yes, on every page or spot art|
|Middle Grade Books||8 to 12||15,000 to 55,000||60 to 220||Not often|
|Young Adult Books||13 and up||50,000 to 100,000||200 and up||No|
|New Adult Books||15 and up||50,000 to 100,000||200 and up||No|
Board Book Examples
- Moo, Baa, LA LA LA by Sandra Boynton, or any other of her many board books
- Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
- Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden
Picture Book Examples
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
- Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
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
- Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
- Mercy Watson series by Katie DiCamillo
- Planet Omar series by Zanib Mian
Middle Grade Book Examples
Young Adult (YA) Book Examples
New Adult Book Examples
- Remember Us by Lindsay Blake and Layne James
- Where I End and You Begin by Andra Brynn
- Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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!