Age Levels For Children’s Books

by Lisa Balthazar

If you’re writing a children’s book, it pays to be familiar with how publishers classify them. Publishers generally assign age groups for readers of various formats as set out in the following list:

  • Board books: Newborn to age 3
  • Picture books: Ages 3–8
  • Coloring and activity (C&A) books: Ages 3–8
  • Novelty books: Ages 3 and up, depending on content
  • Early, leveled readers: Ages 5–9
  • First chapter books: Ages 6–9 or 7–10
  • Middle-grade books: Ages 8–12
  • Young adult (YA) novels: Ages 12 and up or 14 and up

It’s okay to veer off a year or so in either direction when assigning a target audience age range to your work.

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