Middle Grade Anyone?

I have a bit of a dilemma and I wanted to ask my readers what they thought. For all I know you may not even think it’s a problem.

I have a book I wrote a number of years ago, before the Havoc Chronicles. Here’s the problem, it is middle grade (younger audience), a male POV, and 3rd person (He/she vs. I). So, all in all, it is very different from the Havoc Chronicles.

I would like to publish it on Amazon, but I am afraid that doing so might confuse readers, or that readers who like my YA may hate the middle grade things I wrote. Or that I am a better writer now, and what I wrote before just isn’t ready for public consumption. (I’m too close to it to judge).

So, here is the question: how many of you read middle grade books? Would you be willing to buy a middle grade book that I wrote? Should I put it out under a different name?

I am putting up a sample for you to read and let me know what you think. It is rather dark – but in the spirit of Roald Dahl – about goblins who control parents to make kids miserable.  Here is the blurb:

They’re watching you, looking for ways to make you miserable. They hide underground and wait for the right moment to take you away. Worst of all, they control your parents and you don’t even know it. Beware the goblin gas!

GOBLIN GAS tells the story of three grade-school friends who stumble upon an ancient goblin conspiracy and uncover the horrible truth hidden right under their own back yards. When one of the three friends is captured, the remaining two must venture down to the goblins’ underground world to rescue their friend and destroy the source of the goblins’ mysterious power once and for all.

Here is the link. Use the password Goblin to access the sample. I would love to hear your reactions.

By the way – Goblin Gas is already written so it would not get in the way of Bonds That Break coming out. Which is still moving along. I’ll post an update on where I am sometime next week.  Now it is back to writing…

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6 Responses to Middle Grade Anyone?

  1. Kevin says:

    I read books for younger audiences, (The Ranger Apprentice Series is awesome) before I give them to my friends’ kids, my nephews, etc., who are younger. I say go for it. As a side note, Dave Barry wrote a non-comedy book once and put a page in the foreward warning people it wasn’t a comedy, it had different themes than his usual audience was used to, etc. The book is Big Trouble, if you want to look at the specifics.

  2. crazy4boys says:

    I have 2 middle-schoolers (almost 3) and will ask them to read the excerpt in the next few days then give you feedback. I read what they read and will likewise share my thoughts.

    We love the Ranger’s Apprentice series here too!

  3. Shalyn M says:

    Haha I love the Ranger’s Apprentice series also!! I think you should give the book a try. You never know what happens, people may love it or hate it; but publishing it won’t change how you write books now. Also, if people don’t like it they can just stick with reading your YA books.

    • Brant says:

      Shalyn – that is a healthy attitude, and one that I would hope all my readers share. I’m just afraid of someone thinking it is a YA book and then giving it a low review because they don’t like middle grade. I guess that is a risk I would just have to take if I publish it.

  4. crazy4boys says:

    from my 12-year-old: I personally think you should age the character up a bit because a 10-year-old going up against an army of goblins, the physical limitations of the 10-year-old would make it difficult for him to swing a sword, get out of traps, do stuff. If you aged it up a year or two it would be closer to the middle-school age you’re trying to reach making it easier to relate to. Besides, the kid is thinking older than a kid of 10. I would also like it if you gave a physical description of the main character because I can’t imagine what he looks like. It was good. The 5 facts were funny. Why are goblins slimy? I would read the book if you published it.

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