Enough celebrating. It's L's turn. When I began writing (about two years ago), I read somewhere that the typical middle grade book falls between 40,000 and 60,000 words. But word count meant nothing to me. I mean, how long is 40,000 words compared to 60,000? I had no idea.
So I ended up staring at my bookshelves and Googling word counts on some that were sitting there. (Just for the record: finding word counts of published books is HARD)! Here's a few I found back then: Because of Winn-Dixie is 34,000; Charlotte's Web is 53,000; and Hoot is 61,000. I'd read all of those, so now word count made a little more sense.
But how important is word count to a middle grader? Do they give a rip about a book's length? Do kids look at the thickness of a book or the size of its type and decide whether or not to read it based on length? Do developed readers consider shorter books too simple? Are reluctant readers turned off by longer books?
I'm inclined to think that kids do care about book length--to an extent. How far that extent reaches, I'm not sure. I have two middle graders living in my house, but they're not good measures of how much book length matters because they'll read anything they consider interesting no matter its length. So, I'll throw the question to you, my knowledgeable friends. As I prepare my manuscript for querying, just how much does word count matter?