Your favorite YA series needs help! Cast your vote for all-time greatest YA series on teen.com here: teen.com
But… but… the Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, and the first two books at least of Harry Potter are not teen series! They’re middle grade books*! (And on the other side of the spectrum, neither is LotR, which was written for adults.)
That doesn’t mean that teens don’t and can’t read MG (or adult) novels and enjoy them. In fact I think they totally should! But the fact remains that they were not written with teens in mind, they are not marketed with teens in mind, and the characters in them are, by and large, not teens (or if they are, the kinds of stories told about them are not typical of teen literature).
I think Middle Grade deserves more respect and attention than it generally gets, and the success of authors like Snicket and Riordan helps a lot. But it doesn’t help when people muddle up the MG and YA* genres, because that does both the authors and the books a disservice. YA books then get blamed for being too “edgy” (or too romantic, or too introspective, or too long — take your pick) for younger readers, while MG books get blamed for not being edgy or romantic or introspective or long enough for older ones.
An author who writes both Middle Grade and Teen Series (and loves both)
p.s. No disrespect is intended toward the organizers of this contest — after all, the main point is to encourage teens to read and write and have fun doing it, and Figment is a great resource for that. It’s just that mixing up MG & YA is a persistent problem when journalists write about books for children and teens, and I think a lot of confusion and upset could be avoided if people understood the difference between them a little better.
* Middle Grade (or MG): the predominant North American term for novels aimed at competent readers aged 9 - 12.
** YA = Young Adult, meaning novels aimed at ages 12 and up.