Middle grade fiction is for children ages 8-13 years. These years are important in the continued development of a healthy young person. Events that happen now will help them chart their course as they continue on their life’s journey.
One summer, when I was 11 years old, I swam in Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho. It was a chilly day, and afterwards I became very sick. At the Dr.’s office, I was unable to hold my breath as they took x-rays. My lungs were full of fluid. I had pneumonia.
The rest of summer I spent outside in my yard, convalescing on a blanket in the shade. After five weeks of penicillin shots, I was still not improving. The Doctor suggested a hospital stay so he could treat me for possible rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is a terrible disease that ravages the heart. I didn’t want to get it, and I didn’t want to go to a hospital.
Worried and fearful, I prayed with all the fervor I could muster. I promised that if God would heal me, I would not forget Him. I would treasure His healing, and try always to keep myself healthy and strong. I’d seen people on television make these promises all the time, but then in a weak moment they’d forget who saved them. I promised I would never do that.
Keeping this promise has blessed my life. I have never been addicted to any substance. This promise – made so long ago – has been a blessing in my life and has shaped my life’s journey.
This is why I write for middle grade readers – ages 8-13. This age is when children take action. They make choices and become accountable for the things that happen in their lives. Their choices affect them, their future opportunities, and the people around them. It is at this age when children must rise to the occasion of their life.
I want to capture that story.