The Night Buddies adventures are written specifically for middle-grade readers. Who are middle-grade readers, and why are Night Buddies books just right for them?
Authors like Sands Hetherington understand that middle-grade readers are generally eight to twelve years old. They read at a third- through sixth-grade level. In the UK, middle-grade books are called junior fiction. Authors, publishers, and librarians consider the young adult (YA) audience to be ages fourteen to eighteen. So what about thirteen-year-olds? They fall into the awkward in-between, but many still enjoy middle-grade books. In fact, middle-grade books aren’t just for the target audience. Many older readers appreciate the fast pace, shorter stories, quirky humor, and lovable characters that often appear in books like the Night Buddies adventures.
Encouraging middle-grade readers to find fun books they enjoy reading is important. An alarming phenomenon known as “decline by nine” has been identified by researchers at Scholastic. Their findings show that the percentage of children who report regularly (five to seven days a week) reading books for fun drops from 57% to 35% between the ages of eight and ten! Crosley and his creative vocabulary might help reverse this trend in your home or school.
Take your middle graders to the library and stay as long as it takes to find books they can’t put down. Explore books that relate to other interests, and that will be nothing but fun to read. Institute a screen-free hour each evening where books and storytelling are the focus. Make sure you model reading just for fun. Kids who can embrace reading for fun are in for a lifetime of adventure!