How We Categorise Books

How We Categorise Books: Age Groups and Themes

Bare Bones publishes books for all age groups, with a focus on children and young adults.

To figure out the right book category for yourself or your young one(s), take a look at this cheat sheet.

A Picture Book, as the name suggests, combines visual and verbal narratives.

Age group: Three to seven

Theme(s): The protagonist is usually a child under the age of seven. A Picture Book can be about anything.

Early Readers are about deciphering language. Divided into small chapters, these are for children just starting to read simple words. The text is familiar and predictable, and the pictures help convey the meaning of the story.

Age group: Four to six

Theme(s): The protagonist is usually an animal or a young child. The stories have simple plot lines and are told in short, easy sentences.

Chapter Books are intended for emerging readers. The language is simple, with well-developed plots, strong main characters, and memorable secondary characters.

Age group: Seven to nine

Theme(s): The protagonist is usually an animal or a young child. The themes explored are family life, friendship, and everyday experiences of children in early elementary school.

These books tend to be about upper elementary or middle-school-aged children.

Age group: Eight to 12

Theme(s): The protagonist is usually not older than 12. The themes explored are family life, friendship, school, and social situations. Romance is limited to crushes, and there is no mention of drugs, alcohol, or profanity.

These are often coming of age stories about a young person’s transition from being a child to being an adult.

Age group: 13 to 17

Theme(s): The age of the protagonist usually does not exceed 17. The themes explored are related to self-reflection. Romance is a common feature, and mature themes like drugs, alcohol, and profanity can be found.

In contrast with YA which is aimed at teen readers, NA targets emerging adult readers.

Age group: 18 to 25

Theme(s): As per The University of Queensland, Australia: New Adult characters are often portrayed experiencing college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, and first serious relationship.

General-interest books, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Age group: 18 and over

Theme(s): These books can be about anything.

Inspirational military literature produced in association with VTRN Global Foundation.

Age group: Eight and over

Theme(s): The authors of these books have a background of military service. The themes explored are leadership, management, life lessons, and the importance of peace.

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