Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Definition, Please

Sometimes my family and friends hate when my inside lawyer rears it's head. One very lawyer thing: to define a term that is being used, so that we know whether or not we are talking the same thing.

Tween: What ages do you mean when you say 'tween'? It's definitely a buzz word being used a lot in libraries, schools, books, magazines, etc. But what ages are people talking about?

I posed this question on Twitter and Facebook. I'll update as I get new answers. I'll also update, later, on my own thoughts on this newish term and what it means.

My own age-only answer? 10 to 12. Seeing as, well, "teen" covers ages 13 to 19, I don't go to age 13. And since tweens seem to be the "almost teens" crowd in terms of marketing, and my own personal belief that we sometimes push kids into being too old and sophisticated for their age, I'm reluctant to go below age 10.

But now on to the wisdom of the crowd!

"I go back and forth between 10 to 12 and 9 to 12. Nine is really a tough age."

"10-13, 7-9 makes a good age group, and the 14s can usually blend with the older kids."

"nine to thirteen. I know thirteen is technically teen - but I think they straddle the definition."

"even 8-13 is tween"

"I think 9-13 is a good standard... actualy, I kind of think it should be 10-13. I hate how we are wanting kids to grow up so fast these days."


Edited to add:

"i define it by grades....5-7, easier than ages, since sometimes kids are older or younger, but they tend to follow their peers in the same grade...but using those grades, would go with 10-13 as rough ages"

"10-12. Maaaybe 13."


"it's kind of either 10-13 or 8-11/12" Note this is in response to a Twitter conversation about a Tween book applying to the entire age group used. Of course, once we say there are young Tween books and older Tween books, there is the same divide as with Teen books, younger Teen and older Teen.

"i agree about 10-12 (maybe even as low as 9)."

"I think 9-12...and we actually just surveyed the teen specialists at libraries throughout the county, and that was the most common response."

"I go back and forth from 9-12 to 10-13. It depends a bit on what kind of program/activity it is."
"I'm on board with the 10-13 people"

"The new black" (giggles....Tween has totally become the new black in publishing.)

"ages 8-12"

"Lordy....this discussion never dies...I look at tweens as the 10-13s, or 9-13s depending on where you live....a more sophisticated middle grader. (I am sure that the sophisticated word might get me in trouble)"

"I think it's the 9-12 age group or 4th to 8th grade. It all depends on what your teen age group is."

"Tween: A 10-12 yo reader who's interested in some of the elements of YA without being quite ready for the heavier, edgy stuff."

"is10-12, those that are in double digits but aren't in our teen"


Anonymous said...

My definition would be 10-13. I like having that overlap age, 13, there, to be either or both tween and teen, to show that there's not some magical dividing line between the two, but it's more of a gradual thing. I wouldn't include 9, I think that's much more clearly middle-grade.

Douglas Florian said...

Twixt & Tween

Tis twixt and tween
Till you're thirteen
Then you're
And me?
Quite quiescent.

Chris Barton said...

I'd go as low as 8 for tweens, though if a parent is lucky, their 8-year-old has never heard of the concept...

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

9-13 gets my vote, although I'd never call a 13-year-old a "tween" to her face!