My General Rules for Content Ratings:
Each situation may be a little different, but as a whole, this is how my content rating system works. I use movie ratings because most everyone is already familiar with them. May ratings are a little different, though.
Clean! No profanity, violence, “physical intimacy,” or any other questionable material. These books are great for everyone to read, including all the littles.
Mostly clean. There may be a couple of bad words or some minor violence, and maybe a kiss or two. These books are generally good for 2nd graders and up. If I put a + sign after the PG then it has a few more things and is generally good for middle-graders and older.
These books generally contain more language or violence, or a “physical intimacy” scene. They may also have a heavier topic. These books are generally not good for elementary-age children and are sometimes not good for early young adult readers. If I put a + sign after the PG-13 then it means that there are a few more things in it and it will probably be for older young adult readers.
I do not watch “R” rated movies, so I don’t think this rating follows the movie ratings exactly. These books are heavier topics, they may contain profanity, violence, and more detailed “intimacy” scenes. These books are not appropriate for younger readers. They could range from high school to adult, most likely adult.
These are the general guidelines for my rating system. Please remember that each book is different and may slightly differ from these. If you think I have rated something incorrectly please feel free to leave a comment.
Middle-graders: (4th-6th graders)
YA: (Young Adults: generally 12 or 13 years-old to 18).
“Intimacy”: I use this word instead of the normal word (I promise I’m not afraid to say it…) because I do not want my site to be characterized as inappropriate or explicit.