Not sure I am even remotely right, but I think most publishers did not accept Oy Yew not necessarily because it did not fit their lists (whatever that means), but perhaps the prose, or the way you wrote, may have been 'too complex' for middle grade readers. As my 9 year old, who has a reading level of a 15 year old, and I, often find MG books (in my son's case) although tell 'a good' story, tend to be simplistic in the writing. It is often fast paced, using simple words, straight to the point.I am saying this after I read the first chapter of your book on your publisher's website; just this sentence alone—"He fed daily on the smell of bread, letting the vapours swirl around his brain and conjure of themselves a high-risen floury loaf"—can hardly be found in most MG books. It's not a criticism, but admiration; I for one, would like to see this more often in MG books, and hoping writers and publishers alike not underestimate kids' comprehension of words & command of vocabulary. My son loves this kind of writing, ever since I showed him the first page of Rushdie's Midnight Children. Yet to read your Oy Yew, so the verdict is still out there. Good luck with your book!
Thanks. I agree. Let's go for the highest common denominator. At readings you can see the precocious readers going into a zone. They are right there with the language. Why shouldn't there be an equivalent to the literary genre for children?