How does one distinguish between chapter books and young adult books? Many times, books for kids are featured under both categories, which makes it even more confusing. Here is how I make the distinction.
I look at the ages of the characters in the books. Typically those who are under the age of 16 fall into the chapter book category and are appropriate for elementary and middle school. Many stories involving kids who are 16 and older tend to be more appropriate for high school.
Young adult books also deal with more mature issues than chapter books. I like to think of chapter books as having a PG rating and young adult as being more PG-13. Young adult books may delve deeper into relationships between the opposite sex and use more adult or profane language. Adults also tend to enjoy young adult novels more than chapter books.
The length of the book can also sometimes be an indicator. Chapter books tend to be shorter; young adult books are more like an adult novel in length.
Whether or not I am actually accurate in my definitions may vary on the definitions of each individual reader. How do you distinguish the difference between the two?