As some of you know, I’m writing my first MG story (so far the title is “Agnes in Istanbul – An Adventure Mystery) so when I come upon something related to middle grade fiction, I read it. In case you write in that genre or are thinking about it, here is a post that discusses what makes a story MG vs, say, YA. If you read these genres to educate yourself what these aged kids are reading, you get a sense of what they are saying.
I think it is always a good idea to read in the genre you are writing. It’s not that you have to copy things others are doing, but there are some basic concepts that writing for MG that are good to know, some of which is mentioned in this post by Micheal Canon and Molly O’Neill.