By children, I mean middle grade (8-14) really.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, as someone who plans to be a middle grade author in the not too distant future.
What do children want and need from a book in this day and age?
Because, I bet it’s not the same as 5 years ago. It’s not the same as when Harry Potter became big. Children have changed. The world has changed.
So, what do they need now?
Do unicorns and rainbows provide good and happy and appropriate storylines for children? Or is it all lies?
All they see on tv these days (and even on their streets) is violence. Death. Fear. Prejudice and injustice is rife. Sadly, they’re becoming desensitised to it.
So, do we have a duty, as authors, to provide solace from that? Or to show them how they can defeat that?
Maybe it’s a mix between the two, right?
Take my current work in progress – it touches on real world issues, things that affect our children and their future. But it also features fantasy, powers, heroes, dragons, dreams, adventure, and silliness.
The characters are kids and they’re having fun, but they’re realising truths about their world and earth and it’s unsettling. But these characters will help fix these issues and defeat the threats.
Isn’t that something that children would like to see these days? They don’t need to be lied to – they can’t help but see the devastation that seems so prevalent in our world now. But maybe if more of the books they read and the shows they watch feature these things, but the children in the stories are strong against them – perhaps the children will feel safe again and realise they’re not powerless and they’re not alone.
There is a solution and the world can be made better by their own hands.
And of course, a little sprinkle of fairy dust does go a long way.
Just my thoughts, what do you think?
Siana (aka author S. R. Crawford)