Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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AUTHORS' CORNER > Middle Grade books about the environment

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Boyd | 4 comments I co-write with an ecology professor. Our stories are middle grade action adventures where kids turn into animals and see the world through their eyes. The environmental message is presented quite obviously by the animals (too obviously for some adult readers) so I'm searching for opinions on what age kids become capable of seeing a cleverly disguised message for themselves? Do most 9-10 year-olds still need the underlying moral to be spelled out quite clearly?


message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 22 comments Ian wrote: "I co-write with an ecology professor. Our stories are middle grade action adventures where kids turn into animals and see the world through their eyes. The environmental message is presented quite ..."
Are they intended for boys and girls? I have always found girls as being rather more mature than boys at the same age. (Is that sexist? Hopefully not!) Therefore they would probably understand the moral message better than boys of the same age.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Boyd | 4 comments Carol wrote: "Ian wrote: "I co-write with an ecology professor. Our stories are middle grade action adventures where kids turn into animals and see the world through their eyes. The environmental message is pres..."
Hi Carol. We are attempting to write for both sexes because it was always our hope to get the novels into classrooms, and that poses quite a challenge. We have had comments that adults may find some of our dialogue to be like a public announcement but kids won't notice. It's difficult when we have to get through the adults to the kids. I'm curious as to how other writers approach this,


message 4: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Gaddy (leighgaddy) | 2 comments Out of curiosity, have you had a target child beta read it for you? I'd also be interested in an example, if possible, to better understand.


message 5: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Gaddy (leighgaddy) | 2 comments This is an area I am writing within, as well, and I wish both of you the best!


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Boyd | 4 comments Leigh wrote: "Out of curiosity, have you had a target child beta read it for you? I'd also be interested in an example, if possible, to better understand."We've had a few kids read it and give us feedback without noticing anything that didn't seem like a natural part of the story. A lot of adults have read it and the comment has only come up twice, while other people argue that environmental issues have gone way past the need for being subtle. I'm trying to decide which way to go with the current book. One example I think they are referring to is when a wise frog is speaking to our human girl main character who turned into a bird: “Then you understand the great burden that all animals must bear. We cannot tell humans our troubles, no matter how dire our situation becomes. When no water flows down the rivers, we suffer in silence. We cannot speak of our pain when so many families of birds, frogs and insects continue to die. I know humans see it happening. They come to watch and study us as our communities disappear. They see our pain, but they cannot feel it. We need them to know what we feel, Melody. We need you to tell them.”


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