First, a big congrats to Middle Grade Monday founder Shannon Whitney Messenger for getting the ARC for her MG series.
I rarely talk about my own MG series Faerie Tales from the White Forest on The Accidental Novelist because I figure if readers want to check it out they can go to the White Forest website or FB page for that. Plus, I like this website to be primarily about promoting and supporting other writers and their work.
But today I am just so over-the-moon about seeing my ARC that I can’t help myself. I’m giddy about this cover and nervous / excited about the launch. So I do hope you’ll let me indulge myself today.
The Ruins of Noe is the second book in an upper middle grade series about, you guessed it, faeries. It’s been billed as a great book for those kids who have graduated from the Rainbow or Disney fairy books. Set in an entirely imaginary world devoid of humans, it’s the coming-of-age story of a young faerie who faces greater and greater challenges as she is called to heal Faweh (the world upon which they live), which has been in elemental chaos for hundreds of years.
I’ve talked about what makes a middle grade novel on my blog before, and something I’ve come up against is that in a series that takes place over a period of time, where the protagonist is growing up (children tend to do that), how do you keep the series geared toward a middle grade audience when the issues your protagonist faces become more those of a young adult?
One of the issues is romance. One publisher (from a large publishing house) at the SCBWI conference said that in a middle grade novel, romance is more about friendship. It’s sweet crushes, perhaps some hand-holding, but as soon as it turns sexual in any way, shape, or form it ceases to be middle grade.
She stressed that sexual content of any form (this includes snogging) is verboten in middle grade literature. (Don’t get me started on the fact that our society is more lenient when it comes to violence in middle grade lit.)
A strange anomaly, recognized by said publisher, is that Harry Potter does cross this line, but is still considered MG on the shelves. Hmm.
For those who have previewed The Ruins of Noe and asked about whether Brigitta will have a love-interest, well, the potential is definitely set up in this book. However, I’m 99% sure that it will always remain a potential future. Seeds may be planted, a strong romantic friendship may happen, but it probably won’t become anything more.
Besides, Brigitta’s way too busy saving her world. 🙂
Next week, back to tooting other middle grade author’s horns (ewww, cooties!).
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