Although middle grade and young adult books have become increasingly open to getting “darker” and taking on serious issues in the past few years, many of them seem reluctant to take on the topic of child abuse with any thoughtfulness. (For instance, I publisheda post on April answering some readers’ questions about why Cinderella can’t “just leave” her abusive stepmother and asking why more authors don’t explore the probably psychological effects of abuse on Cinderella characters.) Far too often. children’s books gloss over abuse, either rendering the offending parents so terrible their behavior is apparently “funny,” or implying that the abuse going on in the story isn’t “bad enough” to really affect the main character. I think this does a huge disservice to readers, especially those young readers who may be in abusive homes and see novels making light of situations similar to theirs.
“Ridiculous” Abuse in Middle Grade
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