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I'm working on a middle grade novel at the moment and it's a tad brutal in a few places... except the only victims are androids.

Children are very brutal (I work with them and I'm often surprised how graphic they get in their descriptions of Star Wars), but I'm aware that parents will be the ones buying the books, thus playing the role of gatekeeper. I'm also aware that there are parents extremely touchy about things like violence and anything that's not precious and 'kiddy' (apparently there are parents that stop their children from reading Roald Dahl!)

Now, I don't plan to curb anything, because my novel seems to be writing itself at the moment. Also, this thread is not about my writing process and more about your attitude as a parent or whatever.  I guess as a parent, you're taking a bigger risk by buying an indie kids book.
 

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Personally, I think if the parent also reads what their child is reading and is prepared to discuss any tricky parts, kids can read almost anything - especially books published specifically for younger audiences. I'd rather my son read something with good quality and values, but as long as we can have a frank talk about what's in it, I am not concerned about making problematic books out of bounds.

ETA: Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of violence and such. We're pinko, vegetarian pacifists here, but I'm not afraid of him being exposed to other points of view, as long as we're open to talking over anything in there that might be against what I believe, as he is forming his own outlooks on life. (The only area I am concerned for are negative things he might be tempted to act out, as that is a safety concern.)
 

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I've gotten into several arguments with other people  and my views on this sort of thing so I'm a little leery of getting into this. My husband and I were both left to our own devices on reading so we tend to be a little more open than some on this sort of thing. Personally I think that Americans, in general, are a little too concerned with sheltering children when it comes to literature. I look at the Brits and think they have the right idea. Death is not uncommon to see in their literature and, dealt with age appropriately, can really draw these young readers in. For instance, I can't imagine telling the kids not to read the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. Great series but there is a decent degree of graphic violence. Or the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (although more in the YA category I could see the upper end of middle grade being interested). Or even Bridge to Terabithia.

It's not that I want my kids to be desensitized by violence or sexual content, and if I felt they they weren't ready I would certainly say so, but more that I want them to feel they have the freedom to read what interest them. In my mind there are no rules to reading until I feel that I need to make them.

As for other parents, to each his/her own. I just have to do things the way I feel comfortable.
 
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