Take, for instance, parents. As one myself, I've become a lot more picky about what I consider 'proper' middle grade. Very little romance. Painful stories ok, but preferably with an uplifting ending, or something that redeems the story. Funny is great, but not at the expense of others tooo much...I want books that could help her question things that others consider pro quo.
Does this directly go against what I write as a MG author? What I'd like to read as an actual middle grader?
I see tons of middle graders in my everyday travels. Holy guacamole let's talk about the BOY craziness. Girls. Obsessions with pop culture, and outfits. Girly stuff. And Twilight? I know 9 year olds who've read it.
But recently I read a mg I never would have picked myself and I loved it. LOVED it. And it made me question why I set those reading rules on myself. My honest short answer is that I fell into my comfort zone and just got stuck. I totally shortchanged myself.
It just goes to show that the Project Mayhem rule definitely applies: "No reading rules are the best reading rules!"
What I'd love to know is ::: what is off limits for you in your MG? Have you read a book lately that pushed your limits, made you question why you have limits in your middle grade at all?