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In a comment to my post here, Cyn mentions wishing to avoid implying that the characters might all die, because she's writing for a mid-grade audience.

Which made me wonder.

I remember reading The Hobbit when I was nine or ten - in the mid-grade range. There's danger there - the orcs, the dragon, the more orcs - they would gladly kill the whole party. And I cried when Thorin died. But I also loved the book, in part because it touched me and made me cry.

At the same time, there's a dangerdifference between a character dying (a single confined event) and a persisting sense of danger maintained throughout a story.

Then again, would a child even sense the danger? I remember being very confident that whatever the characters faced, whatever the odds against them, of course they'll make it and everything would be fine. (Thorin dying was quite a shock.)

What level of threat is appropriate for mid-grade literature? Danger of what, how much danger, how can it be expressed?

(While the idea for the question came from a specific comment, I do not mean to imply that any particular writer should necessarily write things one way or another. I'm trying to understand the whole issue.)

In a comment to my post here, Cyn mentions wishing to avoid implying that the characters might all die, because she's writing for a mid-grade audience.

Which made me wonder.

I remember reading The Hobbit when I was nine or ten - in the mid-grade range. There's danger there - the orcs, the dragon, the more orcs - they would gladly kill the whole party. And I cried when Thorin died. But I also loved the book, in part because it touched me and made me cry.

At the same time, there's a danger between a character dying (a single confined event) and a persisting sense of danger maintained throughout a story.

Then again, would a child even sense the danger? I remember being very confident that whatever the characters faced, whatever the odds against them, of course they'll make it and everything would be fine. (Thorin dying was quite a shock.)

What level of threat is appropriate for mid-grade literature? Danger of what, how much danger, how can it be expressed?

(While the idea for the question came from a specific comment, I do not mean to imply that any particular writer should necessarily write things one way or another. I'm trying to understand the whole issue.)

In a comment to my post here, Cyn mentions wishing to avoid implying that the characters might all die, because she's writing for a mid-grade audience.

Which made me wonder.

I remember reading The Hobbit when I was nine or ten - in the mid-grade range. There's danger there - the orcs, the dragon, the more orcs - they would gladly kill the whole party. And I cried when Thorin died. But I also loved the book, in part because it touched me and made me cry.

At the same time, there's a difference between a character dying (a single confined event) and a persisting sense of danger maintained throughout a story.

Then again, would a child even sense the danger? I remember being very confident that whatever the characters faced, whatever the odds against them, of course they'll make it and everything would be fine. (Thorin dying was quite a shock.)

What level of threat is appropriate for mid-grade literature? Danger of what, how much danger, how can it be expressed?

(While the idea for the question came from a specific comment, I do not mean to imply that any particular writer should necessarily write things one way or another. I'm trying to understand the whole issue.)

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Mortal danger in mid-grade literature

In a comment to my post here, Cyn mentions wishing to avoid implying that the characters might all die, because she's writing for a mid-grade audience.

Which made me wonder.

I remember reading The Hobbit when I was nine or ten - in the mid-grade range. There's danger there - the orcs, the dragon, the more orcs - they would gladly kill the whole party. And I cried when Thorin died. But I also loved the book, in part because it touched me and made me cry.

At the same time, there's a danger between a character dying (a single confined event) and a persisting sense of danger maintained throughout a story.

Then again, would a child even sense the danger? I remember being very confident that whatever the characters faced, whatever the odds against them, of course they'll make it and everything would be fine. (Thorin dying was quite a shock.)

What level of threat is appropriate for mid-grade literature? Danger of what, how much danger, how can it be expressed?

(While the idea for the question came from a specific comment, I do not mean to imply that any particular writer should necessarily write things one way or another. I'm trying to understand the whole issue.)