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There is more than one way racism can be present in a work. For example, when Star Trek have on the bridge of the Enterprise an Asian pilot, a Russian navigator and a black Communications Officer, and they all get along swimmingly, all at the time of the Cold War, the Yellow Peril and the Civil Rights Movement, the show deliberately confronts the viewers' ...


39

Each usage has its place. #1 is most commonly used in such situations. Even if you're not writing for children, you don't necessarily want every bit of cursing. Sometimes telling that the character used a strong word is enough, or even more effective, than actually spelling out what exactly he said. #2 has place when you're writing for adults, who would ...


35

If anything, I'd say your book is too short for that age. 3rd grade is 8-years-olds, right? At that age, 25 minutes to read out loud is closer to one chapter of a book they'd be reading. At 8 years old, my favourite books were Sans Famille, White Fang and Narnia (all of it, except for the last book, which my parents decided was inappropriate). King Matt the ...


26

You have two problems here: Lots of good people dying, "on stage" - in front of the children Good people killing other good people The first is dealt with very well in The Hobbit, for example. Already behind [Thorin] among the goblin dead lay many men and many dwarves, and many a fair elf that should have lived yet long ages merrily in the wood. And as ...


16

The audiobook for Winnie the Pooh is 2 hrs and 46 minutes (although admittedly it is episodic in nature rather than a single story.) I was first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone around the same age, and it's over 8 hrs. I think you're fine.


15

These are songs, and we learn songs differently from spoken language. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a favorite song in a language you don't even speak, but you've listened to the recording enough to have memorized it? You were almost certainly helped by meter and perhaps rhyme, by the way. All of this can be true for your kids. No, they ...


14

So should I use racism as one of the parts of my worldbuilding? Or write a story without racism as part of my worldbuilding? Yes, you should add racism to your worldbuilding. Wait – hear me out. Racism is real, and it's an "ism" – I mean, it's a society-shaping force. Racism is not neighbor squabbles between an elf and a dwarf. Racism shapes the tiers of ...


13

Double U mentioned fairy tales - some of the most violent tales out there. Earlier versions were very dark and had been altered to make them child appropriate. I think that was a mistake. Bambi (the novel) is full of pain, danger and death. Danger is a part of life, as is death. How characters meet their challenges can be illuminating. Not wanting to ...


12

Short answer: definitely, absolutely, wholeheartedly 3. Long answer: Sir Terry Pratchett wrote somewhere that since he was reading a lot as a child, when he was little there were many words he knew only in writing, but had never heard spoken. For example, it was years before he learnt that "ogres" were not pronounced "ogreees". Having a large vocabulary ...


10

You as an author must be aware of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and other issues that exist in the real world. You as a person need to be aware. How (or if) you depict these things is up to you. But it needs to be an informed decision, one where you decide how best to deal with the issue. Some authors make their entire world lily white ...


10

This kind of killing is never done with a light heart. While you can easily jump over the act itself, you can show the turmoil and torment that goes through the mind of those that have to execute it. While it may seem that everything happened in the spite of the moment, it is far from being believable that Moses would immediately commit to such an action ...


9

I had a similar experience with The Hobbit. But I don't think that's because of the target age of the audience. I think it is because of the style of story that it was. Plucky adventurer full of pluck and mirth bounds off on their adventure, unaware of the true trials and tribulations about to befall them, armed only with, you guessed it, pluck. Even at 10 I ...


8

What positive character traits does your MC have? Surely he isn't all bad, a one-dimensional caricature of schmuckiness? Consider: in The Three Musketeers, d'Artagnan beats his servant (and Athos threatens his with a pistol), d'Artagnan rapes Milady (after Athos attempts to murder her, and before the four finally "execute" her), the main plot has the team ...


8

I think it largely depends on what kind of "children's book" we're talking about. If this is a book for teenagers (or even "tweenagers"), then it is an excellent way to convey a feeling of restlessness or stress. If we're talking about younger audiences, it might be dangerous simply because the sentences could be confusing to the reader, invoking in them ...


8

Include exactly as much detail as you need for the story to make sense. If the group complained about you changing your descriptions simply because they liked the rich description of the foods, they were doing you a disservice in terms of their critique. The reader should like the description of the rich foods in Egypt more than the description of foods ...


8

Describe the scene from a person's point of view. You say this: these characters travel back in time and across the world If I were to travel back in time and across the world, then I would use vocabulary that I know. If something looks like a hole in the ground to me, then I'll describe it as a "hole in the ground". If people defecate in this thing, ...


8

Certainly it's okay to have people (or animals) die in middle-grade fiction. I mean, Bambi (the movie) is rated G and young Bambi sees his mother murdered before his eyes. Ditto with dad in The Lion King. Actually, one or more parents dying (near the beginning, as a catalyst for the MC, or before the story begins) is a very common trope in children's ...


7

There are no clear-cut distinctions. Children are different. One child might be reading at 6 what another wouldn't touch until 12. For example, King Matt the First is explicitly written for children (under 8). It deals with themes like death, war, responsibility, and it doesn't have a happy ending. I grabbed it off the top shelf in my room when I was 6, and ...


7

Aged 10-12, my understanding of sex was "that's how you make children". It didn't sound like fun, so my understanding of why people would do it, other than to make children, was rather in the "adults are weird" realm. (Adults were also weird in other ways: they drank bitter coffee, and sour wine, and smoked stinky cigarettes, and it's not like any of those ...


7

Link: https://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-key-differences-between-middle-grade-vs-young-adult What is Middle-Grade Literature? Age of readers: 8–12. Length: Generally 30,000–50,000 words (although fantasy can run longer to allow for more complex world-building). Content restrictions: No profanity, graphic violence or sexuality (...


7

I will tell you the horrible truth. Nobody actually cares if people get killed. Not even if it happens for no real reason and in a horrible and painful way. And your case is actually much better than that. So what do people really care about or what do you actually need to worry about and assure them about? Could it happen to me? In your case the answer ...


7

The marketing environment for books has become immensely more complicated and crowded than it was in the past. Partly due to the ongoing information explosion (which lets you and discuss this at all), marketing is increasingly "siloed", or targeted, because the sheer number of offers is now too much for a human to process in full, you need the tech that ...


6

I'm also going to agree with the third suggestion. The idea of a pronunciation guide is a good one, and you could do as others have done and make it part of the dialogue (for example "My name's Shawn, but it's spelled s-e-a-n"). Susan Cooper did something similar with Welsh names in "The Grey King". I know that this example might be aimed at the upper end ...


6

Whether you should or not boils down to what is true for your setting. If you've built a world where there are multiple ethnic groups (and you definitely should do that, it would be unrealistic to have a homogenous world), would these groups have cleavages along ethnic lines? Or other social lines, like religion, gender, nationality, politics, etc. That is,...


6

"Should I add racism?" No. That is, you shouldn't add racism just for the sake of adding racism. I've seen a few questions on this forum to the effect of, "Should my story include this or that social problem, because it exists in the real world and it would be unrealistic to ignore it?" I'd say emphatically no. You can certainly write a very good story ...


6

It's your story, so you make the rules. The actions of your characters can be based on whatever the group manages to 'agree on' or whatever they dare do on their own. I'm not sure what kind of story you are trying to write, and what we are supposed to experience along with your characters. In a scenario like this, I would probably establish a certain ...


6

Maybe you can use a spoonerism? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism However, I am not sure if there's any unintended effect it may have (it could make the excerpt unintentionally funny). For example: Instead of saying "F**k this!", your character could say: "Tuck fhis!". Check this example as a reference: Similarly to the above example, "...


5

There's another option which I think combines the best options of each: Initially treat French as unintelligible, then when the protagonist learns French, don't treat it as a separate language. Early in the story, you'd have something like this: "Where is the bathroom?" asked John. Antoinne responded with a few words of French. John frowned and shook his ...


5

Signal early on that he is an unreliable narrator, at the very least you will let the reader understand there is a difference between the POV and the author. That might keep some people interested. You'll also have to accept that a lot of the world is just tired of narratives that center a racist a-hole being a crappy person while continuing to erase and ...


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