GOOD FANTASY, HARMLESS BAD GUYS: Old Label Gets a New Pinterest Board!
Next week I am giving a book talk for a Parent's Group and it got me thinking - again - about books for sensitive readers. During my decades as a bookseller and the years since I started making personalized booklists, I realized that children reading well above their grade levels are often sensitive to the darker aspects of the fantasy genre which, in the years since the publication of Harry Potter, accounts for a large chunk of middle grade novels published each year and has gotten decidedly darker. In light of this, I created the label: Good Fantasy, Harmless Bad Guys. The books with this label, which cover a range of reading levels, have bad guys that are more buffoonish than evil. Violence is minimal or non-existent (or cartoonish) as is cruelty and mean treatment of children.
Please be aware that, while I have read all these books, my idea of "harmless bad guys" could be different than that of you or your young reader. If you have a question about any of the books with this label, please don't hesitate to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.