Plot

by Consty

Question: Please, can the main character in Middle Grade novel use magic to kill another kid who wanted to kill him?

The MC felt that, if he does not get rid of the 19-year old boy who was revenging his brother's death, the boy was going to impede all his efforts to achieve his goal.
My worry is, is this killing scene allowed in Kids lit?

Answer: First, you must realize that it's impossible to give a definitive answer to such a question. A lot depends on how you have written your story.

Certainly, you can deal with serious subjects like death in middle-grade fiction. Harry Potter's parents were killed. Many orcs die in The Hobbit. And Bridge to Terabithia features a tragic death that brings a tear to most readers' eye. But again, a lot depends on how you portray the subject.

Generally, middle-grade readers want main characters they can both relate to and admire. I don't know what goal your main character is pursuing, but if you are going to have him kill someone, he needs a really good reason - like it's absolutely the only way to save the lives of innocent orphans, for example.

If it's just a case of self-defense, then you have to ask yourself how the reader will feel about the main character afterwards. Will the MC seem like a hero or a coward for not finding a non-fatal way to deal with his adversary? Will his actions seem self-centred or selfless?

Remember too that, at the middle-grade level, most readers have parents or other adults choose books for them. Will parents see your main character as a good role model for their kids?

If you can write the story in such a way that the main character still comes across as admirable, then you may be all right. If he comes across as despicable, that could be an issue.

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