You made a comment on your blog about the content matter of one reader's middle-grade novel (sex, alcohol consumption, etc.). This got me to wondering, what would you define as appropriate topics for a tween novel? Where would you draw the line on edgy types of subjects, and do you have any good tween titles to recommend?Pretty much any serious romance (even without any sex) puts a book in the YA section—see Twilight and A Great and Terrible Beauty.
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants didn't have serious romance or sex, but it had a girl attempting to seduce her soccer camp counsellor. Which makes it YA.
Now, we all know that some junior high schoolers are having sex and doing drugs, (and some elementary schoolers are swearing a blue streak when there are no adults around) and the fact of this exposes the rest of them to those things. So putting sex, drugs, booze, eating disorders, suicide, profanity, etc etc firmly in the YA section doesn't say a thing about the readers of these books. It says something about their parents.
Which, yes, bothers me, but that's the world we live in. Parents are naturally inclined towards overprotectiveness and its constant companion, denial.
A tween book can have flirting but not seduction; doubt but not depression.
It can have the bomb, but not the fuse.