Death in the House of Dreams

A guest post by Jessica Banks. I came to the Anne of Green Gables series relatively late, the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I’d read the first book two or three times before that, but I got my hands on the full series just before leaving for our family’s three-week […]

On Death – A Kid’s View

A guest post by my 11 year old daughter, MRValentine. Death happens to everyone, eventually. Sometimes in books or stories, the death of a character is essential to the plot. But sometimes it bothers me when death in a story is abrupt, violent, or doesn’t need to happen. Doesn’t it bother you? Reasons and examples […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly

Warning: some mild spoilers—if a book has been out for several years or has been made into a movie, I’m more liberal with the spoilers. If I can avoid specifics, I do—but please remember that all book reviews that are linked to in this article definitely contain spoilers. Why is death so prevalent in books […]

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander has much in common with other books I’ve read—a bit like A Wrinkle in Time meets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—but it still feels like an original tale. 11 year old Gregor follows his toddler sister, nicknamed Boots, into a hole in the basement which leads to a new land (Underland, as you […]

The Role of Death in Tween Lit

Death is an unavoidable part of life. Obviously. Figuring out how to deal with it in media aimed at children is equally unavoidable and as potentially fraught with peril. One popular option is to just pretend it doesn’t exist. Cartoons and action movies are awesome at this—no matter what horrific violence is done, everyone gets […]


Beryl: A Pig’s Tale begins in a commercial warehouse, where all the pigs live together in concrete sties. Beryl is an orphan, living with her aunt and cousins who all hate her. One of the workers comes around, putting stickers on the biggest piglets. Everyone knows this means the piglets will be leaving and not […]

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)

Ellen Raskin was one of my favorite authors as a kid, so after the success of reading The Phantom Tollbooth with my kids, I was eager to share her books with them as well. The first book we read was The Mysterious Disappearence of Leon (I Mean Noel). It led to much laughter with the […]

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia is one of the reasons I started this site. It’s become a childhood classic, but it’s also one that many people list among the most traumatic books they read as kids. Because I’ve been thinking a lot about depictions of death in kids books, I decided I’d better reread it, instead of […]