So I walked into the auditorium for my talk to a bunch of sixth-graders, and one of them is helping to set up the AV. I tell him my name, and he says, “You wrote The Portal?”
“I loved that book! Have you written a sequel?”
“Well, it just so happens…” And I pull a copy of Terra out of my briefcase.
By the end of my talk, though, I was beginning to worry a bit about getting these kids to read the sequel. The protagonist of The Portal is in the seventh grade, and he’s already interested in girls. In Terra, he’s heading in to the eighth grade, and things are heating up a bit. He meets a girl. They are thrown together in a bunch of adventures. He kisses her. He sleeps with her snuggled up against him. He sees her naked. He has… reactions. Who am I to say if this is appropriate fare for a sixth-grader?
And, I have to say, those particular sixth-graders looked awfully young. The teacher told me that each class has a personality, and this year’s group was on the immature side. He didn’t seem worried about pushing them a bit towards maturity. But I sure don’t want to have to explain myself to their parents if they find any of this stuff objectionable.
It’s tough being a writer.
Pretty sure that any advice at that age is good. Especially if it’s human.
Here’s some good advice to kids from “Love, Actually” — as we all know, one of the greatest movies ever made: “Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!”
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