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Many of the original Grimm and Andersen fairytales had tragic elements in their endings. The Little Mermaid got legs, but every step felt like walking on broken glass, and she doesn't win the prince; she dissolves into seafoam and bubbles without ever getting her voice back. Cinderella's stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to fit the glass slipper, and ...


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I read aloud to my children regularly, and, knowing nothing about the book other than it had won a Newbery Medal, I naively picked up Bridge to Terabithia for our nightly read-alouds. If you're not familiar with the book, it has, shall we say, a very tragic plot twist. Years later, when a movie based on the book was released, I remember reading a lot of ...


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I don't think you will find any tragedy for children found acceptable in these times. Grimm and Andersen got "grandfathered in" for being classics, even though they were rewritten in more "acceptable" forms for wide public. Currently though, when Uncle Tom's Cabin is found racist for using real language of times it describes, when Harry Potter is bashed for ...


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In addition to academic knowledge about child development, there's nothing like experiencing real children and seeing how they respond to books. If you don't have young children in your life, I'd suggest "borrowing" some who are within your target age-range and willing to help. See if they understand your story (ask them to explain it-- they may have reached ...


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Your question relates to the developmental psychology of children more than their capacity to decode text. As such it has very little to do with chronological age because there is so much variation across individuals. Even though publishers (or booksellers) may want to use labels such as 5-7 year-olds, these are essentially meaningless. The issue is not ...


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The only "horror", or rather horror invoking, stories I know that are regularly told to children are fairy tales. But we all know that they were originally intended for an adult audience. Childrens tales today, if they deal with subjects that are elements of adult horror stories, such as ghosts, vampires etc., are usually told in a light and humorous tone ...


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God save the next generation from adults who don’t want children to feel sad, ever, for any reason (except perhaps for failing to follow the advice of their elders). If I ever write a story that makes children cry the way that Bridge to Terabithia made me cry, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something. There is a series of DVDs on paleontology ...


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A classic one can be for example the Spanish "Lazarillo de Tormes", I am not really sure if it is adapted, but it is really important in my country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarillo_de_Tormes Then a modern one can be "The boy in the striped pyjamas", the main idea of the plot is different, but you can feel how the boy suffers: ...


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It's important to keep in mind that children learn to read at slightly different ages and that reading comprehension/ability can vary greatly even among kids the same age. There could be some who are ready to read Harry Potter by themselves starting in first grade (6-7 years old) while their classmates could just be starting to make the shift to easy chapter ...



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