No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.This is a problem I have with fiction. Characters are created for you to care about and the author invents torments for them — for us to enjoy. Have you ever written a fictional story and experienced sick excitement as you contemplated what you were about to do that poor unsuspecting sympathetic character you created? Or do you only read fiction. If you're able to get into fiction, is it because you fully trust the author to deliver the titillation of bad things happening to this sweet leading character?
This is a line of thought that brings me back around to an opinion I've arrived at from other directions as well: Give children nonfiction to read.