In Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, “when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.”
The list goes on and on.
Can you even imagine a fantasy fiction without saving the world?
Maybe it is because to have a proper villain, you need to take over the world or end it and the fantasy hero has to free or save the same world against the villain. That’s certainly appealing to the Middle grade kids. Who does not want to be a super-hero at that age: saving the world, end starvation, slavery, fight the bullies off or come up with a plan that will fix all the problems in the world? Kids that age are into justice and fairness and all their childhood has already been bathed in fairy tales where heroes usually rescue someone or save a kingdom from horrible witches.
Uh? Double back. Did you say fairy tales? Isn’t fantasy an extension of fairy tales and mythology?
Write the next Peter Pan or Little Prince.
Write dark fantasy like Coraline.
Stay away from mythology and fairy tales.
If you do not save, then give (remember Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde), share (remember Charlotte’s Web or The Giver), try to understand (The One and Only Ivan or Jinx), rescue yourself (The School of Good and Evil), acquire a skill or something, a quest (The Ability, A Tangle of Knots, A Dash of Magic), or try to solve a puzzle (The Inventor’s Secret, The Wig in the Window or The Magic Tree House).
“Not Saving the World? How Does That Even Work?” by Jo Walton. Dec 14 2012