All of this, and adding: Books with 13-15 year old protags doing these things/focus on readers of that age range even if the protags aren't.

We gotta stop losing readers as they transition out of MG and have nowhere to go. Give them what they *want*.
I'd love to see a couple of diverse series rise up and replace that HP/PJO bridge. Actually, I'd like to see tons. It's a great way to get MG readers moving into YA.

It'd also be helpful to have stories that start introducing some of that YA darkness but still have MG humor.
You just really can't expect kids to go from books dominated by talking animal friends and fart jokes into books where everyone dies or becomes a murderer.

The gap between these two keeps *widening* and I don't understand why publishing isn't filling in the middle ground.
Another thought: young readers are taught "MCs must be X" and then we all call this "relatable" when what we mean is "predictable".

Then publishing bars books as "unrelatable" or "unmarketable" because they're not the books already established in the status quo.
Literally anything is marketable if you market it. Young readers especially are the most open-minded, the most accepting of books that defy convention.

Yet "marketability" is used to cull books for any reason from diversity to "it's harder to think of a comp title for this one".
While we could be expanding readers' horizons & inviting broad ranges of readers with innovation, we deny readers what they want and choke out creativity.

Then our market shrinks because readers lose interest. They seek what they want elsewhere (movies, tv, comics, fanfic).
It's all so sad to see. As someone who read as a small child and then only again in high school, I hate seeing we *still* aren't fixing this.

We know there's a problem. So many of us are trying to fix us. Why not just *let us fix things*?
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