Say what? My chapter ends with two of my characters on the roof of the elementary school. Fun, exciting, who doesn't want to be on a roof? I do. I did it all the time as a child. The roof is a magical place.
This is what Andrea explained: You can't jeopardize children in a story because if a child reads your story, climbs onto a roof and has an accident, parents will sue. And no publisher will want the liability. So your story will be rejected, no question.
I completely understand the logic but for some reason this was an eye-opener for me. It is the reality in which we live and a bit of a downer, but I get it. Andrea and my group then helped me brainstorm where the children could go that wouldn't risk child safety. Now my kids sneak into the school through a storm cellar---exciting but also safe.
So as a general rule when writing for middle grade, ask yourself: Could a child do this now and get hurt? If the answer is yes, revise.
After I told my husband I needed to rework this, we had a sad chuckle about all the classic books that wouldn't be published in today's market if it met this criteria. So long Huck Finn.
Have you ever had this problem in your own writing? Have you ever walked head first into a platform wall or hid in a wardrobe?