N. D. Wilson on Darkness and Children's Stories
N. D. Wilson has a really good, brief article in the latest issue of Christianity Today on the place of evil and pain in children's stories. It is well worth reading and will be helpful as you consider books for your children.
Wilson argues that we ought not give children only books where all goes well. Instead they need stories where evil is encountered and dealt with appropriately. He quotes G. K. Chesterton: "If the characters are not wicked, the book is." Wilson's point is well made:
"Childhood is the time for truth, and adulthood is the time for a deeper understanding of the same. To seed courage, we must show fear. To reveal triumph, we must build enemies. To tell the truth about what it means to be heroic, we must spin a fiction full of danger."Wilson appropriately notes that the issue is dosage. Children don't need to face the full onslaught of human depravity but good stories prepare them for encountering evil and overcoming. I encourage you to read the full article.