as a child had adults in them? They might have put in an appearance but how many of them had adults in major roles?
"You can't leave a kid on their own!" someone told me when I explained the plot of something I have written, "It's irresponsible. You can't write that sort of thing now. Nobody will publish it."
Perhaps it won't get published but, unless the kid is on his own, there is no plot. I don't see it as "irresponsible". It's about a resourceful, intelligent kid dealing with a bad situation. He makes mistakes because he's a kid. Is there something bad about that?
One of the rules of writing for children is that, in many situations, you need to get rid of the parents. It is getting harder to do that - and doing it believably is even harder. Once it was acceptable to have latch-key kids who took themselves to and from school, who roamed the streets barely supervised or even not supervised at all. You could send kids on a train journey alone for a holiday in the country - preferably to an ancient aunt or uncle who leave them to their own devices. It all opened up enormous plot possibilities.
Now children get taken to and from school. There is after-school care. There are other after-school activities. Weekends are taken up with more supervised activities. Some children are not even allowed to have unsupervised play in their own backyards. They are never more than a few metres from adult scrutiny. They have no chance to climb a tree or ride around the block. I know children who are not allowed to ride their bikes up and down their driveway unless one of their parents is there to supervise. I know others who have not been allowed to have a skateboard, scooter or soccer ball for fear of injury. Many more are not allowed to join Scouts, Guides, church youth groups and other like activities for fear of paedophiles - and yes, it is a very serious issue. The same children will attend sport - but generally with a parent in full-time attendance. They will go to ballet, music or drama class. Those things are somehow seen as different - whether they are really "safer" is dubious but they are seen as more disciplined and "worthwhile". It is hardly the sort of thing many children want to read about.
How do you write a book about children and for children when they are under that level of adult supervision? The answer is - I don't think I can. I am sure there are people who believe they can but I doubt I can.
I have chosen to set my writing back in the middle of last century, at the time when I was growing up. There are no computers. There are no mobile phones. There are adults - and I hope they are believable - but they are not always there.
Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps it is possible to write books where there is a high level of adult supervision of older children. Perhaps it is irresponsible to do away with the adults - but it is fun.