Oh PLEASE...No More Parched Parents!
If you have read Book #6 in The 39 Clues series you will know what I am talking about. Maybe it started with Harry Potter, but A Series of Unfortunate Events definitely fried the poor orphans parents. Teen books have long been notorious for killing off the parents, but now it is becoming increasingly standard fare for fantasy/sci-fi books for younger readers. As if the poor orphans don't have enough challenges with their quests and learning to discern real friends and guides from evil posers out to thwart their success, they are now burdened with guilt since their parents were torched trying to save them. So, I think there should be a moratorium on flamed or zapped or variously incinerated parents in kids/tweens/teens books. I mean, seriously, there have got to be more ingenious ways to get the parents out of the picture!