As Peter Grant quoted when he posted this, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~ Mark Twain
BTW, I recommend Peter Grant’s sci-fi milfic/space opera books as HIGHLY appropriate for readers whose literacy reaches (legitimate) middle school levels, no matter what their ages. Sometimes a bit saccharine, but that’s better than destructively “gritty” in my book, especially for young readers. Think sci-fi milfic/space opera pretty much as written by Zane Grey. Or maybe less fantastic “Doc” Smith translated though a Zane Grey-ish filtering. *heh* (The more I think on that, the more Grant’s new Western series makes real sense.)
A big bonus is that Grant’s books seem to be very competently edited, so that readers are rarely led astray (and mistaught) by misused words, poor grammar, and punctuation errors. That’s just competent line editing. In addition, the content editing eliminates all (or almost all) of the plot bobbles so common to many books published nowadays, even (sometimes especially!) from big publishing houses. This is important, IMO, since reading engaging stories with good morals and ethics that are WELL-WRITTEN can help readers just pick up all these good things along the way.
Of course, unless a book is exceptionally well-written (and by that I mean of stellar class, worthy of survival to become an enduring classic such as “Pilgrim’s Progress”), didacticism can be a killer. No, just well-written (and competently edited) stories that have moral, ethical characters facing conflicts and choosing wisely, and therefore teach good lessons without having to stop and pound lessons into the reader.
Of course, there are competently-written books whose protagonists are bad examples for readers to emulate. I despise that sort of crap.
Poorly-written books that either have protagonists who are “good” examples or protagonists who bad examples are both to be condemned as simply poorly-written books. I find both to be anathema.
And then there are the kinds of books thatb Holly Lisle has correctly classified as “suckitudinous fiction.” Technically well-written but worthless “lit-ra-chure” such as Fitzgerald is celebrated (by self-made moral morons) for having written. Of them I can only say, “Gagamaggot.”
Peter grant’s fiction is all, as far as I have read in his sci-fi milfic/space opera (I have not yet read his new Western novel), light, entertaining, sometimes saccharine (to the point of nearly Goody Two-shoes saccharine), well-written fluff that is highly appropriate for YA readers and engaging even for folks nostalgic for an earlier ethos in sci-fi, where a more elevated moral/ethical behavior would be expected.
Here’s Peter Grant’s Amazon page.