Many middle grade books eliminate parents altogether--main characters are simply orphans. Many, many, many middle grade main characters are orphans. And in many of these orphan cases, the supervising adult of the orphan is a horrible or selfish or stand-offish or uninvolved type.
A large number of middle grade books have a single parent (either through divorce or death) for their main character, but usually that remaining parent is busy, busy, busy and fairly uninvolved in the story.
And still other middle grade stories present main characters whose parents are somehow mysteriously just . . . missing. Insert a variety of methods here, some of which could be: kidnapped, magically transformed, lost.
While any and all of these scenarios can be--and are--real in the real world (well, probably not magically transformed), the number of middle grade books containing missing, uninvolved, or dead parents seems much higher than in the real world. Is it just me, or do you think so too? And it leads me to wonder--why?