I guess it's about safety. I try to choose authors with whom I know students will be safe. And, in my opinion, safety doesn't have as much to do with content as it does with the sensitivity and intelligence of the author.
Having recently finished Natalie Lloyd's A Snicker of Magic, I want to enthusiastically add her to the middle grade list. Snicker is warm, funny, hopeful, and smart. Students who enjoy folktales, myths, and quirky small-town stories (along the lines of the equally endearing Three Times Lucky) will be in good hands with Ms. Lloyd.