When I wrote Anna Mae, I studied the grammatical language of kids in their tweens and teenage years. That meant, kids speak one way at school, one way with each other, and another way when they're with their parents. Try to remain true to the speech pattern of that particular age of that child. Unless the kid is a genius, don't have them speak like an adult. Another tip, make your character consistent all the way through the novel. Don't change your character's personality in mid stream. Also, make sure that the clues make sense to the kids, otherwise, your characters and mystery won't be believable to them.
Follow Day 5 of Ms. Cauldwell's tour tomorrow at www.suzannelieurance.com/blog. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.