Kids can sniff out when they are being preached to, and they don't like it. So while my books aren't amoral, they are not infused with morals or a message, either, and kids like that.
I never thought I was writing for kids at all. It really shocked and unsettled me to hear kids were buying the books. If I'd known I was writing for kids, I might actually have spelt things out a bit more, and that would probably have killed the appeal.
When I was on the swim team as a kid, I used to hide out from my coach by going into the bathroom and hiding out in one of the stalls. And I would literally wrap myself in toilet paper so as not to get hypothermia.
If there is any message in the 'Wimpy Kid' books, it is that reading can be and should be fun. As an adult reader, when I see an obvious moral lesson to be taught, I run in the other direction... Kids can sniff out an adult agenda from an early age. I'm writing for entertainment, not to impress literary judges.
Kids can sniff out a moral. They can feel the heavy hand of an adult.