The Rock is a draft of a contemporary Upper Middle Grade/Young YA children's novel, which forms the creative component required to complete a Master of Creative Writing. The accompanying exegesis, entitled Contemporary Themes for Modern Tweens, examines the thinking and research that led to its creation. This includes the importance of tackling modern-day issues in contemporary Upper Middle Grade children's literature in New Zealand, the genre and its restrictions, the methodology employed to keep controversial subject matter non-explicit, as well as the importance of the development of children's identity through reading novels set in recognisable landscapes. Overall it questions whether it is possible to introduce controversial material, usually only found in the realms of YA, to a younger audience. It draws the conclusion that it is possible with multiple layering, revision and a lot of research in the field.