During an interview for National Public Radio, author Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terebithia, The Master Puppeteer, Jacob Have I Loved) had this to say about message in fiction:
I try very hard to stay away from the word “message,” because I think it’s poison in fiction. I think you tell your story and then the reader gets to decide what he or she will learn from your story. And if they don’t want to learn anything from it, that’s their choice.
You can check out the rest of the interview here!