Thursday, May 19, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Age-Inappropriate

This week, BTT asks: "What do you think of censoring books BECAUSE of their intended age? Say, books too “old” for your kids to read?"

Guess I should have seen this one coming, after last week's topic. And it's a good (and thorny) question.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, I suppose), I don't have to worry about the problem, since I don't have children. I really don't believe in banning reading of any kind for any age group, but that's a theoretical opinion that I've never had to test in a real-world sort of situation.

I do think parents and teachers need to monitor the books young children read, just as they should screen movie and TV-viewing choices, internet browsing, computer and video games, etc. But for older kids -- say middle school age and beyond -- I'm not sure censoring does much good. You can recommend and caution, but ultimately if a kid wants to read something (what a thought!), he/she will most likely go right ahead and read it, with or without parental approval. And I suspect that if a book is too advanced for them, they'll probably get bored with it before it does them any damage.


  1. I agree that children will probably read what they want to read, with or without permission. And I would rather know what my children are reading so we can discuss an issues as they arise. And for them to know its ok to do that.

  2. My answer was theoretical too, lol. I think by cautioning a child that they might not like the content gives an openning for them to talk about it later should they decide to go ahead and read it anyway. Makes it more open.

  3. I agree! I never stopped my son from reading anything, but I would discourage him when I felt a book was too difficult for him. I wanted him to love reading not feel discouraged by it.

  4. I think caution and awareness are very important as well.

    If you are interested, my answer is here.

  5. Oh, I completely agree, Joy. I answered mine from the perspective of a parent/grandparent, and also from the perspective of myself as a kid, when I read way over my age range (and glad that I did!).


  6. I agree, it's also good to be careful and cautious.

    here's mine:

  7. I'm pretty much with you on this one.

    I can't ever remember my parents banning me from reading a book (though I do remember not being allowed to see a film once).

  8. Great answer. I agree that if someone really wants to read a book nobody will stop them.


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