Sunday, March 30, 2008

The small print

If you read reguarly (I'm not sure that anyone does, but if so, thanks a lot!) you've probably noticed that I've started discussing the content of books that some might find objectionable in small print at the bottom of each post. I'd like to clarify my intention in doing this. I am in no way attempting to censor these books or to suggest that young people should not read them - it is the job of individuals to determine what they should or should not read for themselves, and of course parents have the right to determine what is appropriate for their children.

What I'm trying to do with the small print is to let people know that if they object to strong language, some of these books may not be for them - ditto for sexual content, drug use, lots of violence, etc. I know some parents are very concerned about these issues, so I'd like to be able to give a heads up - I think that's part of good reader's advisory, as I certainly don't want to send anyone home with a glowing recommendation for something he or she will find offensive. One of the more frequent questions I get asked about teen literature is "Will this book be appropriate for my middle schooler?" and I'd like to be able to answer that question by letting parents know what is in the book and letting them decide for themselves. Consider it fair warning. If it's not important to you, you can skip the small print from now on. I hope that makes my intentions clear.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Krystel: I just found you a little while ago and will definitely be checking your site regularly. I think I found it because you reviewed The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (the only book my 11 y.o. has read of his own volition in a long time). I read it after him and fully understood the appeal!

Thanks for giving reviews of the books you read. I also wanted to say that I appreciate your fine print. It is helpful (even if I don't intend for my own child to read a book) because it gives a heads-up to some content which might give a person pause.

I was a HS English teacher, then worked with spec. ed. and then in the elementary level, so I always read with the intention of recommending. I also hope to complete a YA novel at some point (yes, many started - 0 finished or published), so I read to see what works really well. I enjoy reading YA books and will enjoy reading your reviews, I'm sure.