Patrick Yes, a twelve-year-old could read this. When he or she gets to the benign sexual scenes, talk to him or her about it. It's hardly something that should be hidden or banned.
Sharon Why would you want a 12 year old to read this particular book? There are SO many wonderful books out there for children. Check out Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Applegate.
Lynda 12 is exactly the age I wanted and needed something more than "clean" books. For some children, 12 is the time for some psychological complexity and dilemmas. If you have a 12 year old who has the capacity to read "Brooklyn" and wants to, encourage the interest. The book is so beautifully respectful in the way it depicts sexuality that it is probably one of the best literary introductions to the topic that you could hope for.
Loyal I wouldn't say it was appropriate. There are several instances of cursing, one in particular is highly inappropriate for a 12 year old in my opinion. There is also a place where she makes love, and several instances where she refers to it. Overall, this book is a bit mature for a 12 year old.
Danielle No. The others answers are what I would have said. Plenty of other books out there to enjoy.
Sharon I have an 11 year old and I personally wouldn't be comfortable with him reading the sex scenes, they're quite graphic ("I told him that last time he pushed too hard inside me, I thought he was going to come out my neck")
Meera Patel Actually there is a scene that goes through that scenario. So no, I dont think it's appropriate for a 12 year old.
Kevin The book is very clean. I did not find any marks, specks or unwanted matter anywhere on my copy.
Genevieve This book is fine for a 12 year old to read, if he or she has the interest. It is a lovely, romantic book, and even though there is a short sex scene, it shows that sex in a respectful, loving, committed relationship -- just as an adolescent should learn to view sex. As another reader suggested, it would be a great talking point to discuss, as sometimes it is hard to find those entry points with adolescents. When I was 12 I was exposed to much more graphic stuff, and this book would have been a good one for me to have read, especially if a responsible adult had discussed it with me.
Paige I was 12 in seventh grade. In seventh grade I heard way more explicit stuff than this at school, on TV, etc. The thing I would be worried about with a 12 year old is not the sex scenes, which are really tame, but if they would "get" the book, since I think a misread of the passivity/avoidance on display would be more harmful to a tween/teen than seeing the word "penis." It's not any "sex scene" that makes this book inappropriate for a 12 year old but how much they would appreciate the themes, etc.
Rachela Muracka No, encountering such scenes made me feel dirty at age 12, and I think that age is also too young to sympathize with the protagonist. One must be a little more acquainted with doubt, decisions, and disappointment not to outright condemn her. Someone that young and innocent would undoubtedly think she's weak, mendacious, and slutty.
Jillian I was reading far more graphic sex than this when I was 12. This book could certainly not be considered raunchy. Nothing that I would stop a 12 year old from reading.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[I have a 12 year old daughter. I don't think there is much to appeal to a young girl in this story -- in fact, I'd say that the heroine's example of passivity in the face of life is quite a poor one. The content does have elements that, while not actually objectionable, aren't ones I'd want to personally provide to my daughter -- erections press here and there, and so on. But mainly -- the main character seems to face a life with limited choices and not really stand up to it with any verve. (hide spoiler)]