Katherine
Katherine asked:

Is this a good book for 11 year old's?

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Ailsa
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Silverwhistle It depends on the maturity and intelligence of the child. But I think 11 is a bit on the young side, because of the philosophical/intellectual content even more than the sexual content. I read it at 15 or 16, as an intellectually precocious would-be mediæval historian, so devoured it then (and fell passionately in love with its tragic hero). Haven't been the same since...
Vance I would not recommend it. Not to be a prude, but there are a few "suggestive" scenes (remarkable only because one doesn't anticipate that in works from this time, though they certainly pale versus modern literature). More relevant, Hugo goes on frequent lengthy rambles that are disconnected from the story and are total yawn fests...I was glad I endured, because it truly is a captivating plot, but am pretty certain I did not possess that fortitude at eleven.
Dylan Lockhart Maybe it's better to start with the Disney version, the book is much darker, but even the Disney version is quite... mature! When I was a kid, I understood that was something in this Disney and if the child likes it, maybe in some years he'll want to read the book (just like me)?
Nancy I wanted to read it when I was a young teenager. The school librarian told me I shouldn't read it, and she was right. Half of the book is filled with historical information about Paris, and the different layers and walls of that city. It is a very long book, and the child would have to be pretty precocious to read it at age 11.
Nicole Ziege I would definitely not recommend this for a younger audiences (younger than 16, I would say, if anything). They will probably get bored or confused. There are also a few "suggestive" scenes that imply sexual assault or sex of some kind. Lastly, it is extremely problematic. Would not recommend.
Newly Wardell No, there are plenty of great stories but the ones by Victor Hugo are not appropriate at that age. His themes get pretty dark and there is no rush on introducing those themes to a child.
Tony Potopea deffinetly, hugo is realy good at stories
Katie The book is pretty dense, so if they are mature enough to get through it, they are mature enough for those topics.
Isobel Probably not. The subject matter is very dark and mature for children.
Jesse Freedom Most eleven-year-old's probably would not have the patience to read it, and not just because it would be a hard book for most kids that age. For a patience eleven-year-old, with a high reading level, who is fine with pg-13 content, this is a good book.
Rebecca Maddison I think the content is too difficult for an 11 year old. There are essay style chapters on the architecture of the buildings of Paris and peoples links to history through the buildings.
Thom Coté Wouldn't recommend it, simply because the vast majority of kids that age won't pick up on the complex wordplay and philosophical and political themes the books mentions frequently. And I'd also imagine a lot of kids would get bored with the frequent, lengthy asides Hugo writes about architecture, literature, politics, what have you.

I would actually highly recommend the Disney movie for kids. Singing gargoyles aside, it actually gets a lot of things very right in adapting this story. Frollo's characterization in particular is spot-on, which is surprising given his sexual perversion for La Esmeralda. If your kid enjoys the movie, they may well enjoy the book when they're a bit older.
KT If your 11 or 12 year old really wants to read it, maybe consider Great Illustrated Classics or Classic Starts? These two versions take the book and condense it (a lot), give it a large font, and Great Illustrated Classics has pictures every other page. That makes it very readable for that age group. When I was about 11 I read a lot of classics in that format, including Hunchback. At the time I was mature enough to understand the sexual themes, but the abridged versions make it pretty subtle since they're for young readers. As far as the dark nature of the story, young readers will have to see at some point that good doesn't always triumph and innocent people suffer greatly because of the actions of bad people.
The Disney movie was one of my favorites as a young kid (5-7 years old) and to this day I still love that movie. I don't mind the fact that it had singing and dancing and comedic gargoyles and a happy ending because that's totally appropriate for its intended audience. But for a kid's movie it is still pretty dark. The sexual themes went way over my head until I was about 11, but there were some scenes I found really intense and scary. I think it's a great movie in its own right, but not necessarily a good "preview" into the original novel.
Bella =^. _ .^= I wouldn't suggest it for an 11 year old. Again, you need to remember that Frollo feels lust for Esmeralda. Again though, it really depends on their level of maturity. It's also kinda sad. I would suggest to watch the disney movie first, and they should remember that not all books have happy endings. (sorry if that sounds rude) and so, my honest answer is that they should wait until they're 13-14 before reading the book. I read it at that age.
Haiden I read it at 11 and I was perfectly fine! I understood the "sexual" scene (Hellfire song) in the Disney version and I was totally fine with the book.
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