Nothing is Taboo discussion

Should kids read adult books?

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Jiaka1981 Winfield | 42 comments I was picking my daughter up from school on friday and i noticed a young girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old, reading a copy of "Twilight" by Stephanie Myers. At first I thought, "cool book" then images form the fourth book and other bits of content crossed my mind. It made me wonder should children read adult books or should we keep them on thier own level?
Twilight is actually and Young Adult novel but you get my meaning.

I havent decided on my opinon for this yet.

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Tackabery (mktackabery) I think it's what they are ready for and their reading level. When I was a kid I learned to read before I was 3, and I was reading at a high school level by the fourth grade, so I moved quite naturally to "older books." My mother never censored what I read per se, but she was concerned about some of the material giving me nightmares. I was very interested in history at that time at around age 9 I read a lot about presidents which led to me reading about assassinations, which did give me nightmares and I stopped reading them. Mostly she just guided me more toward adult books that were tamer and were natural progressions to what I was reading. So when I had read all the Nancy Drew books, she introduced me to Agatha Christie.

message 3: by Redman (last edited Nov 09, 2008 07:04AM) (new)

Redman | 55 comments Mod
In my opinion,I think children should read only books they can comprehend and get the full gist of what the book is about. Also I believe the book should be appropriate for the childs age.
I would love to hear everyone elses opinions.

message 4: by Bryl (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:25AM) (new)

Bryl Tyne (bryl_tyne) In my experience, all my kids read what interested them. In order for the book to keep them engaged, they had to comprehend it. With that said, If they're reading and enjoying it, they must have understood it, in my opinion.

One other point, a child's "age" is not a definitive factor. I have a seven-year-old that taught himself to read at age three. He is in the first grade and reading at a fifth grade level. His current book, one that he choose in the store himself, is The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young. I have no problem with it.

To test my own theory, After chapter 3, I quizzed him. He recanted the story in its entirety, and to top it off, he also understood the premise. To say the least, I was impressed.

message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (lucky47) | 10 comments I think kids should read on their own level, what they can fully comprehend. And of course it would depend on what type of "adult" books. Because God knows they are only kids for such a short time.

message 6: by Andre (new)

Andre | 7 comments Sure if the parents think the book is okay, as a boy I tried to check "The Greatest" out from the library only to have a librarian claim I would not understand it and used the pretense that I would eventually just put the book down and lose it.

My mother went back and tore her a new one, that lady checked that book out to me so fast I thought she was the Flash.

My point is, if the child can understand the subject matter, I say why not.

message 7: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 1 comments I think a lot of parents run into problems with this issue, particularly with the 'young adult' age group.

Author Diane Chamberlain recently blogged about a similar issue:

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 14, 2008 06:37AM) (new)

As long as parents concur and the child is muture enough to understand the books that he/she is reading.
I was reading books when I was six that people read in high school and I understood them. My parents didn't have an issue with it.

message 9: by Donneil D. (new)

Donneil D. Jackson (donneil) | 13 comments I don't think kids should read adult books. As teenager I read Terry McMillian and E.Lynn Harris. Yet I don't think the contents of my books should be read by a child. Now a days the kids know more than me and are probably doing what I am writing, yet I don't want to give them any more ideas.

When I solict my book, I say are over 18 to some girls who look young.

If a teenager is going to read an adult book, I think the parent should be aware of the content, and if the parent has no problemw with it, that so be it.

message 10: by Alycia (new)

Alycia (malfoyfangirl) | 2 comments Books are a great way to reach discussions that may otherwise not open a dialogue between a parent and child. If my children can understand the story, and know the difference between fantasy and reality, then I would let them read most books.
I read all four books from the Twilight Saga and thought they were very enjoyable and quite tame. I would allow my young daughter to read them. I would probably keep her from reading Sookie Stackhouse until at least junior high, though.
Encouraging children to read and having open and honest discussions in the family are very important for their success and well-being.

message 11: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (LoveMyFrogs) | 35 comments I think it depends on the child. Their age, comprehension level and the book itself. I think all these should be a factor. Some children are precocious and/or highly advanced for their age. The home setting, interests and content of the books should be examined with the final decision left up to the parents. Hopefully, they will make the right decsion.

message 12: by SassyMama (new)

SassyMama (sweet-sassycomcastnet) | 2 comments I TOTALLY agree with Donneil and Vanessa...I believe that children should ONLY read age-appropriate material...regardless of their reading level...not ALL children are mature enough to handle the contents in adult reading materials...but in the end it comes down to what the parent feels his/her child can handle :-)

message 13: by T.L. (new)

T.L. James (tljames) If I had to choose, I rather my child read an adult book that watch it. Just because I child reads words, they may not understand the concept or can imagine the act or situtation describe. But if they watch, that is a visual.

message 14: by Ash (new)

Ash (bundleofmaybes) | 4 comments I'm 12 years old and I read Nineteen Eighty-Four three years ago (on my own). Sure, the sex made me feel kind of uneasy, but that didn't change my enjoyment and appreciation of the book. I think it's stupid to fuss about "preserving children's innocence," when, sooner or later, children are going to find out about the ways being on this planet isn't all sunshine and rainbows, so we should be allowed to read what we want to - it's not going to make us unhappier or worse people to know that violence or sex happens. We coulf learn a lot from adult novels about deeper meanings, symbolism and (with books like Nineteen Eighty-Four, especially) politics, since this typically either doesn't exist or is very subtle or simple in children's books. The beauty of literature is that you don't need to go to school and analyse every little thing the characters did in the novel to understand and appreciate it and its symbolisms because you're human, so you can relate to characters on a basic level due to their simple humanity. I actually think that children might do this better than adults, since society and all its pressures haven't got to us yet. The only issue is that children may not be able to relate to adult protagonists. I much prefer to read teenage protagonists than adult ones since they have a similar mindset to me.

message 15: by Ash (new)

Ash (bundleofmaybes) | 4 comments deleted user wrote: "
I agree with you Donneil. I am an advocated for age appropriate materials. I have a niece who is an avid reader, and although, she is highly perceptive for her age, her parents (myself included) a..."

I understand that you want to protect your niece, but I really dislike the phrase "let kids be kids." Does this mean "let kids be free and have a happy childhood before they have to cope with adulthood," or "let kids conform to the stereotypes of their age by only doing what society says they should do and only reading what is specifically aimed at them,"? If it's the former, kids (we) should be allowed to read what we want to and enjoy anything we want to as long as it doesn't harm anyone, regardless of its target market. And if a child doesn't understand the adult material he/she reads, they could just broaden their understanding by practising more and asking adults about things they don't know, which also creates a learning opportunity.

(Sorry for the rants)

message 16: by Ellen (new)

Ellen I think that if a kid has sufficient reading level to understand a book, by all means they should read it. When I was a child, I often felt the pain of not being able to read a book that was anywhere near my reading level without going behind my parent's backs. For extremely young children(9 and under), sexual topics should most likely not be allowed, unless the child in question is very mature. Every kid is different, and parents should make informed decisions based on their child's reading and maturity level. But most of the time, kids should be able to read adult books if they can handle them. What kids shouldn't do is read books that are too hard for them. That will make reading an amazing book meaningless and frustrating. Making kids read books for kids can make them feel like something is inherently wrong with them, just because they're smart. My school had a terrible system for dealing with above-average readers, and in fifth grade, when I had the reading level of an average twelfth grader, I was just expected to read the same books as all the other kids and do what they were doing. It always made me feel miserable. Even though I didn't always understand all of the context in the books I read, I would do research, and was ultimately happier reading an adult book than a YA one.

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