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Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?
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Author:  Oxfordshire Lass [ 23 Jun 2018, 14:30 ]
Post subject:  Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Hi all, I wanted to get some opinions. I am lending my full set of books (mainly Armada paperbacks but a few GGB reprints) to a friend’s 11 year old. She has read the first three and we have a new Chalet School fan.

I was thinking about which books I would class as ‘PG’ for a girl of that age and where I would suggest that the girl’s mum has a flick through to see what she thinks before handing the book over. Initial thoughts are that it’s really just Exile, War and Highland Twins which have more adult themes. I have the paperback and GGB version of each of these and so she may want to let her just read the abridged version.

Can you think of any others?

Author:  Noreen [ 23 Jun 2018, 15:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Judging by recent discussions, Eustacia is perhaps a bit too bleak for modern tastes? Especially as it seems the Armada version has some minor but important differences.

I don't really like censoring what a child reads in the way of children's books, though. I think it's more important that they understand that the books were written a long time ago (almost a century for the early ones!) and life was quite different then. Nice to think of a new CS fan, anyway - I do hope she enjoys them, and I would be interested to know what goes down well or badly.

Author:  Alison H [ 23 Jun 2018, 16:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

I read Exile when I was younger than 11. I'd think they were all fine for someone of that age. It was mainly Judy Blumes and Sweet Valley Highs and other things with "too much information" in them that parents and teachers were worried about us reading at that age!

I also hope she enjoys them.

Author:  Oxfordshire Lass [ 23 Jun 2018, 16:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Noreen, I completely agree and if she were my daughter that is what I would do. As she isn’t, I feel that I should at least pre-warn her parents so that they can be prepared for some difficult questions though.

When I read them at that age I completely skimmed the surface and completely missed the bullying in Eustacia. It was only rereading it as an adult that made me think that they treated her badly.

I shall report back on her progress.

Author:  cestina [ 23 Jun 2018, 19:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

It's an interesting question but I think maybe there is a danger of over-thinking it, although I do understand your hesitation comes from its not being your own child.

I would have been delighted had my granddaughter showed an interest in the CS at any point from the age of about ten upwards and I would have unhesitatingly handed her all of my collection of hardbacks without any thought of holding back the more "difficult" books. Sadly she didn't.

To my mind, it is precisely those books with "adult themes" that children should be exposed to because it is through literature that we begin to learn about the world. I use the "" deliberately because other than very early sex, which I agree is to be avoided, I think there is nothing that a child might not have to deal with whilst still a child, certainly not in the CS books. (Well apart from being kidnapped and hauled off into the salt mines perhaps).

And what better way to meet things than through literature?

I too would be interested to know how she enjoys the rest of the books - what a lucky girl!

Author:  Audrey25 [ 23 Jun 2018, 20:11 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Glad someone young enjoying the CS. My daughter did not go near them.

What I think has also to be remembered is that, possibly, some children at any rate, are going to take a much more matter of fact view of the books and not be affected by some incidents as much as adults would be.

I don't now like reading Jo Returns because of Mlle's illness but when I was younger I was quite unaffected.

Another trivial example is Joey's two hour faint in Joey & Co. As a youngster I was inclined to think..."only two hours?!" Whereas now...such a long time!

Just to add on.

If I was censoring books, Head Girl with those caves and old men spooks me out as does New Chalet School and the Balbini Twins.

Author:  Mia [ 23 Jun 2018, 21:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

I've moved this to the correct forum. I read Exile and Highland Twins when I was 8, surely 11 is senior school age and they'll be reading things like War Horse anyway?

Author:  Alison H [ 23 Jun 2018, 21:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

I've no idea what sort of books are read in schools now, but we "did" Carrie's War when we were 11, and Across the Barricades (set in Belfast during the Troubles) when we were 12. I understand that you aren't to know where your friend sets boundaries, but I wouldn't have thought that anything in the Chalet books was unsuitable for an 11 year old.

Author:  judithR [ 24 Jun 2018, 07:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

A few years back our Year 6 were reading the "Divergent" trilogy. ""The Hunger Games" series was also popular with them.

I can't remember the title, but on a Year 5 visit the class book was about the Gallipoli landings.

Author:  Oxfordshire Lass [ 24 Jun 2018, 08:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Thanks all, I think that i’ll give her the bare bones - boarding school 1930s-60s set in Austria, UK and Switzerland. Also written at roughly the same time. Therefore, some things that you wouldn’t read in more contemporary books (although in no way as elitist/racist etc as some Enid Blyton is seen as being) with a few books that focus on WW2.

Recipient is a complete bookworm and loved the first three books.

Author:  cestina [ 24 Jun 2018, 09:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

The Hunger Games eh? CS is mild beyond measure compared with that!

Author:  Lotte [ 04 Jul 2018, 19:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

I wouldn't say any of them are unsuitable per se, but a few of them are a bit dark - Exile and Highland Twins especially - and your friend may need to be prepared to answer a few questions.

Author:  ivohenry [ 04 Jul 2018, 19:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

cestina wrote:
The Hunger Games eh? CS is mild beyond measure compared with that!


Haven't read Hunger Games, but assume it's so far from reality that a child will know it couldn't happen, but the Chalet books are about "real" people and real events, particularly in the war years. Some of the events are extremely unlikely like the kidnapping of Elisaveta and the old man in the Salt Caves, but no more so than lots of other books of the time - Famous Five, Lone Pine, etc. which children accept happily (or did so at the time, don't know about today's children!)

Author:  Oxfordshire Lass [ 08 Jul 2018, 22:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Currently reading Headgirl and loving the books. We have a new fan.

Author:  Noreen [ 08 Jul 2018, 22:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thought - any books not suitable for an 11 year old?

Yay! Thanks for the update, Oxfordshire Lass.

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