Is Great Gatsby suitable for v good 11 year old reader?

(39 Posts)
pollycazalet Sun 08-Sep-13 18:41:45

I read years ago and can't remember a thing about it except the green light and the optometrist poster.

If consensus is 'yes' I'll reread before giving to her.

CircassianLeyla Sun 08-Sep-13 21:44:23

Agatha Christie - yes to Agatha Christie. Dies she like books (as in not e readers)? Some of the 1950s-1980s covers are awesome to collect and really cheap in book stalls, charity shops and Amazon.

vaticancameo Sun 08-Sep-13 21:51:55

A few off the top of my head that I loved at that age:
Mockingbird
The Sherlock Holmes stories
Black Beauty
Anne of Green Gables
Jane Eyre
James Herriot's books
My Family and Other Animals
Anything by Michelle Magorian

Anything there she might like?

Romann Mon 09-Sep-13 20:52:42

I read Jane Eyre over and over again when I was 11, I'd forgotten! I also loved Pride and Prejudice and the rest of Austen.

Mhw02 Wed 11-Sep-13 17:03:47

Agree with those who say regardless of whether it's suitable or not, there are better books. I happily read the thousand-odd pages of Les Miserables, and The Crimson Petal and the White. The hundred-odd pages of The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, I struggled to finish, it was SO dull, and I didn't like the writing style at all. I was talking to my brother about it and he said, for all it's considered a classic, he has yet to speak to anyone who actually enjoyed it.

Agree with everyone who said To Kill A Mocking Bird is far more worth the read.

Noteveryday Wed 11-Sep-13 17:10:31

Gatsby book is really really boring. What about all the Daphne du Maurier books, a lot of young girls love all that (slightly unsuitable but not very) dramatics (Rebecca, Jamaica Inn I remember enjoying).

Yes to Mockingbird and some of the John Steinbeck books are good for that age if she likes American stuff (don't know if you'd consider suitable cos its sad but Of Mice and Men is v readable). Also slightly out of fashion now but John Irving (e.g. A Prayer for Owen Meaney, probably too young for Cider House Rules) is good but sad for young people as well.

Owen Meaney has lots of sex and is pretty boring. I don't think it would have much appeal for an 11 year old, personally.
Steinbecks's The Pearl and The Red Pony would probably appeal.

Noteveryday Wed 11-Sep-13 17:40:18

Ha how did I forget the sex - sorry OP!

ButThereAgain Wed 11-Sep-13 17:41:35

I don't think there is anything unsuitable about this book, no content to be apprehensive of. Is that what the question means? Beyond that, surely it is up to her. If she picks it up and likes it, then it is suitable, if she doesn't it isn't.

If the question reflects uncertainty about spending money on a book she might not like, then I'd say don't buy it: its an elegant, intriguing sort of book but not exactly an exciting read. A lot of the appeal is in the quiet limpidness of the prose, not usually a hot selling point among eleven year olds.

I never really understand questions about suitability of books for a given age (unless it is an anxiety about disturbing content). Each child is different in abilities and taste and the only proof of the pudding is in the eating.

nkf Wed 11-Sep-13 18:18:23

I don't think Gatsby is unsuitable for an eleven year old. Just wasted on them.

EnjoyEverySandwich Fri 13-Sep-13 22:26:04

I'd let her read anything she fancied. I did at 11, and my mother never banned anything. I read my way through all the James Bond books at that age - my father had died after a long stay in hospital and they had been his hospital reading.

Not recommending those particularly grin just saying that I certainly didn't need children to feature in a book to retain my interest.

She needn't finish a book she isn't enjoying. That's a habit best formed when young, it will save her a lot of wasted time.

exoticfruits Fri 13-Sep-13 22:30:34

I would just let her- I think that she would most likely to give up on it because I agree with nkf. I just had a library ticket at that age and read anything.

Lagoonablue Fri 13-Sep-13 22:33:35

I too read Bond at that age!

Catcher In the Rye and Mocking Bird and Jane Eyre seconded.

I love Gatsby but wouldn't have at 11.

qazxc France Sun 15-Sep-13 14:40:00

If she's keen to read it, let her. There's nothing in there unsuitable really, it's just as others have said that she'll probably find quite dull, but let her find it out for herself.

rosabud Sun 15-Sep-13 23:31:10

I don't fine Gatsby dull, it's one of my favourite books of all time. I don't think an 11 year old would really get it but sometimes, at that age, the rhythm of the language is what captivates rather than the plot etc

Has anyone esle read one of his short stories, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz? I read that at a young age and the style of the writing as well as the imaginative plot embedded itself forever in my consciousness Have not ever managed to meet anyone else who has read it!

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