Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To be upset DD has been allowed to get this book from the school library?

(51 Posts)
FlickSticks Sat 02-Feb-13 17:00:04

DD who is 7 has just finished a book she got from the school library called 'Bad Girls' by Jaqueline Wilson. She asked me what shoplifting was and said she had read about it in her book. I read a bit of it and it was bullying, people slapping each other in the face, shoplifting and calling each other 'silly cow'.

I'm really upset by this, I think it's an inappropriate book for her age. I trusted that the school wouldn't let them get books out which were meant for older children,

AIBU?

mrsjay Sat 02-Feb-13 17:04:21

erm I don't know my dd loved jacqueline wilson books but they seemed to be in the older section of the school library over 8s. maybe read the book to the end to see how it turns out, it is a shame she has been allowed to get a book you don't approve of as she is a fab childrens author and she doesn't patronise children, maybe contact the school and say you think she is too young to be reading it, but dont let it put you off in a few years to let her read them,

i read this book when i was quite young, i'm failing to see the problem?

the thing is, if your DD is an advanced reader, she'll have to read books aimed at older ages because the ones for her age will be too easy & boring. (which may put her off reading)

YorkshireDeb Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:41

If I were you I'd mention the content & your concerns to the school. It is reasonable to expect them to send age appropriate books home but not to expect them to have read every book in the library from cover to cover to make this judgement. We buy books from children's booksellers who sometimes advise on age - but have unknowingly stocked a book in the library with mild swear words & another which talked about boobs. Once parents alerted us to this we removed them from the library. X

I can't really see the problem tbh. Surely your dd knows about bullying, slapping and what shoplifting is? Was the book encouraging that sort of behaviour?

I can't really see the problem tbh. Surely your dd knows about bullying, slapping and what shoplifting is? Was the book encouraging that sort of behaviour?

Hassled Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:57

They're quite edgy books - deal with some contraversial stuff, etc - but flick to the end - I'm sure justice prevails. People learn the error of their ways/have appropriate punishments etc. I agree that 7 is probably too young.

ILoveTIFFANY Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:11

It's a library... How can they censor which books are taken?

mrsjay Sat 02-Feb-13 17:08:45

t's a library... How can they censor which books are taken?

well school libraries usually have an age section dont they,

ILoveTIFFANY Sat 02-Feb-13 17:10:43

And did they?

Also, just looked it up on amazon and it says it's the reading age group of 4-8.... Not sure that they got that right

socharlotte Sat 02-Feb-13 17:20:01

Why didn't you take it off her before she finished it if you are so opposed?
Surely at 7 she has come across the term 'shop lifting' before. There are 'shoplifters will be prosecuted' signs up in many many stores.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 17:25:27

As a child the best thing about a library was free choice.

SweetTeaVodka Sat 02-Feb-13 17:27:02

I read Bad Girls myself when it first came out - if I recall it's one of the Jacqueline Wilson books aimed at the slightly older end of her readership, more of a 'pre-teen' age range? All Jacqueline Wilson books tend to cover slightly controversial or edgy topics though.

While I can see that you may be upset at your daughter being exposed to the concepts of shoplifting, bullying etc and her realising that the world perhaps isn't always kind, I think our instincts to protect kids from this reality isn't always necessary, and they are often better at coping with such ideas than we give them credit for.

I don't believe in libraries censoring access to books either. Yes, they have books organised into age ranges, but these are guidelines rather than rules. I was a prolific reader as a child, and started reading 'adult' novels when I started secondary school. I still recall the first - River God by Wilbur Smith. My mum is also a big reader and used to read most of the books I brought home and vice versa, and we discussed them.

Rest assured that from my memory of the book, Bad Girls does not portray shoplifting or bullying in a good light. You could use this book as a point to discuss these issues with your daughter - chances are she was already aware of such things.

cory Sat 02-Feb-13 17:28:10

Jacqueline Wilson's books treat difficult subjects in a highly moral way, never failing to show that letting yourself be led by your mates (which is what happens in this book iirc) is bad and can get you into trouble. Imo you can't get further from encouraging bad behaviour than this book.

It won't do her any harm to read about difficult issues and bad behaviour when the book is one by a good author who understands children. Fairy tales, after all, include murder, maiming, kidnap, theft, assault...

Virgil Sat 02-Feb-13 17:31:10

Talk to the school if you are concerned but as others have said, if she's reading more advanced books than expected at her age then this will happen.

We had two "situations" when DS1 was six and a very strong reader. The first book was about to give away the whole tooth fairy thing (fortunately I was reading ahead ) and in the second the main characters entire family was massacred (Michael morpurgo - good books but have to choose carefully for this age group). I just alerted school to both and they put them to one side.

The thing with Wilson's books is, they are written for very different age groups, some for quite young children and some are most definitely for teenagers, and yet all the covers and blurbs and illustrations are in the same style, so it's impossible to tell which is which without actually reading the whole book.
I daresay it's not so very unreasonable to expect a school librarian to know what's in them all, but it really depends on how big the school (and library) are and if there is an actual dedicated librarian, or if it's just each class teacher or even some of the older children doing library duty instead.
Perhaps a word to the school just to say that you realise it is a JW book and so on, but that you felt this particular one wasn't suitable for a 7 yr old.
A lot of people seem to buy them for gifts and things too, and just sort of assume that because it's by JW it's a children's book and will be suitable, and unfortunately they aren't necessarily so. (Enid Blyton she isn't !)

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 02-Feb-13 17:34:22

It's the first in a trilogy about a group of teenage girls. There're aimed at teenagers. I read them in my early teens and don't think they are suitable for a 7 year old.

There are plenty of other books by Wilson which are far more suitable,I remember loving one about twin sisters.

YANBU OP.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 17:35:40

There is nothing that makes a book more desirable than your mother not liking it!

OkayHazel Sat 02-Feb-13 17:35:51

You might be upset, but actually the Girls series by Wilson are incredibly realistic, and the slapping and 'silly cow' stuff, whilst foreign to your DD, is reality for many 7 year olds. Sad but true.

She's obviously intelligent enough to process complex ideas. Give her more credit. Reading about bad behaviour is just as, if not more, educational.

YANBU. It's great OP that your DD has a reading age above her actual age. But the school imo should give her some guidance to choose a book suitable for your chronological age.

My 14 yo DD won't read Jacqueline Wilson as she says all her books are too depressing.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 02-Feb-13 17:41:32

I think YABU to be upset really, it is probably aimed at slightly older children, but it's not like she was given 'Forever' by Judy Blume or something that is wildly inappropriate for her age.

My 7 year old has read it and has suffered no ill effects that I can see.

Myabe you should take more interest in what she reads? She didn't read it all at school did she? The teacher has 30 kids to supervise and can't check every book that they choose. You have (I imagine) fewer than 30 children, you check what your DD is reading.

bruffin Sat 02-Feb-13 17:44:05

Bad girls age advice is 9-12

My 10yr old DD is the lunchtime librarian at her school and doesn't check what books other DC pick she only wanted the job for the cool badge

RubyGates Sat 02-Feb-13 17:55:09

I'm a children's librarian. I don't censor what children read. If I'm concerned about a choice I might mention it to a parent if I know them to be a balanced a sensible individual, but otherwise free-reading is how many children get a glimpse of the real world that is denied to them by over-protective parents.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now