To be upset DD has been allowed to get this book from the school library?(51 Posts)
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,
Was your daughter upset about the content? It sounds as though it was thought provoking in as much as she came to you to ask questions about what she had read and I have to be honest, that sounds like the perfect reading scenario to me, but if you are concerned then maybe mention it to the school and ensure that you check what she's reading whenever she gets a new book.
I would have founded you very frustrating when I was a DC SilentMammoth- I was a real book worm and my mother wouldn't have read fast enough for me, and would never have managed to read her own books! I read my way through the library.
Sedatives, I bought illustrated mum for dd1, read it first and was in floods, and I'm 32!
Dd1 can read it when shes older.
I'm with you op.
I'm actually a jw fan, shes not patronising and a great writer. That said, she deals with some enormously tough subjects that I'm not ok with my seven yo dd reading. That is why I read all her books first and have asked her teacher not to let her take jw books home (she was fine with that btw)
Advanced readers need books for older children. All children need their parents to teach them right from wrong and provide boundaries and a moral framework. That means they can deal with stuff that is a little more sophisticated than we might like. DD read Atonement at 12; she thoroughly enjoyed it. She was also aware of what was wrong in it.
She read the first two chapters of 50 shades of grey at 13 and told me it was utter crap because it was so badly written so not to bother with it.
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.
^ ^ this, I didnt censor books when dd was younger she was really enjoyed reading but I do think certain books are not for all children , JW as said before does really tough subjects sometimes but they always come good in the end,
I dont see a problem tbh. And yes I've read the book. This could be a good time to discuss things such as peer pressure, bullying etc with your DD. These things seem to affect children younger and younger these days.
That said, while I like Jaquline Wilson and really loved her books when I was a kid I do think a few of her books should possbily be read first by the parent before letting your DC read them due to the upsetting the content in some. The Illustrated Mum for example, had me in tears and I wasnt exactly little when I read it (about 13 infact).
Our local, small, (380ish pupils) village primary school does not have the staff available to cover library. So parent volunteers do it. I am one of them, and I have 3 classes (85 children) to escort from their class, get their books returned and new ones checked out, and escorted back safely, in just under 2 hours. I don't have the time to carefully analyse each and every one of their choices!!! If the parents didn't help out, the kids simply wouldn't get any library time, and I know for some kids this is the only time they get to a library at all, and get to choose a book for fun.
The library does have younger kids books in one area of lower "boxes" (appropriate for P1 and 2, age 5-6) and the rest on the shelves so if a younger one wanted to take out a more mature book, I would spot it and redirect them back to their section. If a 7 year old wanted a very complicated science text I would probably try to help them find something on the topic in a more appropriate text. but if a 7-8 year old wanted a JW book well, then it's their choice but I agree, the covers dont help. I wasnt, until this thread, aware the content was so controversial. Our system is so ancient I don't think it has a facility to restrict books to certain classes.
OP what are the circumstances of your school library? If they are anything like us, then I think yabu a bit. In some schools the library is very underused, or closed, at least your child is getting books.
I think my eldest daughter read that, and similar JW books, at that age. But I put them away when my younger daughter started to read as she is more sensitive.
My 6 yr old has come home with a Skate School book which seems to be recommended for 10+. So far, there seems to be a fair amount of references to romance and crushes and being an "item" with someone - which, I am hoping, is waaay over her head. <crosses fingers>
But then I vividly remember trying to take "Hello God, Are You There, Its ME Margaret" out of the school library at about age 7 and the librarian called my Mother to ask if it was OK. Mum said yes, relying on most of it being mostly incomprehensible to me - which it was.
Tbh, I have less of an issue with her reading books for older kids than I do with her watching TV or films that are beyond her age range. In a way, the impact of her reading is limited by her imagination & own experiences whereas stuff she sees could be much more explicit.
Umm yabu. Never censor reading - used to worry as you do with my pfb. It soon became clear that, if something was too old/ they couldn't really cope with the story/ it's was too adult, they'd stop and read something else.
The important thing seemed to be not to start " you've not read that , read some more" type
However I did pay attention to film/ game certificate - easy to get sucked into something you can't cope with and can't escape from there.
I have read all JW's books. I have my own issues with some of them but that's largely down to the fact she is repeating characters/stories endlessly. 'Bad Girls' is (imo) one of the better ones. None of the characters are perfect and no one is an out and out 'baddie' either.
I was bullied at school and it was nice to read of others going through the same thing!
I haven't read the book in years. Yes there is shoplifting but the girl that does it gets caught and suffers the consequences, such as being arrested, removed from her family home.
I don't really see the problem either.
I don't think the library have done anything wrong either - my DDs read this at round about that age, it certainly prompted some discussion, but I agree with the posters who say that JW has a strong moral voice in her writing.
Jacqueline Wilson books are controversial, so you are not alone in feeling like this. I do understand where you are coming from, I have boys and I have been shocked and quite unhappy about the amount of violence there can be in books aimed at children.
Personally, I think that as your dd is talking to you about what she had read, then it's not really a bad thing, or something you should worry too much about. The stories are introduced in a 'safe' way, and it's better for your dd to be able to think about what happens in the big wide world now while she is still young enough to be under more influence from you than from anyone else. It won't do your dd any harm, because she has you to talk to about what she is reading.
If most school libraries are like my DS's school (v small primary), then they will have a computer system of checking books in and out. It's quite a simple matter to allow books to certain year groups only, so it's probably worth mentioning your concerns to the head. I know we have several books (I help out in the library btw) by Jacqueline Wilson which are for the older readers.
Bad Girls isn't part of the 'girls' trilogy, which is indeed aimed at an older readership. It's a standalone story which, as I remember from the dds reading it, doesn't have anything in it to worry about.
I think YABU, it's fine for a seven year old.
DD has been reading JW since 7 yrs. In our library they are in the older kids section if appropriate but I have gotten dd some of the older ones on audio and listened to them with her. My local librarian reckons that a lot of the stuff READ goes over kids heads if it is not familiar. Certainly my dd has asked me about the stuff she doesn't understand (given she comes from a very sheltered life this is a lot of JW's subjest matter) and I figure it's a good way to introduce different "lifestyles" to her. In my opinion this works for us but plenty of her friends otherwise open-minded parents will not let their 9/10 year olds read JW at all! Each to their own, I check most of my dd's library books - even reading some of them but certainly reading blurbs and reviews - before she reads them.
FlickSticks Obviously you know your child best. It's about knowing what she can handle. Evidently at 7 you think she can't. Many can.
Library have done nothing wrong.
I agree MadInfoScientist. You can't put an age on it. Some 9 year olds will be be reading Dickens and some will be on Enid Blyton.
I am a primary school librarian, PhD student, and another who doesn't believe in censorship. I know the students and the books well enough to have a word with a child who may be too sensitive for certain books, but we don't stock anything that is unsuitable for the entire range of primary school...and that includes a full shelf of Jacqueline Wilson My view is: if you are raising your children properly, then a book won't 'undo' their moral fibre. letting kids read books that deal with sensitive material can be a perfect, teachable moment for parents...it can be a way to talk about unsavoury things that actually happen in the world. I was never forbidden by my parents to read anything, and I probably read my share of 'unsuitable' material at a young age. I turned out fine and I have the same attitude toward my DCs who are 6 and 5.
It would be ok if she was older, I just think 7 is way too young, she has the rest of her life for negative crap
Bad Girls is for about age 10+. I would raise a small complaint about more suitable choices in future, thanks.
It is a good way to introduce some of those concepts to your Dd and discuss them with you when you still have so much influence over what opinions she forms about them.
I didn't have a great start in life (cue violins) and was allowed to watch and read whatever I liked... It did affect me, I thought the naughty characters were cool, funny & exiting. I am terrified of my DD having the same experiences as me and therefore am keen to keep her reading, TV watching etc at what I consider an age appropriate level, i.e. not full of negative aggressive behaviour. I realise she will come up against this in real life, but IMO why does she then have to read about it and watch it too? She understands that bullying, slapping, abusive language and stealing is wrong, she doesn't need to be entertained with stories of it.
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