to have confiscated my six year old's horrible history book

(72 Posts)
Tholeonagain Sat 13-Jun-15 19:19:48

DS, who has just turned six, was given a copy of the Horrible History 'England' book. Lovely, I thought. History is fascinating & I'm keen to encourage his interest in it. I flicked it open to have a quick glance through, expecting to come across a bit of toilet humour. The first paragraph I read, entitled 'deadly dads' was about parents, in AD 6 something or other, eating their own children during a famine. Actually found that pretty traumatic reading myself.. not something I want to put in the hands of my (probably averagely sensitive) six year old! Am I being ott?? Missing something?? What ages are these books aimed at?

AndNowItsSeven Sat 13-Jun-15 19:21:36

Yes I think you are being ott. The books are aimed at approx 7-11 but I think 6 is fine if they are a good reader.

wigglesrock Sat 13-Jun-15 19:25:24

I think you're being a bit over the top - especially if your child enjoys the books and history in general. My 7 year old eats, breathes & sleeps Horrible Histories (along with MLP). I think it's brilliant for her, she's so inquisitive and funny about the period she's reading about.

geckosgirl Sat 13-Jun-15 19:26:50

My just turned 7 Dd who reads all sorts of books has had a few of these books and found some of the content a bit scary and decided to wait until she is a bit bigger to read anymore. She is a sensitive and strangely sensible child though

BestIsWest Sat 13-Jun-15 19:28:03

DD always loved them, grew up loving history so much that she took a degree in it, works in a (sort of) museum and aims to do a PGCE so she can teach history. So they certainly didn't put her off.

ragged Sat 13-Jun-15 19:28:31

Not suitable for under 8s imho, maybe not for under 10s. There's a lot of seriously horrible stuff in there and upset my 8yo, too.

WeirdCatLady Sat 13-Jun-15 19:28:38

If you want your child to go through primary school not reading the (amazing) Horrible Histories books then you'll have to lock them in a cupboard.

YABVU, and a bit precious.

Horrible Histories are aimed at primary aged children and all school libraries will have them.

They are ace. (As are the Horrible Science and Horrible Geography ranges) smile

lordStrange Sat 13-Jun-15 19:30:14

I love the books and the tv series! However, I'm looking at my dd who will be 6 later this year, and I won't be handing her this subject matter then.

As an aside, if he is only just 6 and reading this then he is a really good reader!

LazyLouLou Sat 13-Jun-15 19:31:40

VVU if you haven't spoken to him and asked if he likes the book.

He may not have read it, he may have decided it looked too scary. Or he may absolutely love it and relish the Deadly Dads.

We can't tell you how your son will react... but he can smile

Eigg Sat 13-Jun-15 19:33:53

Well it completely depends on what kind of child you have.

Mine are extremely 'sturdy' and the only thing that bothers them is any kind of 'soppy stuff'.

On the other hand I have a friend whose child is so sensitive that she didn't introduce him to the idea of death until just before he started school.

IME many children are far more accepting of death/torture type scenarios because they don't bring the emotional complexity we do.

I remember my kids watching a Horrible Histories about Nero burning Christians for fun. I was quietly horrified but they were quite unphased.

Was your child bothered by it?

wanderings Sat 13-Jun-15 19:34:02

Doesn't "confiscate" mean to take away as a punishment? wink

But more seriously, before age 6 I was brought up on books about wolves which eat up little pigs (or grandmas), or stepmothers who abandon children in the woods because they can't feed them, or those armed with poisoned combs and apples. And it wasn't that long afterwards (age 7) that I remember a textbook which said: "An arrow struck Harold in the eye. He tore it out, but he was mortally wounded." No detail spared there.

Calzedonia Sat 13-Jun-15 19:35:09

Kids and adults are horrified by different things... most kids would probably just laugh or say 'ewwwww'.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Sat 13-Jun-15 19:36:10

I took this particular book away from ds at the same age. It was for a different part though. Others in the series aren't quite so gruesome.

However, after finding a few historical inaccuracies in them and an overemphasis on the 'horrible' I moved him towards non-fiction history. He enjoys them much more and recognises the horror of events more whereas in the HH series they are more entertainment.

He does read the HH books and watches episodes but as part of a broader spectrum

PerspicaciaTick Sat 13-Jun-15 19:37:22

I suspect that children are bloodthirsty horrors not quite as sensitive as adults like to think.

“It was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 13-Jun-15 19:38:32

Seeing as my 6 yo DD is currently singing along to a horrible histories savage songs special right now I have to say yabu.

Her favourite king is William the Conqueror because he exploded in his coffin. Kids love HH because of all the gross stuff (and so do I).

The HH books have been read and reread by ds and his historical knowledge is brilliant as a result. So the horrible bits left in approach I a winner Imo.

ragged Sat 13-Jun-15 19:44:09

I should warn you about Darren Shan now, OP. DD's teacher offered them up Cirque du Freak in yr4 (sigh).

tiggytape Sat 13-Jun-15 19:52:34

Lovely, I thought. History is fascinating & I'm keen to encourage his interest in it
Yes it is fascinating but much of what makes it so is that it explores the lives of people experiencing often quite dramatic, traumatic or difficult circumstances. The history of crop rotation or castle construction might be mildly interesting on their own but are vastly more engaging in the context of mass starvation and conquering hoards.

The Great Fire of London, plagues of terrible diseases, religious persecution, violent tyrannies, major conflicts, medical advances, lives of the poor are all horrible in their own way but trying to encourage an interest in history minus any upsetting facts is going to be pretty difficult.

tiggytape Sat 13-Jun-15 19:54:11

(hordes even - wretched autocorrect)

FarFromAnyRoad Sat 13-Jun-15 19:58:46

Afraid you're being terribly precious OP. And as a pp observed - you 'confiscated' it? Odd choice of word. Was he reading it under the covers with a torch against your express instruction?

Yabu. My kids have read all the books and it hasn't mentally scarred them. They love it and know so much now...

WyrdByrd Sat 13-Jun-15 20:11:10

I think you're a bit OTT re the content.

I don't buy my DD Terry Deary's books though, simply because he's a wanker.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Sat 13-Jun-15 20:11:12

Well customs confiscate goods not through punishment but due to the nature of the object. I guess op is using the word in that sense.

Tholeonagain Sat 13-Jun-15 20:13:55

Ok I didn't confiscate it. Apologies. I just took it away. He hasn't read it yet. But starving parents eating their own children? For a six year old? Really?? I have a history degree & am not innocent about our past but I found that particular nugget - the first bit of the book I read - pretty disturbing.

Foxesinmygarden Sat 13-Jun-15 20:17:12

My DD absolutely loved them all from around this age. She was pretty bloodthirsty though ! To be honest I think that while you know your child best, you should let them chose what they want to read. The only books I censored were either completely age inappropriate or really really irritating (with fairies). One of the joys of reading is discovering something yourself .....

theendoftheendoftheend Sat 13-Jun-15 20:17:44

No personally I wouldn't want my 6 yr old reading about parents eating their children, I don't know if it would bother her or not though.

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