to wonder if Jacqueline Wilson books arevsuitable for my 8 year old?

(28 Posts)
mincebloodypie Sat 16-Jan-16 15:05:55

DD is 8 and a half and loves books. She has been reading the JW book "Katy", which seems fine

We went to the library today, and then visited PILs. Stupidly, I didn't really look at what books she got out, until she started reading one at PILs. It was Bad Girls, which I vaguely remembered reading myself. Had a look through it- sex, suicide and shoplifting are all mentioned. The protagonist is aged 10.

I'm not sure what to do now. I really don't like the idea of banning a book she has started to read. My mum used to do it to me, while making a huge fuss about it being inappropriate, and all it did was piss me off to the extent that I sneaked my dad's James Herberts age 12. Forbidden fruit and all that

On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable letting my child read a book where topics like that are even touched on. It's all very far removed from her world at the minute. Chances are that the references will go right over her head though.

What should I do?

LemonySmithit Sat 16-Jan-16 15:11:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bornwithaplasticspoon Sat 16-Jan-16 15:14:02

Sleepover, Cliffhanger and Best Friends are among those that are suitable for an 8 year old. Most of her books are 11+ I would say

StellaAlpina Sat 16-Jan-16 15:20:18

I used to love Jaqueline Wilson, some of her stories are suitable for an eight year old lots I'd say are more suited for tweets/early teens.

My favourites were the suitcase kid and the illustrated mum. Not sure what ages I first read them at.

I think her website gives age guides.

mincebloodypie Sat 16-Jan-16 15:22:00

She got Hetty Feather and Opal Plumstead from the library too. We watched the CBBC series and loved it.

I think I will return Bad Girls. There has been suicides in our own family and i don't think we are ready to have that chat yet

CantWaitforWarmWeather Sat 16-Jan-16 15:22:50

We read The Suitcase Kid at school when I was about 9. I enjoyed it! smile

CantWaitforWarmWeather Sat 16-Jan-16 15:26:04

And when I was about 12/13 I LOVED:
Girls out Late/Girls in Love/Girls under Pressure and then she wrote a later one called Girls in Tears which I loved.

In fact when I was 13 I read a novel for teenagers about a girl having an affair with her teacher blush

LemonySmithit Sat 16-Jan-16 15:30:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

queenoftheworld93 Sat 16-Jan-16 15:30:41

Bad Girls is a funny one. There are no overt references to sex, but the shoplifting is a major part of the plot. It's essentially about a 10yo who makes friends with an older girl in foster care who is a bad influence. It's dealt with very well. I would let an 8yo read it but it depends on the maturity of the child.

The girls out... Series is way beyond an 8yo though. Also, some of the books aimed at the younger readers deal with sensitive subjects (domestic abuse, parents with mental illness self-harming etc) so it's not just a case of letting her read the ones aimed at young children, I think you need to decide what is suitable for your child in question.

mincebloodypie Sat 16-Jan-16 15:34:47

Queen, I agree. I actually liked some of what I read in Bad Girls. I think DD would get a lot out of the bullying subplot, that was dealt with well. But then there is the shoplifting thing etc....another year or two for that

Vaginaaa Sat 16-Jan-16 15:35:46

Argh, Love Lessons drives me mad. The ending with the headteacher basically blaming the girl for it all. JW should have at least put some sort of explanation at the back so teenagers reading it would know that it's actually grooming and abuse and that they wouldn't be blamed by adults if they disclosed something like that in real life. Reading that book put me off JW big time.

Wardrobespierre Sat 16-Jan-16 15:42:35

Completely agree Vagina. It's grooming and the blame is firmly placed at the protagonist's door. Didn't she get expelled and the teacher get away with it?

Vaginaaa Sat 16-Jan-16 15:46:27

Yep, she got expelled and he got off with no blame. She got a nice little lecture about her bad behaviour re chasing the teacher from the head teacher too.

Wardrobespierre Sat 16-Jan-16 16:05:13

Thought so. Made me SO cross. She had shitty parents iirc, was groomed, blamed and the poor teacher who'd been powerless to resist her, carried on teaching children. I destroyed the book. And I'm a librarian.

queenoftheworld93 Sat 16-Jan-16 16:27:03

I seem to remember hating Love Lessons too actually. Most of her other books are really well thought out though.

The Suitcase Kid was really great for me as a kid when my parents were divorcing.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 16-Jan-16 17:13:17

I've made a mistake with jw I think. Dd, 6, read the sleepover to her sister,4. All fine, and they loved it. I thought all of her books were of a similar ilk, and now I'm reading little darlings to them both and regretting it, I'm having to miss words out here and there but can't stop now, we're mid way through. :/(

Vaginaaa Sat 16-Jan-16 17:23:11

Oh, I forgot about Little Darlings. That one has a bit of a crap ending too and not a very positive message.

Her more recent books seem to have no resolution and get left on quite depressing notes. There was one more recently where the kids are left alone by the single mum who goes off on holiday. The kids camp in the park and it ends with them in foster care with the mum promising to get them back. It just seems like she ends the stories before they've actually ended and parents won't know that these books have quite sensitive topics unless they read the books themselves so won't know to explain or talk through these issues to their kids.

She used to be so good with the kind of topics she writes about and it's like she ran out of ideas or something.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 16-Jan-16 17:27:37

Shit.
I'll have to accidentally lose the book i think.

Vaginaaa Sat 16-Jan-16 17:33:42

It's not as bad as the Love Lessons or that one whose title I can remember books so might be okay?

It basically ends with the celeb dad finally acknowledging Destiny is his child but only because they need her for a tv show about celebrity children to revive his career (because none of his other kids have a talent and she can sing). It ends with the cameras filming the moment they meet properly for the first time with the dad hamming it up for the cameras saying something along the lines of he's always waited for that moment. So I suppose if children don't notice the part where he's only bothering because he needs her for his job, it might be a happy ending?

CantWaitforWarmWeather Sat 16-Jan-16 17:46:29

The book Love Lessons that I read was by a different author called David Belbin.
I had a crush on my teacher at the time and I was hooked.

otterlylovely Sat 16-Jan-16 17:49:24

The are two Love Lessons, both dealing with the same subject matter though. The David Belbin one is odd, but then pretty much all his literature is - really detached in tone. The JW one - well, I just don't know what she was thinking!

That said, the suicide in Bad Girls is briefly mentioned in passing. I understand the caution, but I think it could well be a gentler way in than perhaps some other texts flowers

Vanderwaals Sat 16-Jan-16 18:02:33

When I was younger I found some of her books quite disturbing. But I was a sensitive child.
But some are good. Tracy beaker. Double act. Lottie project.
Don't read the cat mummy if you like cats 😭

Theselittlelights Sat 16-Jan-16 18:12:04

Dustbin baby made me cry blush

mincebloodypie Sat 16-Jan-16 18:17:06

Oh God, the Cat Mummy

Not JW, but there is a book in a similar vein called Water Wings, and it traumatised me!

I was a huge bookworm as a child, and while reading continues to be one of the loves of my life, as a parent I'm not sure devouring books to that extent is always healthy. Sometimes it means you live too much in your head iykwim? So I'm trying to strike a balance with DD. I want her to love reading, but I want her to come to me with questions, not look for the answers in a book.

Anyway, I digress. That is why I'm being a bit fussy with JW

CantWaitforWarmWeather Sat 16-Jan-16 18:18:17

ITV also did a TV series of Girls in Love which I loved too.

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