Terry Pratchett - suitable for a 10-yr old?

(34 Posts)
florenceuk Mon 28-Nov-11 13:26:12

DS (10) loves Terry Pratchett. He has read all the kid's books and is now wanting to move onto the Discworld novels. Has anybody actually read these books (I have never touched one) - is there anything "unsuitable" in any of them? They look harmless enough to me. DS fairly oblivious to most relationship stuff (he refers to it as "marrying"), so mild innuendo probably OK!

I've read them, though not thinking in terms of suitability for 10yo so I can't guarantee there's nothing there, but they're definitely not explicit. About the worst I can think of is very mild references to the fact that prostitution exists, but even those sorts of issues are done by innuendo and nothing worse.

So I'd say safe!

MsMarple Mon 28-Nov-11 13:37:01

The only one that struck me right out as unsuitable for younger children was actually one of the ones I presumed was aimed at younger readers: 'I Shall Wear Midnight' the last of the Tiffany Aching books.

As far as I can remember there is a young teenage girl who is pregnant. Her father beats her and she has a miscarriage. I thought at the time I read it that it was a bit darker than usual - probably reflecting that Tiffany herself is 16 in the book and the realities of life as the local witch aren't always pleasant - but that it should come with some kind of age warning as most of his other adult books I would happily have read as a 10 year old.

CMOTdibbler Mon 28-Nov-11 13:37:20

Totally safe - any references are very oblique

ImpYCelyn Mon 28-Nov-11 13:38:11

I would say they are suitable, there's a little bit of innuendo, but they are mostly harmless.

The only thing that might pass him by is that there are so many subtle and not so subtle references to other books and films in whichever genre best suits that book.

I wouldn't start with the first two, they're not the best.

Probably the books with the Watch or Death would be the best place to start. Guards! Guards! is the first watch one, and although Death is in pretty much every book I think Mort is the first one where he stars.

Also the Hogfather would be nice and seasonal.

florenceuk Mon 28-Nov-11 13:38:34

Thanks now I just need to find somewhere cheap to buy a few for Xmas - do they need to be read in order???

ImpYCelyn Mon 28-Nov-11 13:41:45

No, although if you want to pick a story arc it works quite well to read that in order.

here is the reading order guide though.

Do you have a kindle? I could send you lots of them if you do.

Snorbs Mon 28-Nov-11 13:50:46

There are a few milder swear words used very infrequently (eg, "bugger") but I'd have no real qualms about a 10yo reading them. I'd avoid The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic but that's mainly because they're the first ones he wrote and they're simply not very good compared to the later ones IMO.

If your DS has already the Tiffany Aching books (^Wee Free Men^, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight^) then it would make sense to go on to more of the Discworld witches books such as ^Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad etc. If not, something like Mort might be a good starting point. The wikipedia article here gives a guide as to which books fit into which series.

this link to amazon tells you the different sets of books - you'd be better off getting him the first one(s) in a series, as the plots will make more sense that way.

Honeydragon Mon 28-Nov-11 13:54:57

I started reading Terry Prattchett at age 10 (WYrd Sisters was my first) and have been utterly hooked ever since).

florenceuk Mon 28-Nov-11 13:59:12

No don't have kindle but can I pick them up on Dh's ipad? That poster guide is great!

Mind you, they don't seem to be discounted much on Amazon surely somebody would have produced an omnibus set there are gazillions of them.

Tmesis Mon 28-Nov-11 14:02:08

The main issue with The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic is that they were written as parodies of other fantasy novels/series, and it only appeared to be part way through TLF that it occurred to him that he could actually write his own decent books set in that universe. It does annoy me when people start with TCOM and decide they don't like Discworld based on that; for one thing, it doesn't even work as a parody if you haven't read most of the things he's parodying.

OP, I would say that I Shall Wear Midnight has far more "adult" themes (the plot strand involving Amber and her father) than any of the officially adult Pratchetts , so if he's read that already there's certainly nothing for you to worry about with the rest.

RustyBear Mon 28-Nov-11 14:17:21

You can get the Watch series as a set on Amazon, I nearly got it during Black Friday week

Also a Death set and a Tiffany Aching set

Snorbs Mon 28-Nov-11 14:40:14

You can get a Kindle app for the iPad but I'd go for a paper book given the circumstances.

florenceuk Mon 28-Nov-11 16:13:52

Mm it's not that I wouldn't worry it's just that he's read it now so any damage is already done!

Thanks everyone, I think the witches series might be a good start (or is Mort a really fun character).

ImpYCelyn Mon 28-Nov-11 16:22:10

The witches are probably more fun than Mort.

PapaDelta Tue 29-Nov-11 07:23:23

If he likes football, "Unseen Academicals" might be good for him, but I'd suggest starting with one of the early ones. "Equal Rites" is a personal favourite. Absolutely fine for a 10 year old.

wonderfultykes Tue 29-Nov-11 09:07:47

I'd proceed with great caution. DS,9, has truckers series which he thought were fine, but then started on something else (sorry don't know which, have thrown it away) which he said had the 'c' word in. And not the one that ends in a 'p'. He was disgusted and stopped reading it, but by then it was too late, wasn't it. I was horrified.

Tmesis Tue 29-Nov-11 09:27:24

I really can't think of any Pratchett books that go further than "buggrit" or "bloody". Did you check the book for yourself? Do you remember anything about it (e.g. what it was about)?

seeker Tue 29-Nov-11 09:32:41

"I'd proceed with great caution. DS,9, has truckers series which he thought were fine, but then started on something else (sorry don't know which, have thrown it away) which he said had the 'c' word in. And not the one that ends in a 'p'. He was disgusted and stopped reading it, but by then it was too late, wasn't it. I was horrified."

You were horrified that the word "cunt" appeared in a novel intended for adults? And your ds was disgusted? What a sheltered life you both lead!

seeker Tue 29-Nov-11 09:34:06

But anyway I don't think it can hqve been TP- I would be very surprised if he used the word.

I can't say categorically that the word "cunt" couldn't possibly occur in any Terry Pratchett book - they are aimed at an adult readership, and TP does make use of the English language in all its richness and variety.

But if the word is in there, it will be there for a reason, and not used in a context where I'd consider it to be disgusting or gratuitous. By 9 or 10 most children will have met all kinds of words - in fact nobody is going to be disgusted by that word unless they know what it means already.

Of course I'd always suggest DC feel able to put down any book they feel uncomfortable about - DS picked up all sorts of "adventure" books at car boots when he was able to read well beyond childrens books, but wasn't ready for some of the "themes" he found in them. He simply stopped reading and handed things back to me if he didn't feel they were appropriate.

I'd think the more likely problem is that he may not get all the references, but I don't think that should stop him enjoying the books. There are some that take a poke at things like the press or the film industry, and I think you get more out of them as an adult because you recognise concepts like the difference between tabloids and broadsheets, or that a chunk of plot comes straight out of King Kong, but I don't think those concepts are necessary to find them fun.

Honeydragon Tue 29-Nov-11 21:00:46

I can say that that word is not in ANY discworld books. Cant say as to whether its in Strata or dark side of the sun as its a VERY long time since I read them.

droves Tue 29-Nov-11 21:12:52

Thud is a good one ! ....its a watch one , is about the dwarf/troll war .

ImpYCelyn Tue 29-Nov-11 21:13:03

I can't think of a single discworld book with the C word in it.

Good Omens maybe? But I don't think even Crawley would use language like that.

He might have used it as a joke, I suppose, i.e. a character says it by mistake instead of another word... but I really can't imagine it.

Anyway, it's a book for adults, so I wouldn't be horrified to find it there.

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