I'm currently working on the dissertation for my MA in Publishing and was hoping to get feedback from parents. I'm researching whether or not young adult books should have advisories for mature or explicit content.
I've created a short survey and would love to hear any opinions on the topic, either as discussion on here or as a response to the survey:
I don't like the idea of an age advisory as reading ability and maturity mean that one 13 year old can cope with a book that perhaps another 13 year old can't. Also a book with an age advisory of 13+ will, from experience, tend to put off a 15 year old who thinks the book is too young for them when this is not necessarily the case. So if when you say advisories for mature or explicit content you mean a symbol which indicates there is mature or explicit content without age banding it then yes it might be helpful but I have reservations as to what the interpretation of mature content would be and who would define it.
I'm firmly on the fence with this one - from my own experience, my parents (who were both teachers) allowed me to read anything and everything I wanted to read, and never ever censored my reading material. I think they figured I would either like it, or if it was "too old" or beyond me, I would get bored/not understand and give up. Now I have my own five children, I find myself thinking over whether I want(ed) them to read a particular book or not. I have taken one or two Jacqueline WIlson books away from DD as being ago innapropriate, when she's received them as gifts, and once or twice told one of the children that such and such a book was more "for grown ups" and that they should leave it for a while. I have always given them my reasons for saying this and so far none of them have disputed me J Wilson is a good example to use for this discussion - lots of people have heard of her, she is a bestseller, and is very popular and well known, and I think that people who maybe don't read a lot themselves, but have to buy a gift for a "bookworm" or who are trying to encourage a child to read more, might well be led to buy her books without actually realising what the subject matter is. Some of her books are suitable to everyone from a young reader, but others deal with much more serious issues, and are aimed at older readers. Without having actually read them, there isn't any way to tell, so some kind of label might well be helpful. Years ago there was a publisher who did different colours of "thingy" logo on their books - my memory is saying it was a dragon? there were green ones and blue ones that I recall and some where for slightly older readers than the others were aimed at. Sorry to be vague - someone must remember them? (Was it Griffin Books maybe? or Knight Books? I will have a look at all my old childhood favourites and see if there are any in there - I have loads of my old books carefully stashed in the hopes my DCs will love them like I do one day )