Jacqueline Wilson for a 6 yr old?

(44 Posts)
lovecheese Tue 06-Apr-10 16:38:15

DD aged 6.2 is currently reading "best Friends" by Jacqueline Wilson and is enjoying and following it. Do others think it is suitable/unsuitable for someone of her age? She picked it herself, incidentally from the 9-12 fiction shelf at Waterstones. hmm

Fennel Tue 06-Apr-10 16:46:07

there are some young JWs which are Ok for 6yos. Cliffhanger. Glubbslyme. Lizzie Zipmouth.

Some of the others are too old. My dds (8 and 10) have read quite a few of them but are still avoiding the teenage ones which have more about sex and relationships. the younger ones tend to be about friendship, coping with family problems, etc.

madamehooch Wed 07-Apr-10 07:54:49

'Sleepovers' is probably the best JW book for younger readers.

If she likes 'real life' books, then try her on Judy Moody or the Ramona books, the content of which are geared towards that age group.

lovecheese Wed 07-Apr-10 08:51:07

Thanks both, will obviously avoid the older JW books; DD1 has the Judy Moody books, will steer her there next.

seeker Wed 07-Apr-10 08:57:31

No. Absolutely not. Never let a 6 year old read a JW unless you have read it yourself first. You might still think it's OK for her to read, but you will be armed to talk about it with her afterwards.

Hilary MacKay is a good altenative "family problems" type writer without the domestic violence and incest.

lovecheese Wed 07-Apr-10 09:17:52

Really seeker? "Best Friends" is about 2 friends split up when one moves away, surely that can't be harmful?

I was not chuffed when my 6yo dd brought Tracy Beaker home as her reading book last year. In fact, fr the first time ever we did not read the book together. She is too young and there is masses of material out there which challenges her reading skills without exposing her to unnecessarily grown-up themes.

Fennel Wed 07-Apr-10 09:22:15

my dds have read abou 15 or so JWs and so far we haven't come across any domestic violence or incest. More of the family breakdown/friendship problems stuff. dealing with a new stepdad. coping with a family member dying. These things do happen to 6yos, some to mine and some to their friends, so I don't see them as unsuitable topics for reading about.

[goes off to check the incest possibility...]

lovecheese Wed 07-Apr-10 09:27:34

Absolutely Fennel, these things do happen, unfortunately we do not live in a rose-tinted Enid Blyton world.

LIZS Wed 07-Apr-10 09:27:51

dd is 8 and has had some out of the school library that I felt were a bit "old" for her age. One was The Catmummy , another about the Worry Website (?), the 3rd seemed thankfully more age appropriate. These were all available to Year 3 up hmm and she has a reading age well above her actual age so I can see the attraction.

hana Wed 07-Apr-10 09:27:59

am not a fan at all of JW books - my 8 year old dd has been capable of reading her books for a few years now but I don't think they are at all appropriate for younger (but good) readers - and trouble is, if they start reading some of the 'appropriate' ones, they might grab others from school library for example when you can't say no.

there are so many other great books out there like Beverly Cleary, Enid Blyton, umm umm The Worst Witch series, Little House Books (I'd have to go up and check in dd's rooms for others ) but there are much better books for girls that age. imo

seeker Wed 07-Apr-10 09:33:13

I'm not saying they shouldn't read them, I'm just saying that a parent should read them too. And that some of them are meant for young teenagers,a nd there are more age appropriate books about the same subjects for 6 year olds.

Just because a child can read a book doesn't mean that they necessarily should. I'm always puzzled that people can be very strict about the age ratings of films their children watch but feel very differently about books. It's very easy to internalize and worry about something you have read alone in your bedroom before you go to sleep.

Hulababy Wed 07-Apr-10 09:33:24

I don't like them. DD is 8y and can read the books no problem, but the themes and content are just nothing she can relate to. She got a new one for her borthday last week called something like Little Darlings, but irst chapter is about mum going to get her social and mum's partner slapping her about. This is not something DD understands, so the amount of explaining required from me to put any of it in context is too much at this stage. There are so many other books for her to chose from - have put this one away for a couple of years I think.

Fennel Wed 07-Apr-10 14:45:44

So much literature takes a bit of explaining though, that's partly why I like it. It takes you to new and different worlds. Which might include a world where some people are on benefits or experience difficult family situations. Most of my favourite books do this. Death and family breakdown and poverty, perhaps with a bit of violence included, they're the stuff of a lot of classic fiction. Theme-wise, it's just a short step from JW to Dickens to Dostoyevsky....

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 07-Apr-10 14:54:24

Jacqueline Wilson is definitely an author I'd read myself before allowing my DC to read it.

There are a lot of themes which arise which I would want to be prepared to discuss with my DC when they read it.

I wouldn't let them read any of it at six, to be honest, but I realise that other people wouldn't have a problem with it.

Hulababy Wed 07-Apr-10 19:43:15

I am just not convinced that an 8yo, let alone a 6yo, needs to read about domestic violence when there are so many other books out there for them.

Yes, it happens to some children and is their reality but it is not, fortunately, part of my DD's world and I hope never will be. So I think that there is still a lot of time ahead yet where she doesn't need to become that aware of it. I reckon an 8yo should be allowed, wherever possible, to retain their childhood innocence.

morningpaper Wed 07-Apr-10 19:46:18

I don't like these either

I assume she's done the Fairies range? hmm

Try Judy Blume's 'Fudge' series - much cheerier

mrsruffallo Wed 07-Apr-10 19:50:41

DD enjoyed the worst witch series at this age ...or Charlie Bone, they are good too.
I wouldn't let mine read Jacqueline Wilson, I prefer myths and classics. I don't even like them watching Horrid Henry.

pointydog Wed 07-Apr-10 19:56:28

JW books are not all about domesetic violence. Mark Spark in teh Dark is a lovely book for young readers. Cliffhanger and Buried Alive are good reads too - no heavy issues.

I am with Seeker and Pixie on this in that I read them before DD does.

She has an average reading age and they are easy for her to read, which is very encouraging for her. Some of them are quite sad - I think Vicky Angel is a bit dark, My Sister Josie.

Even with Best Friends, it's good to be able to talk about why you should never run away on a trip alone, or whatever it is the main character does (memory failing) - there are several where children run away. I think it's useful to talk about how this is a common literary device in children's books - even Enid Blyton - but not a sensible choice IRL.

Jacqueline Wilson is lovely, and writes books children love, although I find her writing style a bit clumsy.

Also, the central characters are strong and not passive, which I like.

The faries range is spectacularly dire - JW is generally a bit more 'real'.

I would love dd to read a wider range, and she does like the Fudge books, and is currently reading 'How to train your dragon' but she is put off not just one book but reading in general for a few months if a book is too tough to get into.

lovecheese Wed 07-Apr-10 20:17:18

Yes, done the Fairies, lost interest half way through "Saffron The Yellow Fairy", thank god; She had The mum-minder for her birthday and enjoyed it, and has wanted to read Best Friends for a while. TBH I prefer for her to want to read authors such as JW than all the fairies/mermaids/ponies out there which are all pretty formulaic and not exactly challenging.

Kneazle Wed 07-Apr-10 20:17:56

I have never seen why Jaqueline Wilson books are so popular. There are so many amazing books out there, why bother. There is a seven year old in dd class reading "Girls Under Pressure" which is about a girl who "finds herself tumbling into the abyss of bulimia". Sounds like a laugh hmm I don't even think they are that well written. [runs away]

Kneazle Wed 07-Apr-10 20:22:10
pointydog Wed 07-Apr-10 20:22:23

JW writes an exciting, fast-paced, action-heavy story. And that makes them popular. Doesn't matter if everyone likes them or not.

cory Wed 07-Apr-10 20:30:38

Not my favourite writer, but not all JWs are about incest: as others have mentioned, Sleepovers is for younger readers- it's about a girl with a very nice family who has a severely disabled sister, surely that is not something we need our 6yos to be sheltered from?

morningpaper Wed 07-Apr-10 20:30:58

I think that 6 year olds like formulaic reads TBH and wouldn't worry about "challenging" her just yet

I did get to the stage of wanting to ban Fairy books but eventually they tire of them

lovecheese Thu 08-Apr-10 08:49:02

I am not pushing her to read a more "challenging" book, she wants to read it, and frankly I am pleased that she has the reading ability and developing maturity to do it. Not dissing the fairy/mermaid/pony books BTW, I think they are great for emerging readers for want of a better word to realise "hey I can read a proper book!" and are a stepping stone stage between reading scheme books and longer chapter books, (and have probably earned their authors a small fortune along the way!)

Fennel Thu 08-Apr-10 11:41:18

my dds have liked both formulaic and more challenging books, at 6 and now too. As do I - chicklit for the brain-dead moments, heavy foreign classics for when I have the energy.

Though I am dissing the dreadful rainbow fairy type books, thankfully my dds don't like fairies or princesses so they haven't been interested in most of the worst of it, we've been spared cute sparkle kitten and princess glitter and rainbow fairy horrors.

Vickisuli Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:43

Surprised that so many people are anti JW books for this age. My daughter and I both loved Best Friends, it brought a tear to my eye at the end and there was nothing inappropriate in it, just a message that sometimes things happen you don't like but they aren't necessarily the end of the world.

My daughter has done the Fairies etc (yawn) but has also read classics like A Little Princess and the Narnia books. But what I liked about this book was she could properly read it all by herself unlike the classics which can be wordy, so I'm looking for other age appropriate JW books for her. I realise that she does write books for teens too so its a case of finding the right ones. Plenty of writers write for different age groups, you don't have to write them off just because some of their books are unsuitable. Michael Morpurgo for example, some of his books are quite heavy and not at all suitable for young readers but some are about animals etc just right for a 5 or 6 year old.

Periwinkle007 Sun 07-Apr-13 08:01:49

I have never looked at one of them but then my daughters are 4 and 5. I have to say from reviews etc I have read I would prefer my children NOT reading them, not until senior school anyway.

There are so many books out there they could read instead. We do have the fairies/mermaids/lucky star etc but we also have lots of books I had as a child, Ballet Shoes, The Swish of the Curtain, those kind of books. More challenging than the long series of quick read books but still much more 'sheltered' than some of the current fiction.

Trying to think what else we have, twins at St Clairs, Mallory Towers, things of adventure (castle, ship etc), Roald Dahl, Ramona (I used to LOVE them apparently), Charlottes Web, Dick King Smith (some of his books are longer if I remember right, some are pretty short) Drina Adams (Ballet stories, really nice books, probably a bit more aimed at 9 year olds ish but incredibly harmless so could be read by a younger child without any concerns)

BlackeyedSusan Mon 08-Apr-13 15:14:02

i always read any of her books first as some are suitable, some definitely not. sleepovers is suitable for dd, which she first read age 5, my sister jodie is definitely not suitable til she is a lot older.

I have quite a few of her books for when dd is older.

Belugagrad Mon 08-Apr-13 18:56:04

I grew up reading JW books and I'm a happy healthy grown up! Read buried alive and me and mum read the mum
Minder and double act together. I loved them and they got me reading! Adults love mis-lit, so why are we surprised kids
Like a bit of drama. Feel free to read them yourself before judging them but at the same time adults find them sadder than kids i find. I would recommend the lottie project and cookie as her best.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 11-Apr-13 08:40:04

DD is nearly 7 and we've read some Jacqueline Wilson together. We enjoyed Four Children and It, which is a modern take on E Nesbit's Five Children and It. Lovely story, nothing horrible in it at all, and I thought it was fine for DD's age.

We've also read The Worst Thing About My Sister, which was also a good story about how two sisters learn to get along, sharing a bedroom.

However, we came unstuck with Queenie, which DD insisted on buying with her pocket money. We got three chapters in, and had to stop. I can't imagine why JW thought that a tale of an old grandmother with TB, spitting up blood in a sanatorium was suitable reading for any age. It's one we'll probably send to the charity shop. I really wish I'd looked at the write up in more depth first before letting DD have it. Reading it made me shudder. My first JW error. Hopefully the only one, as generally we do like her stories.

We've read some of the younger age group books too.

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 08:44:25

It was on the 9-12 shelves in Waterstone's,

Because it is unsuitable for 6 year olds.

Saying "no" to books is as much of a parental responsibility as saying no to films and video games, however proud of your child's reading age you are.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 11-Apr-13 14:06:39

I do wonder whether even a child aged 9-12 would enjoy Queenie. I found the subject matter (TB and its symptoms in detail) unpleasant, but having said that I remember reading tales of the Brontes when I was about DD's age and that went into quite a lot of detail about TB and their deaths.

Children don't always see things the way adults do. I wasn't distressed then and DD wasn't now (just me being over-cautious I suppose). I'll probably hang onto the book and see if DD wants to read it herself when she's ready.

LucyLucas Sat 27-Apr-13 12:22:40

Never that keen on JW. Always thought her books were a bit depressing. Only ones I liked were Bed and breakfast star and sleepovers (younger readers) Sleepovers really good I have a 6yo dd too and she was invited for a sleepover at a friend's (!) and so I read it to her. Not too sad and good morals.

LucyLucas Sat 27-Apr-13 12:23:43

Queenie made me shudder. hated it.

LucyLucas Sat 27-Apr-13 12:25:10

Duchess me and my 7 yo dd loved four children and it too.

newlark Thu 06-Jun-13 15:17:52

Just found this thread as was looking for some ideas for my 6.5 yr old daughter. She brought home a JW book from the school library that I would guess is aimed at 9-12s - I read it through and wasn't sure that it is appropriate so it is going to be buried somewhere until it needs to go back to school wink

She has read a large number of rainbow magic books (thankfully seems to have lost interest slightly now) and has enjoyed Kes Gray "Daisy" books. I'm reading Ballet Shoes to her at the moment. Some good ideas above for things she might be able to manage - any more?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Thu 06-Jun-13 19:22:25

The Ivy and Bean books are fab,ditto The Pain and the Great one range by Judy Moody.There are also the Iggy books and the Daisy books.

unlucky83 Thu 06-Jun-13 19:43:58

Second for always read JW first - before DD.
The 'Girls' ones are for older readers - found this out after flipping though one of them my 8yo had read - and finding the scene where 'Magda the slagda' thinks she is going to be raped...(Actually I think that is 'girls under pressure')
Didn't learn my lesson ...think you need to read modern books before DCs
MY DD (now 12) only reads that kind of book ...and I was horrified to find flipping though one of the 'life of riley' books (not suitable for younger readers - but what does that mean?) - where in one of them she is getting the morning after pill for her friend and jealous of her friend whose parents are more liberal and will talk about blow jobs at the dinner table..don't what age that is suitable for sad sad

RosieMBanks Fri 07-Jun-13 10:11:45

There is a section on the Jacqueline Wilson website which lists books in age groups. I thought some were unsuitable for DD when she discovered JW aged 7, and found it very useful to show her the website!

newlark Fri 07-Jun-13 13:08:43

Thanks RosieMBanks - the book dd brought home is in the 9-11 list on the JW website - will have a word with her Yr 1 teacher!

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