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Not to let dd read the longest whale song by Jacqueline Wilson?

(40 Posts)
CocktailQueen Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:22

Ddd is 9 and a vg reader. She loves JW books and has been lent this one. I have had a look through and am not happy with her reading it. It's about a woman who has eclampsia when she has her baby and it in a coma for ages. I know dd will get upset a it. Also, I am not sure the subject matter is appropriate for her. Wwyd? Aibu?

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 10:23:16

Have you read it to see what it contains?


This is a tender and gentle story that will captivate readers of 8+ from bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson. Ella's mum's in a deep coma having just had a new baby. That means Ella has to live with Jack, her hopeless stepfather and cope with her tiny newborn brother, as well as worrying about Mum. The only thing that's going right is her school project. It's all about whales and how they sing out to each other to attract a mate - sometimes for hours. Maybe a whale song could reach Mum, wherever she is, and bring her back to Ella and baby Samson. Surely it's worth a try?

Fairylea Sun 03-Feb-13 10:28:07

My dd aged 9 has just finished reading it. She is very grown up and enjoys call the midwife (!) And we talk about everything so I knew she would be fine with it.

She really enjoyed it and has been talking about it since.

I suppose only you know your own dd though. But I think at 9 it does them no harm to have a bit of realism etc.

chicaguapa Sun 03-Feb-13 10:28:52

DD got this book as a present and we hid it. She gets very upset about death and worried about me and DP dying and we thought this book was a bit more than she could cope with. YANBU.

Madmum24 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:32:34

I also have a 9 yo DD who has discovered JW books. I personally don't like them, there is way too much adultery/divorce/nasty stepparenting/trauma than what I believe is healthy for that age group.

Sneezingwakesthebaby Sun 03-Feb-13 10:35:43

YANBU. If you know she will get upset, leave it til she's a bit older or more ready for that type of story. A few JW books have upset me and I'm in my twenties! I loved her as a kid and still get some of her newer ones but I do think now she has run out of ideas and being known for putting serious topics in her books, she just slams whatever in them now. My Sister Jodie was a good example of this. And Love Lessons. Both a bit too random.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 03-Feb-13 12:35:45

You know your DD best so YANBU.

My DD is 8 and we read the Hetty Feather trilogy before Chrismas, which reduced me to tears on several occasions.

That said, they are great books and the ones with a historical setting are a good way of easing them into about trickier subjects as the fact they are set in a different time period makes them seem less threateningly real iyswim?

RedStone Sun 03-Feb-13 13:28:11

Both my dd have read this. (10 and 14). It will help deal with reality of life which we all know know is not a bed of roses!

OkayHazel Sun 03-Feb-13 16:06:11

I think books like this a really good for children who have friends at school with less than ideal family situations. Teaches understanding, compassion and gratefulness for what they have.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 03-Feb-13 16:18:14

IMO syrupy stories about princesses and happy ending are far more damaging than a bit of reality. Of course, you know your child best but discuss it with her, let her find her level with it.

SminkoPinko Sun 03-Feb-13 16:28:14

I think you should let her read it. She likes Jacqueline Wilson and difficult themes are a JW speciality. It's a pretty safe way to consider a sad situation. I've heard quite a lot of parents worry about their children reading JW but never actually met/heard of a child traumatised by reading her work.

OkayHazel Sun 03-Feb-13 16:28:49

I agree. MrsTerryPratchett. Disney has given me terribly damaging expectations of relationships.

calandarbear Sun 03-Feb-13 16:41:32


I beg to differ, my brother's class were read the suitcase kid at infant school. My brother cried for weeks and wouldn't let my dad out of his sight. My mum was less than impressed, up until that point my brother was unaware that parents separated, not a bad thing for a 6 year old and not that unusual in our area nearly twenty years ago.

SminkoPinko Sun 03-Feb-13 17:03:28

Sorry to hear that, calandarbear. I think 6 is a little bit younger than The Suitcase Kid is aimed at and so maybe not the best choice for a whole class read. But on the other hand it is really important for children of all ages to realise that not everyone lives with 2 parents and that divorce happens. And 6 is pretty old to be completely unaware of this, ime. So in a way I think JW did your brother a favour! I just checked with my 3 year old (who can't read so no JW dilemmas in this house) and she told me that some people live with just their mummy and some with both parents and some people even have 2 mummies. I was definitely aware that parents could split up way before 6 as many of my friends' parents had done so. Perhaps if you know such things the book would be less traumatic?

calandarbear Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:07

Oh I agree with you, both my 6 and 3 year old understand the concept I think it was just back then we didn't know anyone who had separated so it had never come up. Although even without JW he'd have known soon after as our neighbours divorced.

thebody Sun 03-Feb-13 17:15:39

Depends on the child. Op knows hers best.

My dds hated JW books and much prefer escapism and magic.

Harry potter, chalet school stories etc in their day, older now.

My dd has faced enough cruel reality so doesn't want to wallow in mystery thank you very much.

Probably why I prefer the escapism of Jeeves and Wooster and bloody hate crap 'gritty' soaps!

thebody Sun 03-Feb-13 17:16:06

Misery not mystery.

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 03-Feb-13 17:23:11

Dd was nine when she read this and whilst she wanted to talk about the book (and brought the story up again a while later when she learnt the mum of a boy in her class was in a coma) she did not get upset about it. It gave her food for thought (as most JW books do) but did not make her cry (unlike many of the Michael Murpogo books)

If she wants to read it, let her and be there to talk to her about it. If you feel she is getting too upset then take the book away (as I did with Born to Run by MM after I found dd sobbing in her bedroom)

Bogeyface Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:24


You dont know that it will upset her, and JW deals with difficult subjects in a way that kids can understand.

Yfronts Sun 03-Feb-13 19:14:33

I'm very careful with which books my 10 yr DD reads. Hetty feather - yes, some other topics - no. I've skimmed them and I can't see whey my child needs to know about some of the issues aged 10.

SolidSnake Sun 03-Feb-13 19:19:02

Yfronts I'm surprised that there are issues in JW books that a child of 10 wouldn't know about

jamdonut Sun 03-Feb-13 19:32:38

We read a Michael Morpurgo book at school to a class of 8/9 year olds about a boy in a coma (Can't remember what it was called ...the title was the boy's dog's name). That was very sad, and talked about the possibility of death, but the children really enjoyed it.

I'm not keen on Jacqueline Wilson books, though. I think they are a bit...I don't know....melodramatic.

OkayHazel Sun 03-Feb-13 19:44:21

I agree with SolidSnake. This much preciousness about the realities of life really worries me.

CocktailQueen Sun 03-Feb-13 20:51:13

Really, hazel? When you were 9, which books did you read that dealt with a woman beng in a coma due to eclampsia? Hmm?

CocktailQueen Sun 03-Feb-13 20:53:51

Thanks all. A real mix of answers here - which is why I like mn! I think on balance I will leave this book for a while. I read the synopsis and flicked through it. I like jw's style of writing but I wish that she would write about some of the nicer things in life too. She's like bloody Jodie picoult. No book without a moral dilemma. Not all families are single parent, not all mums are tattooed, not all mums are depressed etc. cheers all.

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