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to think this is really not a kids book?

(7 Posts)
WorriedMummy73 Fri 22-Mar-13 14:09:39

Was in WHSmiths this morning checking out the new kids books for DD (11) and DS1 (8). There was a book there that I've not seen before, about three shelves up from the floor, next to the Harry Potter books (so in the 8-12s?). Can't remember the author or title (sorry, I know that's not helpful), but there was a box on the front stating 'for fans of The Inbetweeners'.

Now, I AM a fan of The Inbetweeners (apologies in advance to those who aren't) so I picked the book up to read the blurb. It was written in a diary style (like Wimpy Kid or those Tom Yates (I think) books aimed at tweens). However, the three main points of the character were '1 - to make a film about killing zombies, 2 - put together a great University application (so the main character is presumably in 6th form) and 3 - GET INTO (insert female character's name)'S KNICKERS'.

I did a double-take, checked I was in the kids section (yes, definitely, my Smiths is 'one of only 2 branches in the UK to have the new Zoodle department, especially for children') and then checked that the book hadn't been left there by another customer who'd picked it up from elsewhere. Nope, there were three other copies there too.

Am I the only one thinking that the lines are getting increasingly blurred between older children's books and Young Adult books and that this book in particular shouldn't be sitting alongside Harry Potter and Rainbow Magic (next shelf down)?

So, come flame my pearl-clutching pants!

MisselthwaiteManor Fri 22-Mar-13 14:26:15

Did you tell a member of staff? I agree with you, 'getting into someone's knickers' isn't exactly reading material for an 8-12 year old.

thegreylady Fri 22-Mar-13 14:34:24

I bought my 16 year old dgs an Inbetweeners Year Book at Christmas.Had I seen it beforehand I wouldn't have bought it but I got it online and wrapped it after a quick flick through which caused me to phone his mum [my dsd-i-l] and tell her that the first page I saw had the word WANKERS across a double spread and the second had a photo of a young man with his 'bits' coming out of his undies!
She laughed and told me he would love it-which he did and said I was probably the coolest grandma around but I would have been mortified if any of the younger ones had seen it.I have never seen the film but last year the same dgs asked for the dvd for his 16th birthday so when I was looking for a suitable book for a non bookish teen I thought,'just the job'.

YouTheCat Fri 22-Mar-13 14:43:35

I think it's a good thing to tell Smiths this book is in the wrong section. Definitely not for 8-12s.

I found a book on the yr3/4 bookcase at school about being a teenager. I'm not a hoiky judgy type but even I could see that sections in it about alcohol and what to do if you think you might be pregnant etc, really isn't for 7-9 year olds.

I gave it to the DH.

WorriedMummy73 Fri 22-Mar-13 16:27:48

I was going to speak to the Manager, but he's a useless berk who I've spoken to before about the fact that the shelves in the kids section are too fecking high for kids to actually browse the books available. I can reach the top shelf and I'm 5 foot eight, so my kids would struggle! His response (rather dopily - I think he's about 12) was 'it all comes from Head Office - we don't get a say'. I suspect that would be the response to this book.

I think my bigger concern is the whole Young Adult phenomenon (think Twishite, Poutiful Creatures, etc) and how there is a very blurry overlap between teen books and tween books. DD is 11 and a young 11 at that. I like it that way. I want her childhood to last as long as possible, and my DS's after that. There is a series of books for girls in the 5-8 section about being a witch - all very cutesy, until the blurb mentions cute boys they want to impress! Wtf? Why is romance being marketed at little girls?

The book today just smacked of not knowing where boundaries are these days and what is/isn't acceptable for younger readers. Maybe I'm being over-protective. DD starts secondary school in September and I'm dreading it because she's going to come up against girls who are already old before their time.

God, when I was 11 I was happily reading my Malory Towers books (again)...

RedHelenB Fri 22-Mar-13 18:04:11

I was reading all sorts at age 11, mainly adult books cos that was what was on the shelves. A lot of the stuff passed me by because I was young & tbh it was boring & not the story. I think you should relax - if your 11 year old hasn't seen in betweeners why would she want the book?

Jux Fri 22-Mar-13 18:54:32

So was I RedHelen. The difference between when I was 11 was that there were no books for young adults at all. There were children's books, slitly harder children's books using more sophisticated language, and then adult books. An easy adult book was Pride and Prejudice for instance, which was given to me when I was 8.

The problem with this blurring of lines is that while I could possibly have read James Joyce when I was 11 or 12 and a lot of it would have gone over my head, these days the sort of books the op is talking aout wrap it up and aim it at that age group so it doesn't really go over their heads. While a 6 yo might have some very confused idea about a boy wanting to wear a girl's knickers, it's unlikely that children much older than 8 will. They may not know about sex and that's what it's alluding to, but they'll know it's something, and ask all their mates until they find out.

OP dh and I complained in our local Smith's a few years ago about some book being in the kids' section. The manageress agreed with us and moved it straight away. I think your manager sounds useless; perhaps you should write to head office.

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