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Do you ever censor what your child reads? CHERUB related

(15 Posts)
PandaG Tue 02-Oct-12 14:49:35

DS is Y8, nearly 13. He is an able reader who often reads for pleasure - when he is not playing Minecraft! He brought the first couple of the CHERUB series home from the school library last week, and raced through them in a couple of days. He borrowed the next 3 from a mate on Saturday, and has almost finished these. So far so good, he's hooked on a new series.

Now I picked up the first one to see what he was reading, really enjoyed the story. I've also read the second and am part way through the 3rd. The stories are gripping and I can quite see why he is hooked, but there is a level of violence and nastiness that I am quite uncomfortable with. I've not really censored anything before, except making him wait to start Harry Potter until he was Y4, as I knew he'd want to read all of them and thought some of the emotion would be too much for him any younger.

Has anyone read the whole series, any topics covered I should know about?

winnybella Tue 02-Oct-12 14:53:47

blush

I got them for DS (10) and he read first 4 or 5 and then said that they weren't as good as the first one or two.

I didn't even occur to me to check them out first as they were recommended to me by the bookseller as good for his age.

I'll have a look later and will tell you what I think.

winnybella Tue 02-Oct-12 14:55:46

Oh, but he definitely wasn't traumatised by them, btw (and he doesn't watch films with violence in them or play games rated 18).

LauraShigihara Tue 02-Oct-12 14:55:48

Despite being someone who read Flowers in the Attic aged 13 grin , I would say yes. I recently had to point out to DS2's teacher that the reading book from school was horribly unsuitable (swearing and violence) so it has been taken out of the school library.

In the same way that I don't let him watch any old rubbish on the tv, I don't let him read anything too disturbing.

PandaG Tue 02-Oct-12 15:00:46

yes I censor tv and films quite a lot - he only saw the odd 12A at 11 at home on DVD for example, but I've always felt books were a bit different. Swearing doesn't bother me (I know he hears worse at school) but the violence I'm just not sure.

kellestar Tue 02-Oct-12 19:17:42

My parents never censored what I was reading. To be fair, they were so glad I was interested in books, they aren't nor are my brother and sister. So really was left to my own devices. I've recently re-read some books from my pre teen years 10-11-12 and now I'm amazed at the horror/violence in them. I'm not sure if my brain just kind of skipped over the horrible-ness of it all. I certainly have a different opinion of the books now. Even the romances/sex scenes were edited in my mind. I read anything I could get my mitts on including a friends mums Mills and Boon.

I did approach a mum at the Library the other day when her 12ish DD picked up Laurell K Hamilton Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. The joy is they can help themselves to whatever they want in the library, but it's also a worry. With these self serve machines they can easily take out age inappropriate content. Even if they took this book out over the counter, you wouldn't know that the content is nothing like Twilight and is adult of nature, no flags come up on the system or anything. Even with a Junior library card, no flag is raised. I recently took out the latest LKH release on DD's library card in error, she's 21 months! smile

If you aren't prepared to read the book yourself there are websites to aid you. I'm going to go and look in my old box of librarian junk as I had the list in there. Will report back.

kellestar Tue 02-Oct-12 19:28:37

www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews this one seems to be the only one still active. But I still think there is quite a missing gap as the CHERUB books aren't listed, even the author isn't recognised.

roisin Tue 02-Oct-12 20:02:57

I censored things until ds1 was about 11 or 12, then I left him to it.

Muchamore (author of Cherub) reckons there's nothing in his books that's worse than what you would encounter on Eastenders. That didn't help me, as I wouldn't be happy about tweens watching Soaps either; but thankfully my boys never wanted to.

I read quite a few of the Cherub books and wasn't too appalled by them.

I think books are different to films or computer games, because they depend on your own imagination, which to an extent is limited by your experiences. I've always been very strict about film and computer game classifications; but around yr7 or yr8 I gave them very much free rein on reading material.

roisin Tue 02-Oct-12 20:05:59

One of the things I do like about the Cherub books is the way they deal with some issues. James is initially (mildly) homophobic, and is also quite sexist towards girls; in a "typical teenage boy" kind of a way. The author isn't "preachy", but he does gradually weave into the stories James's learning journey that actually those opinions are wrong.

There's quite an open attitude to underage sex, that some people may or may not approve of. But IME they are hearing much worse in the playground anyway, and most people would just be happy that they are reading something, anything!

DeWe Tue 02-Oct-12 20:56:59

I agree with roisin. Dd1 (11) read them last year. She's very innocent for her age (or was before she read them anyway grin). I've had one or two conversations with her over them.

What I do find strange in them is the drinking. It's admitted the instructors turn a blind eye to drinking at a local place.
But actually that is really unrealistic. They're obsessed with being very fit-which doesn't go with drinking excess.
Plus with a load of underage drunk spies, one of them is going to say something to someone they shouldn't.
I would have thought the author could have made it a "stupid to drink to excess, you do stupid things that can get you banned from campus and talk about things you mustn't" rather than glorifying it.

PandaG Tue 02-Oct-12 23:36:41

Thanks all, appreciate your input.

Roisin, I agree with you...I wouldn't like my tweens watching the soaps either, and what I've read of Cherub so far I like the gentle way homophobia and sexist attitudes are challenged. Censoring books does not come naturally to me (as an ex English teacher - many moons ago hence me not knowing this series).

I am also very tight on age appropriate films and games, but I've always thought books were different, but the violence in Cheub has afected me a bit - DS is adamant that it doesn't bother him. Will have to chat through the implications of excessive underage drinking, I don't want to let that stand as something positive. Underage sex, well we can talk that through too.

I quizzed my Y13 male babysitter as to his opinions of cherub this evening, and he was really positive about them. As I trust him as an excellent male role model for DS, and I know he would be a good person to chat through the issues with.

will look at that website for other reads, thanks Kellestar smile

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-12 12:08:48

Yes I censor, currently negotiating with my 13yo about The Hunger Games.
This site might be worth looking at.

deleted203 Sat 06-Oct-12 03:09:38

I don't censor any reading, I'm afraid, although I certainly censor TV watching. I remember my gran being horrified that I was reading 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' at about 14 and my mother saying calmly, 'If she's old enough to think she wants to read it then she may'. (Ma was English teacher and probably preferred me reading that to 'Flowers in the Attic' TBH). It sort of stuck with me, I suppose and although I found Lady Chatterley boring the conversation gave me the lasting impression that one could and should be able to read what one liked. Having said that my DD1 (20) read 50 Shades before I'd heard anything about it and since then I've thought it sounded a load of shite and would not be keen on the 15 yo reading it. (Although she's not a big reader).

quirrelquarrel Sat 06-Oct-12 11:50:07

My reading was always censored- not just with sex and violent bits in it, but if it wasn't "good for the mind", then she'd get rid of it and give me a lecture on top. Somehow she still bought me Sweet Valley Twins/BSC when we found them in charity shops (although she was v. hard to persuade!), she knew they were my guilty pleasure. A bit later my mum made it quite clear she didn't want me to read The Second Sex (wasn't happy already, and she thought it would send me spiralling down or something). Yeah, it might have been controlling, but that doesn't have to be an umbrella term for everything bad. I'd expect a parent to be controlling, really!

Arcticwaffle Sat 06-Oct-12 11:57:45

Generally I don't censor much of my dcs' reading, the 12 and 11 yos read mostly what they like. They don't like much about sex or excessive gore. I have just refused to let my 11yo's friend borrow my copy of "We need to talk about Kevin". They've just started at secondary, that book gives me nightmares about the school gym, I really think that's a bit much. But my 11yo isn't particularly wanting to read it so I don't have to censor her, just her rather gore-obsessed friend.

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