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Upsetting children's books

(12 Posts)
maggiethecat Thu 10-Sep-09 00:12:15

DD (6)had Michael Morpurgo's Fox Friend tonight and went to bed crying and cursing the author ('why did he have to end it like that. He should be slapped!) bcos the girl's secret pet fox was intentionally killed by her dad.

I think it's unusual for a book pitched at this level to be so realistic and grim. Are there any other popular ones out there that I should be avoiding for now?

Takver Thu 10-Sep-09 13:28:58

DD had that book out the library (age 7) and was also upset by it. I thought that it was a rubbish ending tbh - not the fact that the fox was killed, but the fact that it was just a tack-on bit at the end, kind of as if he'd added it as an afterthought.

streakybacon Thu 10-Sep-09 17:49:38

It's always worth reading Morpurgo through for yourself before letting the kids at it, especially if they can be sensitive. He's not exactly cutesy and he's pretty straightforward about the realities of life and death.

Pielight Thu 10-Sep-09 17:54:08

Morpurgo specializes in this.

DD is reading one of his about a farm cat, on the third page she discovered that the farmer drowns all the new kittens in a bag if he finds them. She was shock

I like the fact he does this - and for the older ones too - ds2 and I both cried at the end of Born to Run.

Life is sad, and doesn't always end happy ever afterly so books shouldn't either.

Takver Thu 10-Sep-09 20:51:59

With Fox Friend it wasn't so much the fact that the fox was killed as the way it was kind of tacked on as an afterthought, it almost felt as if his publisher had come back and said 'this doesn't fit your readership profile'. Yes, fair enough to be realistic - my dd has grown up on a farm so she's well enough accustomed to the realities of farm life - but I didn't think this was realistic, or well written, just random IMO.

tvaerialmagpiebin Thu 10-Sep-09 20:56:22

I was gutted at "Goodbye Mog" sad

DS didn't turn a hair.

maggiethecat Thu 10-Sep-09 21:10:28

I agree that all endings shouldn't be sweet but it was a bit too graphic with the fox lying in a pool of blood. The fox's demise could have been portrayed differently.

applejuiceradio Mon 14-Sep-09 20:34:45

I just read Morpurgo's new book Running Wild for the interview he did with our podcast. Bawled my eyes out for the first 2 chapters, but at least the ending's not grim...

He basically agrees with Pielight, life is sad, and you can't hide it from your kids. Have a listen to him if you like:

CDMforever Mon 14-Sep-09 21:07:30

We have a challenge in our house, to be able to read the whole of Love You Forever without shedding a tear. To date no one has achieved this! It is a truly wonderful, moving, special book and destined to become a family heirloom.

MilaMae Tue 15-Sep-09 19:32:12

Don't know if it's popular but bloody hell avoid it at all costs!!!Ds got it out from the school library.

The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit

MilaMae Tue 15-Sep-09 19:48:19

Please note I wasn't the one on Amazon who requested it's removal from the school library but to be honest I think he had a point. DP and I just can't see the point in it or believe people would give it 5 stars.

It is basically about a monster so ugly he's banished to a cave all on his own,no beauty,plants or animals grow near it as he's so ugly.It bangs on about how awful his ugliness is(great for teaching kids tolerance re facial disfigurement I think not). He then makes things out of stone all except one shatters due to his ugliness. He bonds with this stone rabbit even though it never talks back. Anyway said monster gets uglier and older then one day he doesn't come out of his cave-he's dead. Stone rabbit is left there beautiful plants grow up as the ugliness has gone.

3 dc and 1 dp very upset hmm hmm hmm

I thought dp was making a fuss until I read it-its dreadful.

fishflange Tue 15-Sep-09 19:56:33

Mila I am shock
at that awful book
oy kid you're ugly we will all dance when you're dead! (dh has quite a severe disfigurement and was dreadfully affected by bullying in childhood and adulthood)
<shuffles off on crusade to get it banned from everywhere>

btw Private Peaceful by Morpurgo is sad but excellent for 10+ I'd say

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