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The Color Purple recommeded to 11year old for book review at school

(17 Posts)
mears Mon 21-Mar-05 20:04:28

My DD went to the librarian at the local library for help to pick a book for review at school. She was advised to get The Color Purple. I have never seen the film or read the book but nearly collapsed when I found out what it is about - incest and rape etc. She is 11 years old. DH took the book back to the librarian who just kept saying it is a recommended book for reviews till he showed her the paragraph on 3rd page with rather graphic language. Surely that is unacceptable reading material for a child still at primary school?

Enid Mon 21-Mar-05 20:05:22

it upset me at 23, I wouldn't be happy if it were recommended to my 11 year old

nutcracker Mon 21-Mar-05 20:07:39

Have never read it, but from your description i wouldn't let an 11 year old read it.

maisystar Mon 21-Mar-05 20:13:54

crikey, i've read it and definately wouldn't say it was suitable for an 11 year old

JoolsToo Mon 21-Mar-05 20:15:31

I thought librarians were intelligent?

mummytosteven Mon 21-Mar-05 20:18:04

quite enid, I've never faced up to reading it at 28 coz it sounded too sad!

in my day librarians were dragons that wouldn't let me get anything in the teenage section out till I was 13!

Socci Mon 21-Mar-05 20:18:23

Message withdrawn

roisin Mon 21-Mar-05 20:19:38

Sadly nowadays many people who work in libraries are not librarians, have very little training, and sometimes little knowledge or interest in literature.

Our library does not have the most fantastic of staff, but they do check with parents if an adult book (which this most definitely is) is being taken out on a child's ticket.

pixiefish Mon 21-Mar-05 20:39:26

OMG- it's on the A level syllabus here. Should never have been recommended for such a youung age

whimsy Mon 21-Mar-05 20:42:26

I've read it and seen the film and I wouldn't be happy for an 11 year old to read it

paolosgirl Mon 21-Mar-05 20:45:23

Roisin - you're wrong about library staff. Librarians - and there are all different kinds, working in many different types of libraries, from the public one, to the very specialised business or medical one - have to do a degree, and then as you work up through the ranks you then have to become chartered or a member of a relevant professional orgnaisation.
A library assistant has never, ever been qualified to the same level, but still has some formal training. Just as with all professions, you get some good ones and some not so good ones.

Nemo1977 Mon 21-Mar-05 20:50:04

I read the color purple when i was 12 as my mum had it. However tbh i didnt fully understand it and did re read it at 16. Yes it is too graphic for a 11yr old

donnie Tue 22-Mar-05 18:16:28

put it this way, I have taught this at GCSE and we have to send a letter home for parental approval !of course your DD may well be mature and everything but I still think it's beyond what is appropriate.

marthamoo Tue 22-Mar-05 18:28:09

I've read it (for my English degree) and I would be unhappy if my 11 year old was recommended it in a public library. I can only think the member of staff hadn't read it - or maybe thought your dd was older than 11? Though if your library is computerised (and I assume it is) she will be registered as a child and the Librarian would have to manually override her ticket in order to issue an adult book to it.

In my previous incarnation as a librarian (Oi! Jools, I am intelligent!) in Public Libraries the general guideline we followed was that adult books were to be issued to adults only - but that we could use our discretion and issue to a child if we thought the book was not likely to be controversial (so eg., a 10 year old wanting Silence of the Lambs wouldn't be allowed to take it but if he wanted A Tale of Two Cities he would). If there was any doubt we would put the book to one side and the child's parent would have to be checked with.

We also had a kind of grey area of Young Adult fiction which was a bit of a nightmare to regulate - it's possible The Color Purple may have been in this section.
Not making excuses, btw, I would not have been happy and would have complained too.

piffle Tue 22-Mar-05 19:00:14

It is an extremely harrowing book as others have said it floored me at 25 totally wrecked and still evokes strong reaction whenever I think back about it.
That said it would depend on the 11 yr old
My ds is 11 and reads quite mature stuff but things that include sexual expression or sex crime I shy away from as he is quite "naive" in that way
He was after reading my Patricia Cornwell novels, I had to to say no, back to Lemony Snicket.
But at 9 I was reading Dick Frnacis novels (horse mad) and they had plenty of nookie in them but incest is a prety mature concept to process
What a thought provoking post btw Mears

BadgerBadger Tue 22-Mar-05 23:42:42

If another adult handed this book to either of my children in the future without my prior knowledge (I honestly mean before the age of 16!) I would be livid.

In depth descriptions and graphic accounts of incest/rape/physical and mental abuse are well outside of what I'd consider suitable reading for a child.

Sexual content is another matter (IIRC, 'Forever' was doing the rounds with abundance when I was 11, to read it was almost a rite of passage!).

But a book like 'The Color Purple' gets into the mind (IYKWIM)- I remember the first time I read that just as clearly as I remember the first time I saw 'The Excorsist'. Extremely disturbing stuff.

Chandra Wed 23-Mar-05 00:24:49

I really don't know what to say, sometimes I think I'm getting old and teenagers are no longer as they used to be.

A friend proudly announced that she had bought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time book for her 8 yrs olds. It deals with divorce, affairs and a rather violent dead of a dog. I couldn't believe she had bought it, she found it terribly funny (with a nephew with AS, I had mixed feelings about it). Considering that she is getting divorced after an affair of her DH, the book don't seems to be the most appropiate choice but in her defense she claimed it was children's book and yep, it was displayed in Borders' children's area as the main book last month. When I saw that I could only think that I might be getting old...

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