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Tell me if I am being PFB re reading book

(24 Posts)
redskyatnight Tue 09-Nov-10 10:36:33

DS is in Y2. Yesterday he came home with a reading book that featured round a maybe 9 year old boy and his relationship with his great grandmother. One day the boy goes round to great-grandma's house, can't get in and gets worried. He goes to tell his grandfather, who lets himself in with the spare key, and then comes out and tells the boy that great grandma has taken ill and he should go and call an ambulance. Boy goes and calls an ambulance, then goes back to the house. Grandfather tells him to go home and tell his mum. The chapter ends with the boy runnning home, wishing that he'd had a chance to say goodbye to great-grandma and wondering if he will ever see her again. At this point DS said "I think Great Grandma has died".

That was as far as I got with DS, but I skim read ahead because I wanted to be forewarned as to what had happened to great-grandma.

Great-grandma has had a stroke and comes home from hospital in feeble health and extremely confused. In particular she thinks her great-grandson is her younger brother and keeps talking about things from the past that no one understands. With the help of the neighbour's cat, Great-grandson finds some old newspaper clippings that shed some light on what happends to younger brother and what great-grandma is going on about.

Sorry for long message but wanted to give you an idea of the full story. DS picked the book (they choose their own books from appropriate level box) because he liked the title and the picture of the cat on the front. Both are fairly incidental to the plot.

So my question is, I think the topics covered in the story are inappropriate for a Y2 child(and DS is a "young" Y2 at that)? Would you agree or am I just being PFB? At the very least I would have liked the book to come with a "warning" rather than being plunged straight into doom and gloom. Comments?

NotAnotherBrick Tue 09-Nov-10 10:38:22

You are being PFB. You could have read it first anyway.

There is no better way to deal with these big issues than when reading a book in the arms of a loving, trusted adult.

WowOoo Tue 09-Nov-10 10:40:08

It does sound a bit heavy to me.

Did you finish the book together?

Don't think it will do him any harm though. I'd read a short but very happy book straight after.

mazzystartled Tue 09-Nov-10 10:40:21

I don't necessarily think it's age-inappropriate
But I do agree that it sounds miserable as f**
(it's not bt michael morpurgo is it?)

ChippyMinton Tue 09-Nov-10 10:41:21

Not sure if YABU about the content not being clear from the cover.
But I would say that many children do have day-to-day experience of elderly relatives being taken ill or living with dementia, so it's not unreasonable to have this as a topic.

I'm interested in the book's title, if you stil l have it (subject is very close to home ATM sad)

Francagoestohollywood Tue 09-Nov-10 10:46:04

I think you are being a bit PFB.
I don't think it is age-inappropriate, plus the boy in the story seems to be dealing with the illness in a very responsible way, and is even able to help. Very empowering, it seems to me!

redskyatnight Tue 09-Nov-10 10:49:08

ChippyMinton - the book is "All the Kings and Queens" by Jan Mark. Sorry to hear you are personally affected by the subject.

SGertie Tue 09-Nov-10 10:51:54

YANBU. My yr2 ds is very sensitive and would have been in floods of tears at that.
Fair enough as a self help type book if a child needed strokes explained but not as reading homework.
Whats the book called and what reading level is it?

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Nov-10 10:52:27

A bit PFB - but you know your own child.

Is the 'appropriate level' box done by reading age, chronological age or a bit of both? Because there can of course be a problem of precocious readers trying books which are beyond their maturity level.

Lynli Tue 09-Nov-10 10:53:23

I agree with you, although I have been accused of being over protective.

This seems like the kind of book you would use if like me you are dealing with a relative with dementia, and need to start a conversation, and should be read with the child.

ZZZenAgain Tue 09-Nov-10 10:53:32

I wouldn't have chosen it for dd in y2. Don't feel you have to finish a book just because you start it, if it isn't right somehow, just leave it.

redskyatnight Tue 09-Nov-10 10:57:24

The "appropriate level" is done by reading level, but the books are only available to Y2 children (and the school is an infants so it doesn't go beyond Y2).

The school uses its own book banding scheme for "better" readers (he is beyond the NC "white" level), but DS is reading at the low end of NC Level 3.

ruddynorah Tue 09-Nov-10 10:59:44

You know your child. For some the book would be fine, for others it wouldn't. Sounds more interesting than a lot of school reading books. You could have some good conversations from it.

Fwiw we just went through all that with my grandma, so dd is familiar with strokes and confused elderly people, and then death and funerals. She's 4. I wouldn't shy away from these topics.

ThatllDoPig Tue 09-Nov-10 11:02:54

As a teacher I would say that books with this kind of theme are more suited to reading as a class or group, leading to discussion, where social/personal development is part of the lesson plan rather than reading skills. If I were you I would take it back in and show it to the class teacher, he/she probably is too busy to be aware of this book. You never know, this could end up in the hands of a child who's family could be going through something similar, and a reading book isn't the right medium to bring this out at year two level.

ChippyMinton Tue 09-Nov-10 11:05:45

Thanks redsky. The title doesn't convey the subject, does it?

Niecie Tue 09-Nov-10 11:05:56

I have a DS2 in Yr 2 and it does sound quite old for him but I wouldn't 'ban' it, as such. It sounds like something that I would be happy to read with him or to him but not something I would necessarily want him to tackle on his own. Sounds like a bit of a mystery to me so I would be concerned with whether Ds understood this rather than him being upset by the G-grandmother being ill.

Is it a primary school or just an infants? I think if it is an infant school then the school should have taken the age of the reader into account and assume that it wouldn't be available if it was unsuitable but it is more difficult if it is a primary school and there are older readers around.

As others have said you know your child best but I think you might be a bit PFB but only a tiny bit.smile

crazygracieuk Tue 09-Nov-10 12:22:45

Depends on the child. My oldest is Y5 and hates realistic books like the one you describe where as lots of Y2/3 children seem fine reading quite realistic (grim?)books that involve serious issues like divorce, illness, bullying, domestic violence... When my oldest picked books like that I sent them back to school and told him to swap it.

crazygracieuk Tue 09-Nov-10 12:23:00

Depends on the child. My oldest is Y5 and hates realistic books like the one you describe where as lots of Y2/3 children seem fine reading quite realistic (grim?)books that involve serious issues like divorce, illness, bullying, domestic violence... When my oldest picked books like that I sent them back to school and told him to swap it.

auntevil Tue 09-Nov-10 16:44:25

Did your DS enjoy the book or not? If i start reading something which i don't enjoy - for whatever reason - i stop reading it. It's quite empowering to a DC to say that they don't like the choice and want something else.

redskyatnight Tue 09-Nov-10 20:11:57

I have to admit we read a bit more of it today (DS wanted to know if Great Grandma was alright) and actually it's not as full on as I'd originally thought. The bits about great grandma's illness are very well hidden amongst the boy doing normal "boyish" things - in fact DS was more interested in the boy winning the obstacle race than GG being confused about it.
Still I've been interested to hear others' opinions of sharing "real life" topics with (youngish) children. thanks for all the input.

Goblinchild Tue 09-Nov-10 20:45:55

It is one of a series of small hardbacks called Superchamp books, designed for KS1 and lower KS2.
I'd expect it to fall within normal boundaries for the series, challenging topic, accessible text and not to scary a theme.

DreamTeamGirl Tue 09-Nov-10 23:11:15

If anyone is interested this is the book on Amazon

My grandma is just going this way, so I have ordered for my DS as he has asked a few times why great granmda doesnt remember who he is

I would agree its probably better for guided/ class reading, but I wouldnt be upset by my DS bringing it home personally

gorionine Tue 09-Nov-10 23:16:57

I think this books sounds really good and handled in a sensitive manner. I would have no objection to my son (also in year 2) to read it (probaly together though as I suspect he might have a lotof questions). In fact I might ask if the school have it in their library.

DreamTeamGirl Tue 09-Nov-10 23:19:07

Thanks for coming back and updating a bit more redsky- the trouble with taking 4 hours to hit post LOL

I am so glad I have ordered it now

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