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Friday, April 29, 2016
How Old Is Too Young For Blue Language In Books?
is how I felt when I saw those three words in my 11-year-old son’s reading choice,
an award-winning, critically-acclaimed book, I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson.
School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly,
Booklist, Boston Globe, Time, New York Times and others rated it as one of the
best YA books of the year. The New York Public Library and Chicago Public
Library put it on their best-of-the-year list.
The author’s site describes the book as “radiant,” that will “leave you
breathless and teary and laughing – often all at once."
sounds like a great book. The
best-selling novel could be in the hands of our youth for generations to come.
have we crossed a line somewhere?
get me wrong, I’m no prude. I long ago
decided to let my kids – by age six – say “shit” and a few other funny-sounding
words. But I draw the line with the F-word. I do my best not to say it in front of
them. But now my son, in fifth grade, is
reading a book with this line in it.
don’t oppose the use of the word. All great books cover
controversial topics and sometimes blue language goes along with them. But I didn’t realize the day has come where
the F-word is so normal and mainstream that we let kids in elementary school
read books with such words.
concepts, terms, or actions are hard to define.
My eight-year-old is not reading a book with that word in it. No fucking way! But my son is. Is it too soon? Is it really necessary? On the other hand, so what?
old enough to grasp the use of the word.
Soon he’ll be exposed to such language more regularly as he enters
middle school. But I thought we could
keep him innocent for a little longer.
He doesn’t even turn his head to look at beautiful young women. He
hasn’t entered the world of sex-obsessed, drug-taking, language-offending
he will. With the reading of this book
it’s begun. I think what bugs me is his
school is endorsing this. It could’ve
chosen any number of great books, but it took the one with the F-word. The mass media endorses it, too. Maybe parents need to follow suit, I don't know.
all for pushing the envelope and challenging people on their ethics, passions
and behaviors – but when it comes to kids, my kids, I thought some things were
still off limits. I guess not. What a fucking shame.