Thursday, October 02, 2014

Dark matter

"How dark is too dark?" That's the question that Rebecca Westcott poses at the start of an article about what constitutes appropriate subject matter for children's fiction. Westcott, herself the author of two children's books deemed "dark", argues that essentially nothing should be off-limits. Rather than being smothered in cotton wool, she suggests that children should be exposed to the realities of the world and indeed encounter books that reflect their lives as readers, and be encouraged to "play out a role in a safe environment". While I agree with her in principle, I'm not sure that I won't feel differently in practice, when Stan is of an age to be choosing his own reading materials.

Of course, some kids' books do come across as unintentionally inappropriate, while others would be inappropriate if they actually existed...

(Thanks to Lucy, Graham and Julian for the links.)

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