YA/Children's/Adult Books (Was: Re: DWJ in Today's Guardian/ short story)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sat Apr 26 08:53:27 EDT 2003


>Maybe it's the wounded centaur in a bedroom that worries people.  The
>strange urge to protect children from stuff they've almost certainly
>already noticed (like "grownups are strange about sex", and "people, even
>innocent children, do get killed, often in nasty ways" -- kids watch the
>news, after all), always seems to come in somewhere, but I remember having
>had to be removed screaming from the cuddly kiddies' film *Bambi*, and I
>know that it is impossible to say what may upset any given child, on
>account of each child is a person, not just an interchangeable spare part.
>I have three, and each of them had a different set of triggers for being
>upset, at different ages.
>One thing I do know is that all the under-twelves I know who've read *Deep
>Secret* seemed to be quite ok about it.  A couple were bored because they
>didn't quite understand what was going on, so they stopped reading; that
>seems to be what children generally do about books they aren't yet ready to
>deal with, isn't it?

As one of the original people saying 'this is not a children's book' 
*in this go-round* of the discussion of age and books (although from 
prior discussions, I know I'm not alone) can I please wave a virtual 
hand and say that there seem to be some straw arguments being set up 
here, and as I'm in the 'they' with their 'strange urge's, feel that 
this has gone a bit away from  my point.  Which started with the fact 
that both Deep Secret and Dark Lord  (certainly the former at any 
rate, I'm only about 90% sure of the latter) were originally 
published by DWJ as adult books.  To say that they are not children's 
books isn't to lose sight of the fact that children are not just 
interchangeable spare parts!  Please, give me some credit. :-)   And 
I quite agree that there's no way to impose a universal set of 
standards which will protect all kids from too much upsetting 
exposure.   It doesn't mean that there is no distinction between 
children's and YA and adults, surely?

Maybe I should request help from Melissa at this stage, who recently 
addressed all this far more lucidly than I'm managing.  (Lost, all 
those Words of Wisdom.  Would somebody please hand me the weed-killer 
so I can express my feelings?)


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