[DWJ] recommendations

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Sat Jul 27 11:42:53 EDT 2013

On Sat, 27 Jul 2013, Carol Carr wrote:

> Tamara Pierce has a lot of mature material in apparently innocent books.

The Circle of Magic books, which are what was recommended, are middle grade books.

> A lot of great books were written in 1950s and 1960s  for older child
> readers, without the adult or dark material common to modern work.

A lot of great books were also written in the 1990s and 2000s. I lik to recommend recent books on the grounds that parents probably know the old stuff, having read it themselves.

Frankly, books written in the 1950s and 1960s, while often great in other ways, are far more likely to have attitudes about whiteness which are, shall we say, troubling to a mixed race girl who is looking for herself in books. The Horse and His Boy, for example, which is the Narnia books with a protagonist of color (and is my favorite Narnia book, because childhood favorites sometimes aren't bound by such things), is brutally racist toward the Calormenes, who are pretty thinly veiled Orientalist Middle Eastern types.

While many of the books recommended are not what I'd give to a 10 year old, that's not because they're dark, it's because they're about what I'd call YA concerns (romance, leaving home, independent identity) and not childhood concerns (learning how to be a person, independence in safety).


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