Thoughtful Thursday 9.19.13

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Thoughtful Thursday

dogLike most of us, the majority of the books that I read are for pleasure. For the most part, reading for me is one of my greatest joys. Sure, the books I choose are interesting, but they don’t always cause me to stop and think. Every once in a while I do come across a book that makes me pause and reflect on the world or life in general.   Have you read a book recently that has caused you to stop and give thought to something deep and meaningful?  Or do you want to just talk about something that is on your mind? If so, tell me about it!

Here is mine for September 19, 2013:

Happy Thursday!  Today I am interested in your thoughts about the following question:

How young is too young to read Young Adult books?   I know, I know, a lot of “youngs”.  Couldn’t help it.

I have a nine year old son (just turned last week and I’m sure you are sick of hearing about him by now) who is a very good reader.  He is in the 4th grade with a reading level reaching into 7th grade.  At his school each child is required to meet a reading goal.  They pick books within their reading level, read them, and then test on their comprehension.  While I am super proud of his capability to read higher level books, I am starting to get concerned about the content of those books.

If you look at Young Adult books, some of the reading levels are surprising.  I have seen some of them at a 3.9 which means 3rd grade, 9th month of school.  When I look at the content of those books, there is no way that I would feel comfortable letting my son read them.  The topics range from sex, to drugs/drinking, to over-the-top violence and foul language.  While he does tend to giggle when he hears or sees a “cuss” word, he is simply not ready for books loaded with them.  Admittedly, he has seen a few PG-13 movies (mostly of the super hero variety) and can handle the action, but when it comes to sex and drugs, I think it would bring up issues that he is not ready for.

So, I ask you, what would you do?  How young is too young for Young Adult books?


  1. With my children I never said ‘no’ if they wanted to read a particular book because I felt that they wouldn’t connect emotionally if the content wasn’t something that was relevant to their lives. There are plenty of books written to entertain a 9 year old without moving into emotionally (rather than reader) advanced content.

    • Yes. I agree, I don’t want to say ‘no’ to him if there is something that he really wants to read. I believe that there is a way to look up books by their reading level, so I can always try that and keep the list handy. Thanks for your input! ~Deanna

      • Good thinking Deanna, I appreciate the school want to test him on comprehension for his reading age but it shouldn’t necessarily drive all his reading choices. My daughter who had a reading age much in advance of her actual age would jump quite happily from quite ‘young’ books to more complex ones as the mood took her indicating to me that she read for enjoyment first and foremost. Good luck and I’m sure you will hit on the right solution for him.

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