I had an excellent Independence Day weekend as I got to read as my hubby drove on our way to visit family. I have a stack of Lone Star hopefuls yet to tackle, but some of my recent reading has me wondering if I've really crossed that line. You know, become, one of them. Gotten O-L-D.
I've always been a believer in reading and in letting people choose what they wish to read. I don't think of myself as a censor or a member of the dreaded reader police. I am, however, a midde school librarian. The patrons I serve are ages 11 to 16. I have sweet little babies that come to me at age 11 as well as children who already have children of their own. My patrons, my kiddos, my teachers run the gamut.
With all that being said I have noticed that when reading novels meant specifically for children (for that is, in fact, what they still are whether they like to think of themselves that way or not!) I NOTICE language and sexual situations more and more. Not mild language, but F-bombs. And I guess I'm really trying to figure out what I think about it all. Apparently I'm not as bothered by violence in books for this age, but what can I say....not very European of me, is it? But then, I am not, in fact, European.
Is this art imitating life? Does life then imitate art? Yes, yes, I KNOW they hear it in their music, in their movies, in the hallways. Does that make it okay? Even the kids themselves have told me it is more shocking to see it in a book than to hear it in a song. They are already desensitized to it in music.
The thing that gets me is that these are beautifully written, lovely books that I'm talking about---not trash by any means---that happen to have what I consider to be content that are for a mature audience. If they were movies would these kids be allowed in without sneaking in?
Read on, gentle readers; Read on!