Tip for the dear dads out there

When you bring your precocious 11-year old to the library because he needs to read a science-fiction book for school, it's not actually a great idea to just wave him in the direction of the adult science fiction section with a chuckle and a shrug of your head. I know it's great that he's reading at such a high level, but what you may not realize is that some of these books are written for adults because there are adult things in them. Things like swearing, violence, and alien sex. That's kind of why we created the kid and young adult area, which we then populated with science fiction books absent of alien sex. We are thinkers in that way. So when the librarian is trying to steer your child to more age-appropriate-but-still-exciting materials, please just sit back and let her do her thing.



AmandaStretch said... [reply]

Oh patrons. We may not know more than you, but we certainly know better. I'm blogging about the exact same thing today.

Cafe Johnsonia said... [reply]

Oh, yes.

Th. said... [reply]


This reminds me of my pet peeve, viz. how librarians always stick all (or nearly all) graphic novels in the YA section no matter the content. I read some truly shocking stuff full of bloods and boobs that I checked out of the Provo Library's YA offerings.

Giggles said... [reply]

So if I walked in, would you help me find the books on alien sex?

Erik A. said... [reply]

I should read more sci-fi. Never knew.

Saxon said... [reply]

yes graphic novels can be a bit of a risk with their contents sometimes.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Nem, Nem, Nem. . . do you realize that you might have just done the most important work in a young boy's life today? Once a boy reads Ender, he becomes a reader. The devouring of Ender's Game is as significant a milestone to a young boy as, I don't know, Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice or (meh) Twilight for girls. It's just that crucial.

Because, you see, Card's great contribution to YA lit is the theme that gaming all day with your budies can, indeed, save the world.

La Yen said... [reply]

My husband would not be the man he is today without the alien sex novels when he was eleven.

Natalie said... [reply]

I was just telling my sister about how I read 'The Thornbirds' in 7th grade, and how my mom really should have supervised us better. So, for me, it wasn't alien sex it was Australian sex...

coolmom said... [reply]

Well, did you say something? I would've given them them the lecture!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Mom, I just muttered, "your dad is a moron" under my breath and gave the kid a talk about how in SOME of the adult books he might find things that aren't quite what he wanted.

Him, nicely: Oh, but I can read really well, though.

Me: I'm talking about things like, maybe, more swearing than you wanted to read. Or more violence. Or more SEX.

I figured I might as well pull out the big guns.

Me: So . . . this adult book in your hand might be great, or it might not. I haven't read it so I don't know. I DO have some ideas of books I think you might like, and then you would have a few more options to choose from. Will you come with me and take a look?

And then we got him all fixed up. Not with Ender's Game (sorry STM) but with a book that HE actually noticed in the YF section and got excited about.

Nemesis said... [reply]

And then I saw him go over to his dad, show him the book, and point at me, saying that I was really nice and helped him find this cool-looking book.

My heart grew three sizes, I tell you.

coolmom said... [reply]

Ahhh...so precious. Molding young minds.

Audra said... [reply]

I remember reading some things that were on the fence and had my mom known would not have let me read it. Not that I was hiding it from her, I just think even I did not know what I was reading until I was older and thought about it and realized, "Ohhhh..." So, you are a good woman for protecting the boy's innocence!

Sean said... [reply]

The librarians definitely raised their eyebrows at my reading choices when I was ten or so, but it wasn't until I was twelve that I graduated to alien sex. Or maybe that's when it stopped going over my head?

In any case, by the time I was fifteen I was actively deceiving my mom about the kinds of books I was reading. "Oh, pfft. Anne Rice isn't that bad! Clive Barker is... fanciful." And then she picked up the copy of Imajica I had just finished and I was in deep, deep doo-doo.

And now I'm all nostalgic.

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