Monday, 26 August 2013

Musing Monday #4: Murder for Young Readers

Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.

• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!

• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My musing this week is ... a ramble!

"The boy from District 1 dies before he can pull out the spear. My arrow drives deeply into the center of his neck. He falls to his knees and halves the brief remainder of his life by pulling out the arrow and drowning in his own blood." - The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The Boston Globe has a fascinating article on the violence in children's books. It turns out that books published today such as The Hunger Games have a lot in common with classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Tarzan of the Apes not to mention Grimm's Fairytales, and that murder and mayhem as been a staple in children's literature from the beginning of the written word. 

 Personally, I'm not surprised. Human nature being what it is, people are attracted to the blood and gore at any age and authors like to give their audience what they want. 

What surprised me is the outrage of parents and educators who have obviously forgotten what they read as children. 

Do you remember any particularly gruesome books from your childhood? 


  1. I think kids are being sheltered too much from everything- all these parental controls and parental outrage and such- If you read it as a parent and really don't feel it's appropriate for your child- all good and dandy- doesn't mean everyone will feel that way- I have two kids and the last thing I want is them going behind my back to get something. It's highly subjective opinion based and a parent telling a kid they shouldn't or can't read it- only makes it more alluring and secretly read.
    Great post.
    My Blog

    1. So true. The second you tell a kid not to read or do something they are going to go out of their way to read/do it. Its much better to be up front with kids and teach them about the dangers rather than trying to shield them from it.

  2. I read a great quote recently that speaks to this--it was something like--"Kids reading Harry Potter are no more likely to become witches than people who watch Gray's Anatomy are likely to become brain surgeons." We need to give our kids credit for understanding the difference between fantasy and reality!

  3. I read murder mysteries when I was quite young..and look how good I turned

  4. I remember some of the bible stories being pretty gruesome, the whole Crucifixion business for one... But then I read Carrie when I was twelve. The Shining and Rosemary's Baby at 13 lol. The funny thing about it is, if I had tried to rent the movie, I wouldn't have been able to... yet nobody batted an eyelid about me checking the books out of the library...

    1. It is ironic that books are OK but film adaptations are a big no, no!