30 October 2009

Sunday Salon: Putting a Halt on the Alice Books

My daughter C1, age 12, got interested in the Alice books by Phyllis Naylor Reynolds after we watched a movie based on them (Alice Upside Down). All I knew about the series was that there were several books and they start with Alice in 6th grade. I'm all about my tweens reading books with characters that are their age, so I checked out a few of the books from the library. C1 is a speedy reader and these books are relatively short, so she was devouring one or two of the Alice books a week.

If you are familiar with the Alice series, then you know where this little tale is going. C2 read so fast that she ended up at Alice On The Outside. In this book, Alice is in 8th grade and is curious about sex and the things she believes her late mother should be teaching her. It has some frank talk about sex in the first chapter that I'm not sure C2 is ready for -- or maybe I'm not ready for her to be reading. Seeing this made me do a little more research about the Alice series and now I realize that the subject matter will probably be getting even more adult in the later books. The author's intention seems to have been for the books to grow with the reader, and I respect that. It is just makes things difficult for kids who pick up on the series years later.

I know that other people would say that I should take this an opportunity to discuss sex with C2. Other mothers would probably hand her the book and deal with the questions that arise. Unfortunately, C2 is a smart kid who thinks she knows everything, so she would read it and not ask any questions. I am just uncomfortable enough that I wouldn't know how to draw her into a conversation. So I put a halt to C2 reading the series for now, to give us both time to grow up a little.

READ: Last week was a good reading week for me; I finished three books!

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2) Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey

I have several other quick reads on my stack, so I expect this week to be another good one, reading-wise.

TBR LIST: The list stands at 109 titles. I'm trying to be good about not adding any more titles because I would really like to see the total go down. The longer some of these books sit on my list, the less I am interested in reading them. I start to feel like I already read them just because I've read so many reviews. Isn't that crazy?

CURRENTLY READING: I am still picking at Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible in between other books. His comments on the Bible are mildly interesting, but the book is divided in sections so it is easy to put down and pick up again.


Kristen said...

I'm curious if C2 has an opinion on you putting the halt on the books? That might be a way to start the discussion about sex right there. And if she's not willing to discuss, then she probably isn't ready to read the book, right? :-)

Dani in NC said...

When I picked up the book from the library and saw a young couple that looked they were on the verge of kissing on the front cover, I told her then that I would have to skim the book to make sure it was appropriate. She asked me why and I told her there was sex in the book. That was the end of her questions, other than bugging me for my decision. When I told her that she couldn't read it right now, she said OK. I could tell she was disappointed but she accepted it. None of my kids have ever really battled me to read a book or watch a movie that we've deemed inappropriate. I guess I'm lucky :-).