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 Post subject: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:44 pm
Posts: 60
Hi all,

During the holidays my children visited my parents and rummaged through some of my books from when I was a child. I was an avid reader and had many books by Enid Blyton. I loved her books and spent a large chunk of my childhood with my head stuck them. However, when flicking through the collection, which is now sitting at home ready for my boys to read, I was somewhat suprised at what was deemed acceptable at the time with regard to racism and general making fun of people. Are they appropriate books for children to read today? Some of the comments made by characters are definitely not appropriate and PC. Do I allow my children to read them?


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
Posts: 2248
Its awful really, isn't it? Looking back.

However, I think, and sure someone will confirm, that the Enid Blyton's have all been edited, so if you buy them now the most offensive words (name of dog springs to mind) have been changed. It doesn't change the basic sexism etc of them of course, but language wise they are much better.


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4600
Location: Essex
Enjoyingthejourney wrote:
Hi all,

During the holidays my children visited my parents and rummaged through some of my books from when I was a child. I was an avid reader and had many books by Enid Blyton. I loved her books and spent a large chunk of my childhood with my head stuck them. However, when flicking through the collection, which is now sitting at home ready for my boys to read, I was somewhat suprised at what was deemed acceptable at the time with regard to racism and general making fun of people. Are they appropriate books for children to read today? Some of the comments made by characters are definitely not appropriate and PC. Do I allow my children to read them?


Are your children old enough and receptive enough to understand that the books reflect their time and that there wilt be things in them which they know to be unacceptable, or just plain different from today? If you are confident about that.I then I would personally say let them read them - perhaps read one with them first to highlight the post of thing which may be of concern? - a lot of the 'adventure' stuff is just good fun (and I can see some parents not allowing their little darlings to read some of the books because the chapters in them are allowed what to them is an unacceptable degree of freedom :shock:).

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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Quote:
a lot of the 'adventure' stuff is just good fun (and I can see some parents not allowing their little darlings to read some of the books because the chapters in them are allowed what to them is an unacceptable degree of freedom :shock:).


We read Stig of the Dump as our year 4 book a couple of terms ago. The children were amazed that his Granny just went off out for the day and let Barney roam about alone to explore, it even starts with him falling into a quarry!


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:44 pm
Posts: 60
I generally do not censor but rather use it as a platform to discuss context, etc. My DS, age 8 and I are currently reading Michael Muporgo books to discuss the horrible reality of war, etc. and I certainly think that talking about what we read together helps them learn a lot more than simply leaving them with unanswered questions and no means of gaining a better understanding. However, I feel that there is a big difference between contextual non-PC notions that are pivotal to the plot and time of writing and the Enid Blyton random unneccessary racism and sexism (often from the protaginists) which is dropped inbetween discussing the weather.
The adventures were captivating. I am speaking from experience. But editting out such comments would not change the plot in the slightest. I will be looking out for editted versions for my 6 year old. And maybe retain a few of my own copies inorder to discuss how writing and views have changed over the decades.


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
I seem to remember when I read new copies of The Secret Seven with my DS they had been edited and even metricated (I'm sure I'm not dreaming about the 3m tall clown on stilts) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 129
I suppose it depends on the age of the children, how sensible they are and the words in question.

Two examples I know are the word 'n*gger' which is the name of the black Labrador dog in Dambusters(?) and also features in To Kill A Mockingbird. It was a case of explanation to DD about the era in which these featured, how these are no longer acceptable and definitely not to be repeated.

I don't think we should shy away from what is history at the end of the day and how perceptions and understanding has changed. It just needs clarification and a firm understanding that what was acceptable then is definitely not now.


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6694
Location: Herts
To Kill a Mockingbird is currently a set text for the following exam boards: AQA, WJEC, Edexcel and CCEA.

Most of the schools in our area choose to do it as one of their chosen texts. By Y10 students are considered to be able to recognise and comment on racism and sexism.

My dds read Enid Blyton in Y3 and we also watched the fab videos. They were easily able to pick up on the outdated attitudes and I found it fascinating looking at Uncle Quentin and his selfish behaviour through adult eyes and the parents sending their children to boarding school and then choosing to holiday without them!

I would let them read it and then review it with them to see what they noticed. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
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I grew up reading Enid Blyton too, but there are far better authors available nowadays.

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 Post subject: Re: Enid Blyton
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 505
Location: Warwickshire
My mother was an infant teacher and was pretty keen to steer me away from Enid Blyton because of her poor grammar so I still have an irrational fear of such books... Is it just me?!


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