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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:55 pm 
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This term DS’s year 8 class are reading “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” as their main book in English.

It’s a good book which I’d recommend to other adults but I was a mildly surprised that it was an official school text for 12 year olds as it does contain some adult themes and quite a bit of swearing including frequent use of the “f-word” and I think at least one instance of the “c-word”.

In fact the way I found out they were reading it was when my son excitedly told me how they’d started reading it out in class that day and the embarrassment of the reader and sniggers from the rest of the class when they got to a “rude word” in the first few pages. :lol:

I’m not personally concerned about it all but just wondered what other parents and teachers views were regarding what is suitable and unsuitable for children that age?

Also I’m a bit confused by the inconsistency we seem to have around exposure of children to bad language. If those words were spoken in a film or TV program it would be classified as a 15 or broadcast after the 9pm watershed with a strong language warning regardless of the context and I’m guessing some of us might wonder whether it was appropriate for our children to watch it. And even though this is an internet forum for adults, if I’d typed the words out properly as they appear in the book I’d be deemed to be breaking forum rules and they’d probably be automatically asterisked out to avoid causing any “offence” to other (adult) readers of the forum. Is there a reason its more acceptable in a book than other mediums?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:19 pm 
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Interesting topic Proud_dad. I am a great fan of this book not least because it was the book that moved my DS from Magic Kittens to something a bit more robust. He was in primary at the time but he loved it and has read it many times since. He is one of life's irritants, a gifted reader and English student who won't read:evil:

I also read it with another of my DC his last year in primary. He is also a reluctant reader but he loved it. I think the Autistic side of it is very relevant as many DC will be unaware of this disability and it gives them insight into it. The language was an issue but I know my DC swear, some of them in my hearing in anger some more subtly. Some of the themes are quite adult, mother has an affair, it gave us the opportunity to discuss lying. Is it ever appropriate? I could go on :)

I would imagine some DP would find it rather contentious so am not sure it should be on a secondary syllabus for 12 year olds. Interestingly what age would you think appropriate for watching after the 9 watershed as hadn't really thought about that one?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:54 pm 
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I think my views are similar to yours Tolstoy in that if a book like Curious is able to engage reluctant young readers like your DC's then for me that benefit outweighs any doubts about bad language etc. Presumably that was also the schools view, although I can't ever imagine us reading out the f-word in class in my day!

As an aside I remember the book also contains numerous references by the main character to quite high level maths and science and I wonder whether younger readers might struggle a bit following this? When I read the book myself a few years ago I never took it to be something aimed at children but if it turns out they like it then I guess that's all good.

Regarding the 9pm watershed I don't think there's a set age but depends on the program. I think the odd bit of swearing and mild adult themes are OK for a 12 year old but I wouldn't really want my DS watching something like Game of Thrones just yet!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:18 pm 
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You are right about the maths bit. The chapters are prime numbers as the boy is a maths whizz. However it was this aspect that initially made me think mine would be interested in the book and it was definitely part of the reason they really enjoyed it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:28 pm 
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Tolstoy wrote:
You are right about the maths bit. The chapters are prime numbers as the boy is a maths whizz. However it was this aspect that initially made me think mine would be interested in the book and it was definitely part of the reason they really enjoyed it.


Yeah, unfortunately I seem to recall he doesn't explain about the prime numbering until a few chapters into the book and I spent a while wondering what had happened to Chapters 1 and 4 and worrying that some of the pages had been ripped out! :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:45 pm 
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:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:10 am 
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I love this book but it does have the C word. I must admit that, despite not minding that much about the F word, I do find that a bit offensive and it meant that I didn't let dd read it in year 6 when she wanted to. (Admittedly she says "but I know all the words there are to know and am perfectly capable of deciding not to use them" and she is probably right and I am probably over-protective but I did stop her). I think it is a year 8 text in a lot of schools. I know quite a few who have been taken to see it at the theatre because they are studying it at school. I wouldn't mind her reading it now (she's 12 now) but I still have a problem with her reading books with more adult themes. I'm even a bit cautious about the Divergent series because of the love angle, even though they don't actually have sex....

Dd's year 8 text is Animal Farm. No swearing there :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:23 am 
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Animal farm was the next book I got my reluctant reader into. From there he went onto 1984 and an excellent English teacher who inspired him to read other literature. He'd got to the point where a history teacher suggested they read an excerpt of Uncle Tom's cabin when they were doing slavery, thinking that a bit lame he read the whole book.

Sadly it was all very short lived as one uninspiring English teacher later who really couldn't get her head around the fantastic prose in his writing and we are back to obligatory minimum for school study and playstation games instructions :(


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:26 am 
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Tolstoy wrote:
Animal farm was the next book I got my reluctant reader into. From there he went onto 1984 and an excellent English teacher who inspired him to read other literature. He'd got to the point where a history teacher suggested they read an excerpt of Uncle Tom's cabin when they were doing slavery, thinking that a bit lame he read the whole book.
(


Sounds like dd, Tolstoy. They read 8 pages of Animal Farm last week in the lesson and she promptly went to the library to borrow the book. She read it on Saturday morning whilst dh and I were both at work and we came home to find her in tears because she hadn't known it would be so sad! To be fair it is probably the first book she has read that is completely non-redemptive at the end...
I have just found 1984 for her to try.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:44 am 
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I was like that loobylou. In 6th form I read all the A'level syllabus books and I wasn't even doing the subject.

DS is still rather proud if that period of reading quality litriture and we have interesting discussions on communism and the difficulties of making a more equal society.

Please ignore typos, grammar police, my Ipad has gone french on me and I rely heavily on spell check pre- posting. Can spot them all post posting of course :oops:


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