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Age appropriate?

February 24, 2010

If you don’t regularly check out her site, read this post by Meg Cabot (who is my secret best friend; we would get along so well!) about the rating of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume on Common Sense Media, a website devoted to determining possibly inappropriate content in books and the age appropriate for reading it. They’ve determined that you should be at least 11 years old to read this book, and preferably 14. 14!!!! I’m fairly certain I was reading Ms. Blume’s work when I was at least 8 years old. I read Margaret so often I had to buy a new copy, because mine fell apart. I found it inspirational to read about someone I could identify with, who was going through the same pre-teen angst I was feeling.  However, If I’d read it at 14 it would have been way to late to have any impact on me.  By that time I was reading Danielle Steele, Margo Dalton and other very descriptive romance novels. Stuffing your bras and first kisses just didn’t do it for me anymore.

I was very lucky that my parents allowed me to read whatever I wanted. They actually had no problem with me reading about love and romance. They preferred it to the numerous horror-themed books that were popular at the time. They even let us watch movies with S-E-X in them.

I understand how parents may want to censor what their children read if they have strong beliefs about a topic (and in fact I think that parents should be more careful about what their kids read and watch, because things aren’t always what they seem), but my personal opinion is that if you talk to your children about the topics you have concerns about, then your child will be able to accept and understand what is written in a mature fashion.

I actually just re-read Are you there God? It’s me Margaret, so it’s funny that this came up. Great post Meg! Got me thinking.

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