Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?
I don’t confine myself to one specific age range for books. I’ll read a book from the young adult section or even the kids’ section if it looks interesting. If I stuck with only the books written for people “my age” I’d miss a lot of really good, interesting material out there. I’m sure my selection of books confuses Good Reads no end when it tries to offer recommendations, but that’s part of the fun.
That said, I will say I think that there is merit to the age appropriate nature of a book. But that comes down more to having good parents, teachers, librarians and mentors to younger readers to help them out. I recently read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” because it was on the banned book list. I was curious about why it was banned, so I picked it up. And while I can see that it’s inappropriate for children who aren’t teenagers, I think it’s entirely appropriate for young adults, especially boys. If parents, teachers, librarians and mentors don’t think a lot of teenage boys think and talk just like the narrator of the book does, they’re fooling themselves. I wasn’t offended by what was said here because it’s how the character talks. It reminds me a bit of the new edition of “Huckleberry Finn” that is coming out that substitutes one word for another one. The word in question isn’t one I use, but I can understand why the word is in the novel and why it’s a part of the setting and who Huck is as a character. To remove it seems like censorship for the sake of censorship and done by people who only focus on that one word and not the entire novel as a whole or the context in which it was written.
As with “Part Time Indian” the controversy only made me want to re-read “Huck Finn” again because I enjoyed it in school as a young adult and to see what the experience would be like now that I’m a bit older.