|LP couldn't wait to read it.|
At the weekend I took my boys to the local library. The hubby always talks about how his mum used to take them to the library every week and he'd have six books to read. He loves reading, so do I, and we want to encourage our children to find their love of reading too. I find that no matter how many books you have it is always hard to find a new one and I was hoping this is where the library would help. When we'd joined I let the kids wander around and have a look at what was available. The hubby and I browsed... well, scanned is a better word.
When I was little I remember going to libraries and them being very quiet and organised places. They had sections for the different genre of books, even in the children's area, and in each section the books were organised alphabetically by author. This was always useful because you could look for an author you like then see if there are any new books you haven't read. Our local library doesn't have this system. It seems that they prefer the 'any book anywhere' option and there doesn't appear to be any logic to where you'll find a particular book. There is no chance of finding a series of books by the same author in the same place.
I can't decide if this is because the librarians are lazy or it's some new council policy and they think it works better. It doesn't, just in case you were wondering. It is the worst possible way a library could shelve their books, there's no logic at all. There is even a sign up saying that they used to have a crime section but now they've 'merged' it in with all other books. I just don't get it.
After a while searching my boys had chosen a few books and we headed home. It wasn't until last night that I read LP's final choice, Blackbeard's End by Barrie Wade and Graham Philpot. The picture of Blackbeard on the front was exciting for LP and he couldn't wait for me to read it. At bedtime he sat on the edge of his bed tapping his feet and fidgeting until I picked up the book. As I started reading he stared at the pictures on the page and was getting rather excited by the story. He muttered things like 'ooh I think they're going to get him' and 'Blackbeard is going to get away, I just know it'. I kept reading and the climax of the book was a fight between Blackbeard's men and Captain Maynard's men. LP was obviously rooting for Blackbeard.
I read the story completely unprepared for the end. I didn't glance at the picture on the page before I started reading, perhaps I should have. The words that came out of my mouth next completely threw me and I couldn't believe I'd just uttered them in front of my four-year-old. The lines read "...until a sword slash chopped his head clean off. He fell dead, and the other pirates gave in." Now bear in mind that LP chose this from the children's section, the pages are decorated like you imagine a children's book should be. This book was published in 2010 and I have to say I was speechless. I never expected to say that kind of thing to my little one.
Luckily LP was not fazed, he was disappointed that Blackbeard got beat. When Blackbeard died all he said was 'Oh no, that means he can't come back, ever!' The next page and Blackbeard is a ghost, haunting the seas where he died. I don't think LP understood this part and I was reeling from the book's end so I didn't explain.
I know that boys like to play and they 'kill' each other, fight constantly and play computer games where the character 'dies' but I didn't like the book end. I think LP is too young to be exposed to words like that, especially coming out of my mouth! It being accompanied by a picture just made it all worse. I think in the future I will be looking through LP's selections before bringing them home.
Have you ever read a children's book with inappropriate content?
By Morgan Prince
By Morgan Prince