Should we read the sad and the scary to our children?

Should we read sad and/or scary books to our children? I am over at Writing to be Read discussing this interesting question.

Writing to be Read

Growing bookworks 2

When I was a young girl, I loved to read and so I did. I read and I read, until there were no children’s books left in the children’s section of the library for me to read. South Africa during the 1980’s was a conservative place to live, so the librarians did not allow children to go into the adult section of the library, never mind take out books for it.

Fortunately for me, my mom was a big reader herself. Her taste ran to classic literature, horror / supernatural books and the odd sexy book too. The temptation of her collection was to great for me and I resorted to reading her books behind the couch in the lounge. By the end of my tenth year I had read, possibly without full understanding but with enough for me to enjoy the stories, The Shining, The Stand and Salem’s…

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17 thoughts on “Should we read the sad and the scary to our children?

  1. I totally agree with you, and encouraged my children, and now grandchildren, to read whatever caught their eye, not just the happy endings – sad, scary, realistic, all were there. I think about the gruesome fairy tales I read as a child, and today’s offerings on the book shelves for kids are a stark contrast. One of my favorite quotes:
    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” ― G.K. Chesterton.

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  2. You are spot on, Robbie. I particularly like your point that the concept of what a child reads will be limited to his or her experiences. I call it “making the pictures in your head” to my little ones at school. The flip side is the video image on a screen, which can be frightening. Thank you, and I fully agree.

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