Saturday, October 16, 2004
I had heard several librarians on the YALSA listserv praise Double Helix by Nancy Werlin. This is supposedly a preteen contemporary mystery. I read it this summer to my own kids who are both in middle school and was shocked at the sexual references in the book. We have had several preteen and young adult books sent to Flamingnet for review this past year that have also been sexually explicit. I feel all of these books are inappropriate for my 12 and 13 year old kids, yet this is the age group their publishers and authors are targeting. But, like movies, shouldn't authors and publishers be encouraged to use some sort of rating system to tell parents and young readers if the book includes references to sex, violence and drugs? I think a publisher that voluntarily adopts such a system would become very popular with parents, teachers and librarians interested in making appropriate reading recommendations to their preteens and young adults.