Sunday, March 18, 2012

from, excerpt

  • Kristin Rushowy
  • Sat Mar 17 2012

Hunger Games: Too violent for kids?

Parents, schools grapple with how to handle requests for the violent trilogy

They're meant for young adults, but with all the hype around The Hunger Games books — and now the movie — younger kids are clamouring to read them too.

It’s become a thorny issue for parents and teachers. Even some adults find the violence and themes unsettling, but at the same time they don’t want to dampen kids’ enthusiasm for reading.

For Sara Grimes, a children’s book and media studies professor at the University of Toronto, the young adult designation (meaning ages 12 to 18) is a broad generalization “that doesn’t take into account the huge diversity in terms of reading ability and what they can handle.”

“It may be a young adult series, but a lot of advanced readers and kids much younger than the young adult target market have really gotten into them. They are clearly able to cope well with some of the darker themes.”

Teacher-librarians have grappled with age-appropriateness of the trilogy, and report they’ve seen students as young as Grades 4 and 5 engrossed in the books.

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