Rate That Book?

Here's a question for your consideration.  Do you care what your children read?  That is, are you concerned about the usage/depiction of language, sex, drugs, etc. in the books your teen and pre-teen children read?

If so (or if not), do you think that books should have a ratings system, similar to movies, television shows and video games?


  1. I definitely do care, and I care what I read too, honestly. Occasionally I've gotten kind of blindsided by a book that seemed like it would be reasonably "clean" and ... wasn't. So when I give "star" ratings to books on goodreads, for example, I also try to give "PG" type ratings as well.

    I think there would be some problems with an institutionalized system of ratings for books, though. Just like there are problems with the ratings in movies. There's a nuanced difference between depiction of, say, drugs and an approving or glorified depiction of the use. Same with violence and other matters. In the case of sex, there's a difference between discussion of it in a frank matter that may not actually be objectionable and graphic depictions or approval of sleeping around, etc.

    Oh, and of course there are things like "thematic elements," stuff that is appropriate to cover in different ways for different ages.

    Anyway, I don't have any great solution to the topic, but I've certainly thought about it. So when I rate books personally, I try to give an idea of not content specifically but of the handling thereof. Whether I think the book was an appropriate read for me or for my children or whatever. It's pretty personal sometimes, but I hope it at least gives my friends an idea of what to expect.

    1. Jeanna, it's a tough question, isn't it? If I have concerns, I'll do word searches on Amazon for the book in question to see if there is more than acceptable (to me) counts of offensive language, though that doesn't always account for thematic, etc.