Hey All! Faye’s Thoughtful Friday is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! At the moment this may not happen every friday, but they will always appear on Fridays. These posts will be all about my thoughts and opinions on bookish things and movie things. This week I am going to talk to you all about Teen Fiction Ratings
So when I went to the London Book Fair, one of the panels that I went to was called Does Teen Fiction Need a Rating? It was headed by C. J. Daugherty and was one of the most interesting panels that I went to during my time at the fair. This is a question which I am certain many people have asked over the years, but nothing has really ever happened about it. So I am here today to discuss the pros and cons of the rating system from the notes I took before opening the floor up to you and asking you what you think about teen fiction having a rating.
With a violence rating, people can be aware of what books they’re picking up.
A good sign for parents to know the book is suitable for their child without reading it.
Able to warn readers and buyers of potential unsuitable content, such as violence, swearing, sex, etc.
Allows parents to be more aware of what they’re children are reading.
Allows readers to know what to expect in certain books, allowing them to choose which books they wish to avoid.
With ratings you can avoid issues.
Allows writers to write more realistic scenes.
Even with an age rating, kids will still read it.
Run the risk of desensitising people from violence.
It may cause children to desire to read books with a higher rating, as their curiostiy is high.
WIth ratings, more can be added to books but this may lead to younger children reading too much.
It would only be a guidance for parents and carers, children are likely to never even notice the rating.
It could be construed as being similar to censorship.
Would it even work?
In my personal opinion, I am not sure that rating books would be a very good idea. If a book was rated, say, 11+, it is likely that parents may even feel that their eleven year old is too young and may buy them something different. But when I was younger, teen fiction had only just arrived and I was already reading adult books with a lot worse content. Why do we feel the need to now coddle our children as though they cannot deal with the things they read in the books? A lot of children may not understand fully what they’re reading anyway but may still enjoy the majority of what happens, and these books can also teach them about growing up in interesting and informative ways.
I also feel that it would take away the discovery of finding a book that is exciting and interesting. Children will always want to read above their “age” anyway, but they already have books written exclusively for them, how would adding a rating to those books help in the long run? I also believe that it would be difficult to add ratings to books anyway because who would ultimately have the final say? Publishers? Bookshops? Libraries? Why is it okay for an adult to say that only children above a certain age are able to read a particular book? Every child grows at a different rate and goes through different things, why should we stop them from being able to read about things they may already face or have to face later on in their lives?
So, in a nutshell, I just think that adding a rating to books would ruin the teen fiction reading experience. I can understand that from a parents’ point of view it would be incredibly helpful, but it may make reading less fun from a child or teenagers point of view, and as their the target audience, surely that matters more than anything else?
But what about you? What do you think about teen fiction having a rating?